How do you use Scrivener?

Keith’s statement, above (from another thread), made me wonder about the uses others might have found for Scrivener.

I manage my own investments and have a few files loaded with stock charts. Some are current investments, others are files for issues I want to follow. A plus, is that I can keep tons of notes as I go. The files run to a bit over 30MB and have been rock solid.

Using Scriv’s split window I can compare the chart of an index (the DOW, for instance) with the charts of any of the stocks I follow, to see how they track the broader market, or to see how a given stock compares to other stocks in its sector. All of this helps a lot with research. And, again, the notes I can take are SO helpful!

I also enjoy designing databases (I probably have 50 on my machine) and I’m learning a bit about programming the Mac. Yesterday I downloaded a husky SQL database application. The manual is (Uugh!) online.

Then I remembered Scriv can import web pages! I imported 29 web pages (just over 8MB). The entire manual, references to various languages, notes, misc. pages, everything. Now the freaking manual is living on my hard drive, thankyouverymuch.

This file causes Scrivener to quit once in a while (it’s the only time this has ever happened). I had a few problems when I was importing a few of the pages and this is probably causing the problem. Loading the pages took a while because I live in the country and am still on dial-up. Still, the file is very usable.

Software User manuals and notes. They work well in Scrivener, too. Easy to organize and read.

I also use Scrivener for writing. 8)

Okay, your turn. How do you use Scrivener…


Heh. You’ll get as many answers as there are users, from screenwriters to novelists to academics to researchers and everything inbetween.

I write comics, novels and other scripts with it. Now that I use it, I wonder how I ever managed before :slight_smile:

Don’t listen to Johnston. He’s just misleading you. Scrivener isn’t for novels, comics and other scripts. Scrivener is for non-fiction, journalism, academic writing and unscripted TV formats. 8)

It would be easier to say what I don’t use Scrivener for, which is anything that only has one thread – letters, mostly. Anything that’s more complex than that, I use Scrivener. Since I got it, I don’t think I’ve written anything other than letters in anything else.

I’m collaborating on a book with someone right now. She sends me RTF files and I just dump them in the Binder, in which I write my own stuff. Tomorrow I shall format the entire ms. for delivery. I think it will take me about 5 minutes. Remarkable. It would have been a nightmare before Scrivener.

SCR is a digital version of Super Glue

Over 1,001 uses.

In a digital sense I rank it right up there with Duct Tape

I began finding lots of uses for Scrivener right off. Scriv’s flexiblility and organizational tools makes it easy manage various kinds of material. So all kinds of information now goes into Scriv. Manuals, help files, research, articles for future reading, I know databases are made for this (and I enjoy creating FileMaker DB’s) but I prefer reading text in Scrivener.

That same flexibility makes writing a lot easier. I used to write tons of short ad copy, what a difference Scriv would have made at that time…

Like Michael, I use Scrivener for just about everything except writing letters or short notes: short stories, novels, chapter books, articles, copywriting, op-ed pieces, short documentary, animation shorts, and a/v scripts, etc., etc. Haven’t found a more useful program…and, like many here, I’ve tried a bunch, including Ulysses, Copywriter, Jers Novel Writer, Mariner Write, Writers Blocks, etc., etc. For me, Scrivener just works the way I think. And I can’t wait to see what Keith has in store in Scrivener 2.0. I may just have to buy a new Mac when S2 comes out, just to celebrate

My primary uses are
• Work presentations to management – scriv for everything but the actual slides
• Sermon/lecture – clippings and research notes are heavily used. Collect QT and MP3 to distribute to a/v with links for clear reference in my notes. This is primarily outline outline and notes not detailed development.
• Short stories – DUH. These typically have references to theological, philosophical, or literary works. These references are collected, linked, footnoted, etc in scriv.
• longerish stories – Yeah, like that is original. These are pretty personal right now and all research is my memory and message to leave for the kids. Mrs and I discuss the idea then I write. I know, I should just “man up” and sit down and talk to the daughditor, but it is so much easier when there is some other context.

I have no idea how post is done for my “published” stuff (the shorts). I just export to .doc and it shows up. The editor learned long before scriv that any changes outside of spelling need to be cleared and she always uses email. “on page X line Y did you mean …”. Keep in mind that published here means internal church stuff. I don’t count it for the real world, but I count it for personal achievement.

For the record, I am not an ordained minister. I have been around for a long time relative to my age and get asked to do quite a bit of teaching and fill in at several pulpits when needed. Not really sure how it happened.


I became ordained, so did my dog. Its free! and online!

Serious I did it. Scary what is available on the internet nowadays…

I also got certified to drive a forklift free online (just answer a couple of questions)

and I may see about getting 12 to 15 different degrees online at my leisure as well (as long as they are free. Free is for me!)

So just remember. It is not the quality of the education or certification that is needed now a days but rather some time spent with google and Safari/Firefox


Though I bought Scrivener ages ago, I’d not really dipped into it properly - mainly because I was writing radio scripts and there wasn’t an existing template. Yes, I’m afraid it was that trifling a matter. I’m not very skilled at creating formatted templates, so had been doing things in a very longhand manner in Nisus.

However, I’ve just been working on a TV project in Scrivener and I’m utterly thrilled at how brilliant it is. To be able to create the outline, and be able to make more detailed scene-specific notes in the Inspector palette, within the same window is just brilliant: I really cannot overemphasize how great that is. For those same scene outlines to be the same document as the scene, with all the former information at hand, is just wonderful. Plus, all my research documents are just one click away.

I’m sure I’m just telling lots of you what you know already, but it’s been a revelation for me!

For scriptwriting, natch! I stumbled onto The Scriv ( I forget how now) and was instantly hooked. Yeah, sure, there are many things that could be added to make it even better (and possibly compete with FinalDraftScreenwriterMontageNewestthingieontheblock), but for me it does what it does just fine. I am no Luddite, but I really tire of “screenwriters” asking for thingits which do this that and everything else. I’m even more tired of developers giving them thingits which they are told they simply must have to write that perfect script. I guess that’s called selling one’s product. I guess that’s called I don’t care.

Man, Robert Towne didn’t have anything but a typewriter when he scripted “Chinatown”. Ditto Ben Hecht. Likewise, Preston Sturges. Oh, did I forget Ernest Lehman? Everyone uses these products and guess what- movies pretty much suck. Wow! Christopher Nolan uses or has used Dreamsacript (godawful name). Did he use it to write “The Dark Knight”? That is not a ringing endorsement in my book.

Do you know what’s really sweet? Full screen mode. I set up the page to match the width of a sheet of paper, center it, black out the desktop, and go. I tell you, that feature makes me giddy. Sure, Montage has a full screen mode but it encompasses the entire screen. That’s alotta white. That should be tweaked. I don’t care about page count at that point. Word count? Wha’? C’mon, really. All that’s for re-writing. Neither do I need to click on “NaviDoc” to access scenes WHILE I’M WRITING. Writing. Writing. Give a writer things to potentially distract him from writing and guess what…

Mr KB, sir, I thank you for your product. For its simplicity and elegance. If I could manage the entire task in Scrivener I would. When the time comes that I have to dump my script in a dedicated program, I have had such a pleasurable time writing in Scrivener that I don’t care. I’m ready for it.

Continued success. It’s greatly deserved.

Not just for writing. I use the Weblink function to point to files on my hard disk.

I have been reorganising my disks into an almost flat structure where all files are simply filed by type such as pdf, gif, aif, scriv, and so on. (No more head scratching about where to file things.) I have a Scrivener project which is an organised collection of pages that mix text descriptions and notes about the files with weblinks to them. I can refer to a given document in any number of places without needing to make copies of it. I find that freeform text descriptions are much better than any system of nesting folders to keep track of data.

This Scrivener project has Scrivener links to the other Scrivener projects where my creative writing and composition (I am mainly a musician) go on. Before starting a composition now, I open a Scrivener document to describe what I’m doing. And then I follow along as I compose. The included links open my score writing app or the various music recording apps. And I easily link to all the different saved versions and recording takes and mixer settings which pile up before final choices are made.

Needless to say, this “root” Scrivener project is always open. It functions as a vastly improved Finder on which it rides piggyback in a certain sense. I have been testing this “system” for about 6 months and am convinced enough of its merit to finally post this note about it.

Thanks for sharing that, MRP. That’s a really fascinating and useful way of using Scriv to organize various kinds of info.