How to get Scrivener Scratch Pad on iPhone and iPad

While waiting for the Scrivener iPad app, here’s my automated workflow for getting all my Scratch Pad notes from my iOS devices into Scrivener’s Scratch Pad. It takes very little time to set up, anything from 20 seconds to 20 minutes depending on your existing setup.

a) Input app for iOS: I use Drafts because of the fact that you just open the app and start writing. Later, you are able to process and/or send your text to a lot of apps. In theory, however, you should be able to use any iOS app that can store files in the .txt or .rtfd format to a Dropbox folder.

b) Sync repository: Dropbox account with the Dropbox client/app installed on your iOS device as well as your desktop/laptop

c) Sync target: Scrivener for Mac (probably Windows too, but I never tried it)


  1. Create a Dropbox folder called, for example, ScratchPad
  2. Open Scrivener->Settings->General->Scratch Pad:->Location->Choose (the button to the right, you’ll see it in the first settings window that opens)
  3. Select your Dropbox folder (the one you just created)
  4. In Drafts, edit the built-in action “Save to Dropbox” so it saves to your new folder. You might want to duplicate the existing action first and rename the copy “Save to ScratchPad”. I recommend you keep the file format .txt. If you use anything else for notetaking on iOS, just make sure your app of choice saves text files to the same Dropbox folder that Scrivener Scratch Pad reads from/writes to.

I find this workflow incredibly useful for those “napkin note moments”. Tap the Drafts icon, jot down what’s on your mind, decide right away or later what to do with the note. Drafts will have an app badge of how many notes that reside in its inbox, so there is no need to send it to Scratch Pad right away. You can choose if the note you just made should be archived, deleted or reside in your Drafts inbox (you might want to use more actions for your note; share it with someone, create a task, etc.).


This is a very useful workflow. Thanks.

I use DEVONthink for the majority of my note taking and for notes on subjects which have yet to become projects, but I have struggled slightly when I want to make a note on something which has its own Scrivener project file.

This method lets me take a note on an active project on-the-go and later slip it into the appropriate Scrivener project. Brilliant.

Wonderful, thanks for sharing! I learn so much on these boards.