Importing Notes and Meta-Data From External Database - How to Get Stuff Into the Correct Fields


I have all of my notes for my book in an external database. They include the following info:

  1. Card Title/Heading
  2. Synopsis
  3. Body Notes
  4. Source Title (custom meta-data)
  5. Source Details (custom meta-data)
  6. Date (custom meta-data)
  7. Note Card ID # (custom meta-data)

I’m hoping to figure out some way to import the info and have it wind up in the correct fields within Scrivener.

From some other posts on the forums I get the sense Scrivener isn’t really designed to do this.

Anyone have any tips, tricks, or recommendations for doing this in a way that could be at least somewhat automated?

I can export the data from my database in any layout/form I need. So, for example, I can easily export one massive document with all my notes, include delimiters, then have Scrivener import and split the document at the delimiters (into separate Scrivener cards). So that’s pretty sweet.

But how about that other stuff? Like getting the Title into the card’s title field, same for the synopsis and custom meta-data. For these I could include them in the export of that one massive document, but going through a copy-and-paste operation on 7200 items is a tough pill to swallow.

Any ideas?



Yeah, if you want Scrivener to be a database, you’re going to run into challenges. Plus there’s no AppleScript to help you once you get into Scrivener.

But… If your database can output each record as a separate file (preferably rtf) you can just drag all those into Scrivener and it will use the first line as the title. And you can auto-generate synopses. I do this regularly for bibliographical citations that I want to use in course syllabi and it works great (using bibdesk AppleScript to generate the RTFs). I wouldn’t keep it in Scrivener as my main data storage but it can’t be beat as a tool to organize readings week but week.

Basically the more you can do to separate files and to put your metadata into a form that can be accessible when searched as text, prior to importing, the better.