Is there any plan to restore to Scrivener 3 the same functionality as Scrivener 1's Project notes function

I only recently started working on a new project in Scrivener 3 (I had imported previous projects from Scrivener 1, so never really noticed this change), and I assumed the scratchpad worked the same way as project notes did in Scrivener 1.

It was only after accessing another new project that I discovered the scratchpad didn’t contain project-specific notes, but globally available notes. In my opinion, this functionality is terrible unless I specifically indicated I wanted a global scratchpad. I much preferred the way project notes functioned in Scriv 1.

More specifically, I liked how:

  1. All of the notes were specific to the project I was currently working on
  2. The fact that it could be opened in a separate, floating window, so I could keep track of frequently referenced global project-level notes in tabs, instead of global software-level notes, which I really don’t have a use for.

With that being said, the wishlist feature I would hope you’d either restore a separate, project-level notes function similar to what was available in Scrivener 1 for Windows, or allow a user to toggle the scratchpad between project-level and software global levels of notes, since the way it currently functions is significantly less useful to my workflow compared to the previous feature.

Just to be clear, I know the scratchpad can export notes into a specified location in a project. I also realize I can use quick reference to pop open one of the note documents, but it defeats the purpose of having multiple tabs of info available like I previously could with the project notes function. Splitting my screen to allow one of those split windows to display the current ‘note’ tab is functional, but uses up screen real estate that could be used while either writing or referencing other scenes.

Heck, even providing an option to export notes from a project into the scratchpad so I can at least have a floating window of all my tabbed notes available would be better than what’s currently available in the software. In my option, and I don’t know if anyone else feels the same, the way it works now is a worse user experience than what was available previously. Then again, people who don’t have multiple monitors might not even notice or care, so I realize this wouldn’t be a high-on-the-list function, but having 3 monitors available, and having a floating project notes panel was definitely a huge convenience when working on a project.

Thanks for providing a space to state my piece,
Chad Kunego

The Scratchpad and Project Notes have always been, and remain, separate functions.

Scrivener 3 replaces Project Notes with Project Bookmarks, which duplicate the Notes functionality and add some additional features as well.

I’d recommend having a look at our upgrade guide, here:


Yeah, you’re looking at the wrong feature, that is the point of confusion. The Scratchpad has always been the way you describe, we didn’t really change much with it this time around.

What you are looking for is described in:

  • This blog post.
  • Appendix E.4, Project Bookmarks, in the user manual PDF (Appendix E will be good to review in general).
  • In the interactive tutorial, also in the Help menu, under the section titled “Using Bookmarks for Project Notes”, though if you have no idea what a bookmark is, you should start with the section called “Bookmarks”.
  • And the already mentioned upgrade guide.

Most of these resources will have detailed descriptions of where to look, and where to find your old project notes for those projects you have upgraded from v1.

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If I may, one thing that in my opinion was a downgrade from (Windows) version 1 to version 3 is that I miss the possibility to have a note popup on project load, in which I used to have notes regarding where I am at in the creation process for a specific project.
Like a memo to myself, for when it really matters.
I would really like this to be reintegrated.

I know I can have a dedicated document (excluded from compile) and which I’d look at when coming back to a project I’ve put aside for a while, but I liked it better when I had it jump to my face right off.

This was always part of the original design, which was not fully executed on account of a cascade of minor missing parts of the implementation, as described here. Also missing is one single menu command to pull up the “project notes window”, as it became. You now have to practically be telepathic to figure out where it went, without reading documentation.

Thanks Amber.
I followed your link but this other thread seems to be about QR panels remembering their display position etc.

What I meant is to have just a dumb squarish “project notes” popup with no editor-like abilities, where one could write stuff like “Killing your main character on page 8 was a bad idea after all. Fix this.”
And then be able (per-project) to have this reminder popup on project load.

I am pretty sure this could be done easily in V1.
(Hopefully I didn’t dream that, or confuse another software.)

There are two ways to get a legacy “project notes window”:

  1. Open any QR.
  2. Click the Bookmarks button in the bottom left.


  1. Use Project ▸ Project Bookmarks
  2. Click the pop-out looking button in the top right.

So how that relates to the previous thread is that if you left that open, and use the option to restore QR panels on project load, it would always be there. But as noted, there should also be a menu command that just takes you straight to that without the two-step approaches.

I see.
But that’s not it.
It would require intent on project close. Where the way I remember it, it didn’t matter. The popup would systematically popup on project load until instructed otherwise.
(Sorry for drifting away from the main topic.)

I don’t recall anything like what you are describing. Perhaps I’m forgetting something (I never used the v1 heavily), but the only Project Notes window was the regular window that you can edit, and there were no options for opening that on project load, nor did it stick if you left it open when closing the project.


I would have sworn. But perhaps I am confusing this with a software I used prior to Scrivener.

Still, I’d like it to be considered as a potential improvement.

Some general notes floater, with a checkbox for “show on project open”.

(I can see this being very useful for collaborative projects as well.)

It must have been from another program, because there was never an un-editable version of the Project Notes window, or any information within it.

I don’t know though, what you’re describing has a high degree of overlap with just leaving a QR panel open (again with the intended design) all of the time. It’s always there, easy to edit from (sidebar or not, that is easy to toggle on and off if you wish to switch which note is in your face). The only area that isn’t overlap is what you say, it is something you have to do, but having another feature that kind of already does the same thing but doesn’t let you edit, feels a bit more on the side of bloat to me.

Leaving important QR windows open pretty much always is very useful in my opinion, this one little missing option really changes a lot with how you can keep tabs on critical parts of your project from one day to the next. I think maybe once you see it in action you’ll find it’s not too bad. A panel for this purpose can be made quite small so that the desire to close it is minimal.

Why ? No, you can edit / update it.
(But it is not intended for compile or whatever files are to a project. More like a scratchpad unit that loads on project open. No more fancy editing than what the scratchpad offers.)

Else, yes, if a QR panel could be made to stick I guess it could come close enough.
(But then again, it requires intent upon closing the project. I’d prefer it had a checkbox. You open the project : it is upfront. You close it, get on with your work, close the app exhausted, and the next time it is there again. – Of course, you can access it and add or remove from those notes anytime as you go.)

That is how it was whatever-the-app-it-is I remember this from.
So you can leave your future self instructions. Or in the context of a collaboration, inform other(s) of what you’ve done or what you think they should do and why.

. . . . . . .

After going back to re-read, I understand now the confusion about it being editable or not.
It is because I said this ? :


What I meant is no styles, no specific font selector, no search no nothing that the editor has, that say, the scratchpad doesn’t.
Let it have bold, italics, strikethrough and underline. Nothing else, really.

That looks like a Windows equivalent of Apple’s, though of course that is system-wide and not linked to any other app.



I actually used the scratchpad to produce my screenshot.
I edited out its main characteristics, is all.



The Project Notes window in Scrivener 1 didn’t stay open when a project was closed and reopened; it would have needed to be manually called up after the project loaded. Might you have had a macro running that did this for you automatically? In which case you could apply that to opening the bookmarks in a QR panel in the current version.

We also do have a feature planned that would ultimately do what you want, an option to restore Quick Reference panels that were open on project close. Once that is implemented, it should be all you’re asking: you can leave your QR window up with your notes-to-self, close the project, and it will pop back up automatically when you next return to work.

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That’s what Amber said.
And yes, it should be close enough. Not quite the same, but usable as such most certainly.
Or one can simply have a dedicated document, and build the reflex of looking at it first thing when loading a project. (That is what I am currently doing.)

Seemed more convenient when the thing was “automated”, in whatever the other software was (no, no macro, so it wasn’t a Scrivener thing, ok), is all.

I can very well live without, like I have been living without those past few years. :wink:

Ok, fair enough.

I played around with project bookmarks for a couple of hours and I don’t really care for the way it’s currently implemented. When I first open it, the initial popup box, for me, is completely useless. I keep my projects/binder organized enough that I don’t need a separate popup window to just do the equivalent of clicking on the needed document to have it open in the primary editing window.

Would it be possible to somehow have the option of either opening that initial popup (for those who like that feature) and actually opening the full-size editor window that you currently need to click on the button at the bottom right of the initial popup window (in windows version). It would eliminate the, for me at least, useless intermediary step of opening the popup, then clicking the button to open the full editor window. I’m sure there are others out there who migrated/are migrating from Scrivener 1 that would prefer that method of opening the bookmarks since it acts more closely resembles what we were used to with project notes.

Hopefully I’m being clear and not just rambling. I haven’t had my coffee yet.

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I assume you’re referring to the Project Bookmarks floating panel:

I could see how this panel might fit into a certain type of workflow, but no, I never use it, and I use QuickRef panels at least as often as I use the main editors. There are many ways to launch a QuickRef panel to cover your S1 project notes needs. I’ve listed a few below.

These examples use Scrivener’s Tutorial project. I’ve created a document called Project Notes, as I assume this might be what you’ll do. But please note that your project notes can consist of many documents.

1 - Type part of the doc name into Quick Search and press Shift + Enter to launch the QuickRef.

2 - Drag & drop the Project Notes doc from the Binder or Outliner or Corkboard onto the Quick Reference icon in the Main Toolbar.


3 - If the Project Notes doc is already in an editor, drag & drop the Editor Icon onto the Quick Reference icon in the Main Toolbar.

4 - Right click on the Project Notes doc in the Binder or Outliner or Corkboard, and select Open > as Quick Reference.


5 - Add the Project Notes doc to Project Bookmarks. Launch the Project Notes as a QuickRef panel using one of the methods above. Click the QuickRef’s bookmark button in the lower left-hand corner to display the Bookmark Sidebar. Drag & drop the Project Notes doc in the sidebar to reposition it to the top of the bookmarks list.

Now, anytime you already have a QuickRef panel open, your Project Notes doc is only two clicks away. (Click the bookmark flag, then click the Project Notes doc to select it.)


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Honestly I never use that part much either. I prefer Quick Search for getting around in the project and have no complaints with how efficiently that works.

What the Project Bookmarks list does get use for me, is how they are presented in the Inspector sidebar. It’s just like the old project notes were in the inspector, and gives you sidebar access to frequently used data while you’re working in other things. That’s nothing new of course, but that is what I generally always used project notes for myself. The ability to have a “jump list” is totally new, and some might find it useful, but it’s largely unnecessary if you already use the inspector—since the top part of that is of course a jump list too.

Would it be possible to somehow have the option of either opening that initial popup (for those who like that feature) and actually opening the full-size editor window that you currently need to click on the button at the bottom right of the initial popup window (in windows version).

I noted above that this is a missing aspect of the implementation. There should indeed be a command that takes you straight to that interface without jumping into one thing and then another.

Now, it’s worth consideration that if you do get around efficiently in your project, maybe you use Quick Search like I do, there is something to be aware of and that is how easy it is to get a QR panel open for something:

  • From the binder: Spacebar
  • From Quick Search: Shift+Return on the selected result.

So if that’s your point of entry, and you get to the thing you wanted to access and have available, you’re fine for now. If you do want to get to another “project note”, just click the little bookmark icon in the lower left (as noted above).

I.e. you don’t have to unfold the window + sidebar UI immediately, only when you’re ready to move on from the note you started with.

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My ‘project notes’ is the Notes document permanently available as a Project Bookmark. My bookmarked documents open as a quick reference by default, if I need to. An added advantage is having them as a preview in the bookmarks preview pane in the Inspector.
My main editor is scaled to 175% with the Binder and Inspector are always available. I use Calibri 11 pt font, which renders at around a true 9 pt font in the Inspector preview pane, as it has no scaling.
For me, all it takes is clicking on bookmarks, selecting the right category of bookmark—if I need to (don’t forget my request to provide a separate icon for each type—there is space for more icons) and click on the item, without leaving the editor.
That’s efficient enough for me.

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