Mac Desktop to iPad Workflow

New here so I’m probably not the first one to ask this but I searched and can’t find a thread on this.

I just bought Scivener and am starting a large project with it but I want to be able to take the project with me somehow and work on it with my iPad away from the office.

Has anyone developed a workflow for this? I am looking at the videos for syncing with SimpleNote and Index Cards but was wondering if someone had worked out any other workflows while we await the iOS version of Scrivener.


I sync with Dropbox in plaintext and use Editorial which is to me the best text editor in iOS. If you care about the rich text format you can use Textilus on the iPad. It does work pretty well

We’ve been promised an iPad version for quite awhile. Last year (2013) it was said to be ready for launch in the spring, then it was to be ready in time for November’s NaNoWriMo event. Now (2014) it is said to be coming later this year.

My workflow is to keep the master version of my documents on my desktop in Scrivener. When I’m mobile I use various apps on my iPhone and iPhone; sometimes Evernote, other Textilus, maybe Index Cards. The choice is based on my mood and how long I anticipate the text will be; shorter ones get written in Evernote, longer ones in Textilus, complex ones with intricate structures in Index Cards. Howevr, I’m giving up hope that seamless workflow of Scrivener on my desktop and laptop machines working with Scrivener on my iPad and iPhone is ever going to be happen.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Scrivener. I don’t use anything else for my writing projects whether that’s papers for academic journals, text books, extended notes, technical reports or my dream block-buster novels. It is by far the best writing and revision tool I have available. I just think I won’t ever see it in an iOS version.

[Yes, I’m aware that there was a developer change because the first one experience major and traumatic personal/family issues. But that happened more than 18 months ago.]

You’re wrong. :wink:

Kevin you keep telling me (us) that but there’s never a sight of it; all we see is “later this year”—which we had several times last year and have already had this year. :frowning:

Well, Steve, later this year it still is as has been explained elsewhere, and there will be more news once it is close to release. Really I don’t know what else to tell you; if you want to think I’m deliberately misleading everyone, there’s not much I can do just yet. :frowning:

I think we got distracted…

Is anyone using the SimpleNote syncing solution? I’m just watching the video tutorial now

I’ve tried syncing Index Cards from my iOS devices to my Macs. It works but only for the cards themselves any “long text” is lost during the sync process so when I use Index Cards I email the entire text to myself. (I think this loss is a problem with Index Cards rather than Scrivener.)


I can hardly wait for the iPad version to begin shipping!


Yes (too).

Nom and Pigfender - How does it work for you? Is it easy going back and forth?

Any tips/tricks?

Please bear in mind that I find the whole mobile writing thing to be quite abhorrent, as I summarised in a post earlier this year making predictions about the state of publishing in fifty years’ time:

That said, I’ve been know to use the Simplenote sync to take individual chapters with me on the road. I downloaded the SimpleNote app for my phone, set up the account, and then selected the chapters on my Mac using the ‘Sync with SimpleNote’ command. It was all pretty simple to follow.

So yes, easy going back and forth. You just have to remember to sync when you get back to your Mac.

That’s nothing new. It’s been said since scribes stopped copying books out by hand and Gutenberg started to print books on presses. It’s been echoed and repeated down the centuries.

As to the publishers and agents as gatekeepers they’ve a) excluded quality work in the past and b) included crass work in the present. The editing of E L James’ trilogy is absolutely and shockingly awful. It is nowhere near the standard of Vintage Books set up by Alfred Koch and now a part of Random House of old. And why would you think that such gatekeepers have any role in modern publishing; they didn’t have a role in the beginning. Your comment is simply rampant elitism.

One can hope that authors using Scrivener who have viable Mac-to-iPad workflow solutions will produce better books than are in the swamp. But if swamp is what people want to read so what.

And there was me trying to entertain a little and maybe reassure a little. But apparently I’m just a rampant elitist.


fixed it for you.


I’m hoping I can be one too.

The whole David Allen GTD (Getting Things Done) model makes a lot of sense to me. That is, having your mobile device with you at all times to capture brief notes – little inspirations, a line of dialogue that suddenly hits you, a new plot twist, a solution to a plot problem that has plagued you – just gets that bit `out of your head’ which, in turn, lets your head turn to the next little inspiration, while ensuring that you don’t forget this one.

For the actual writing and rewriting, though, taking the odd quarter hour seems more questionable. But there are a couple things advocating it: say you are on tight deadline, for example. Every spare minute counts. Then, it always takes me some time to get my head back into the fictional world (or the argument if I am into nonfiction). I find if I do it first thing when I get up in the morning, that world is easier to enter later on. So, too, if I dive into it periodically through the day, I can delve deeper, faster, back into it at day’s end. Those are a couple reasons why having the text with you on a mobile device at all times might be helpful.

– asotir

I write during my commute—a minimum of one hour each way on overcrowded London Tube trains. It would be impractical to use a laptop in those situations because I often have to stand. Using a tablet or smartphone (iPad and iPhone by choice for me) are practical choices. Laptops are also impractical because when I arrive and work at my clients’ sites I can’t have anything in my hands. They don’t bestow on my the privilege of a personal locker into which I might place my expensive MacBookPro.

When I return home I want a nice simple untroubled method of synching the additions created in these two hour sessions with the master copy of my work “hosted” in Scrivener on my Mac. (For me that “nice simple untroubled method” would be having used Scrivener for iOS but that’s really just vapourware right now.)

My writings are not only novels but my Scrivener use includes papers in preparation for academic journals, book reviews for academic journals, a text book (which by the way is likely to include a scathing critique of GTD and similar “self-help” cults), plus those block-buster novels that I’m writing during April, July and November as I participate in NaNoWriMo events.

And let’s not forget that some of the best 20th century fiction was written by authors in snatched 15 minute even 5 minute breaks from their day job.