Learn from iOS ...

I use the iOS version more than the Mac version, because I lug my iPad around and not my laptop or iMac. Scrivener iOS is a very nice writing environment.

A thing I really like about it is that when it opens, it shows me two key views of all my work: the projects in alphabetical order, and the projects in most recently used order. That pretty much covers everything I need to know.

When I go into the Mac version, such as perhaps to perform a complex compile, but more frequently just to write on one of my existing projects, it seems a lot harder to find what I was just working on the same morning.

It would be luverly if the Mac (and Windows, I suppose) version could come a bit closer to the iOS in this one regard.

Of course, there are many things that would be great if they were to go the other way, but I understand that for now, iOS is kind of done …


Hi Ron,

A similar request was made in 2016 and declined by L&L.

You can find the request and L&L’s response in the thread below, along with some tips on working around this limitation:



Marvelous. Clear user need, not gonna do it because the first idea I had, implement a complete file management system, would be too hard.

Ah, well, it’s a great product, and if I had a great product, as perhaps I do in my own fashion, I, too, would do it the way I bloody well pleased. It’s all good.

P.S. Hint: Maintain list of all projects opened (like Recent already does). Display sorted by time, by name. Done.

I use the Mac version more than the iOS version, and the Recent list is more than enough, because I have more than one Mac and don’t necessarily work on the same projects on my different Mac:s. And what I have synced with my iOS Scrivener is just the few projects I want to be able to access when out and about, not all my projects.

We all have different use cases. You have yours, I have mine. On iOS there is no real file system, yet, but on my Mac:s there are. So in iOS Scrivener the Projects screen is necessary, but not on the Mac:s.

The Finder is your friend. If you use the menu item Go->Recents (Cmd-Sh-F) it will show all the files you have used most recently. You can put it in the Dock if you like. Or put it in the sidebar of the Finder. Or you could used a saved search (in the sidebar again) which shows all the most recently used Scrivener projects in the order they were last opened. Or you could use Trickster. There are lots of easy solutions if you don’t box yourself into what the application offers.

Or, within Scrivener…

The File->Recents menu (maintained by MacOS) will always contain the most recently accessed projects in chronological order, most recent at top. The File->Favorites menu will always have your favourite projects alphabetically sorted. If you make a habit of adding every project you open to the favourites list by using File->Add Project to Favorites, then you will have two lists, within Scrivener, sorted in two different ways. A further advantage to using the favourites list is that it’s unaffected by things like system updates and Scrivener updates which are known to occasionally erase the Recents list.

Hope this helps!

Mac does know what I’ve done on the Mac. It doesn’t know what I’ve done in iOS. It’d be nice if they’d share this information. I get that they don’t, and probably won’t. It’d still be nice.

Aha. Somehow I managed to not get that from your original post. My apologies.

I’m not sure this is true.

When you modify a project in Scrivener on iOS, it’s modification time is changed. Therefore, it will also be changed on Dropbox, and hence on the Mac too.

When you’re on the Mac, sort your Scrivener sync folder by Modification Date and you’ll see the latest one you worked on.

Once you’ve identified that project, you can use the same principle within Scrivener itself though it takes a little more work. Create a Saved Search Collection with Regex selected, then .* (full stop asterisk) as the search term. Call it ‘Recent’ or whatever and save it.

This new collection will have all the documents in the project. Then run an Outline View on it and add the Modified Date column. Finally, click on the Modified Date column to sort by it. Save the outline view as a new Layout so you can recreate it quickly.

After the setup, it’s easy to click on the collection and use the layout to find your list of recently modified documents. Of course this is clunky to set up and you’d have to do it for each project, but it’s a workaround at least and once you’ve set it up it’s fairly painless.


I’m trying to find projects, not documents, sorry if I was unclear. So, for example, today, I created a new project on iOS, and have to use Finder or Open … to find it because Scrivener Mac doesn’t know about it yet.

Not a deadly problem, but it’d be nice if they cooperated just a bit better.

There’s no guarantee that any given Scrivener instance is working (or wanted to work) on the same projects, even when used by the same Dropbox account.

As I understand it, the Recents list is a system resource (common across most apps) which is driven by Mac OS, so Scrivener does not actually have control over what is there. So, while it would be, I think, a neat trick for that menu item to sort itself on the fly by current modification date* rather than last-opened, I think this would not be possible given the way this resource is made available to us.


  • Presumably it would have to go by the mod date of the .scrivx file inside the project or something.