How to mark sections as completed?

I have a manuscript with about 140 sections and a bit over 200,000 words or that I work on when I can find the time. Sometimes it is months between sessions, sometimes only days.

The problem is that I can’t always remember which sections I have considered completed and which I think still need work, so I was wondering, is there a simple way to star sections in the Binder such that I know that I have considered them to be final-draft-worthy and I need not re-read them again, like a master check list so that I can see the thing getting there at long last and focus my limited time more productively?

I work in a relatively non-sequential fashion, which makes the problem worse.

I got the idea when going through emails on Gmail and marking them as read and I thought: that is really what I need in Scrivener. If I could flag sections as, say, “done”, “close”, “far”, or something like that, that would be even cooler.

Any quick and easy way to do this with Scrivener’s current functionality such that I can see it in something like the Binder window type view? It may be there and I just missed it.

I could copy a list into something like Evernote that has a to-do list checky-box functionality and just keep that open and reference it, but I thought that something intrinsic would be better.

Thanks in advance for any help you offer,


The easiest way — the way I’ve been doing it for years, so probably a still easier one has come along — is to color-code the elements (files or folders). Ctrl-click on an element, click on Label, and select a color. (Use “edit” to add or change colors.) Then in menu item View, go to Use Label Color In and check Binder. Choose a color to indicate “complete.” That’s it. Mark each element as you complete it, and the colors will show up right away.

You can also toss in other colors, to indicate different stages of completion. Or to indicate geography or weather or whatever you like.

As I said, that’s how I’ve been doing it for a long time. Others will suggest half a dozen other ways, I’m sure.


Ah! Great tip!


Ok! Wow, there are all sorts of flags and things there! Got it!

Also note the “Status” field, which alongside the Label is one of the more prominent markers. You can show status on the index card as a “stamp” across the face of the card, or as a column in the Outliner. It’s not quite as visible as Label, since that can be used to tint various components of the UI, but as you can see from the stock list, Status is definitely intended to be used as your marker for section progress. There is something satisfying about stamping “Done” across the face of an index card. :slight_smile:

Actually that is the contextual menu for changing the ICONS, not attaching a LABELS. And I do think labeling is probably better for your purpose – and labels are more deeply integrated into Scrivener in useful ways – for example, you can search on label names and make smart collections based on them, and compile based on them (whereas alt icons are purely visual, afaik).

To get the label menu control-click on the TITLE of the doc in the binder. Label menu is also avail in the Inspector.

There are settings in Scriv for whether Label colors are reflected in binder items and how the do. I like it set just to tint the icons – tinting the whole line in the binder quickly gets visually very noisy.

Notice also that you can customize you Labels in term of color and name as well as add your own. If it is sometimes a long time between sessions, you might in particular want to rename the label colors you are using to a name that is meaningful for your useage if it.

Fellow Scrivener user who just loves Labels!

It depends on where you right-click. If you do so on the icon itself you’ll get the icon menu, otherwise you’ll get the general purpose contextual menu. We’ll be changing that in the future as it has caused a bit of confusion.

I would say that icons can still be a good method for marking things done. It’s about as much clicking, and the result is very obvious. It leaves labels and status free for tracking other aspects of the book, too. There are many ways one can do this though—you could even dump everything you need to work on into a Collection and remove them one-by-one from that as you work. That is in fact what I most often do myself. I just make a Collection called “Fix Screenshots” or something, and remove sections as they are fixed.