Newbie, so ...

I’m a complete newbie to Scrivener and Mac :wink:

I’ve been used Scrivener in trial mode just to organise my text snippets, like I have a project for comedy routines, and a project for my resume, etc. I don’t use any other functionality… the best thing about it is that I can organise things in a hierarchy on the left and click to view/edit.

I still have 20 days to go. I’m considering buying, but … I’m not sure if there’s a free alternative to do what I want (the hierarchy view to edit / sort stuff), seeing as I don’t need the other functions.

Failing that, I read on another site that did a review in January 09 that 2.0 would be coming out this year and other comments on the forum indicate there’s no free upgrades. So if I buy now… it might be better to hold off and wait for the new version. Is that right?

If my post is disorganised, it’s because I haven’t slept :slight_smile:

You’ve discovered the best use of Scrivener, which is organizing bits of writing.
In the research folder, you may also store useful web links and other file forms.
The cost is very modest; $35 last time I looked. Free upgrades all the time.
The new version, I think, will be $20 for 1.x users.
And those prices allow you to run on up to 5 machines.
I don’t know of any free outliners or data organizers than can match Scrivener.
It is, bar none, the best Mac writing software available.
So, if you’re serious about writing, and will grow in that craft, I say buy it.

Nothing even close for Windows, either. Scrivener (and DevonThink) goes a long way to justifying the switch.



2.0 won’t be out until next May(ish - possibly later), so it would be a long wait. There will be some free updates before that - 1.54 in a couple of weeks, for instance - but they will be very minor as most of my time is now going in to 2.0. Basically, version updates (1.x -> 2.x, 2.x -> 3.x) aren’t free, but point upgrades (1.1 -> 1.2, 1.5->1.6 etc) are. Scrivener 1.0 came out in January 2007, so by the time 2.0 comes out, there will have been over three years of free updates to it, if that helps.

As far as free alternatives, I can’t think of anything that puts everything into one place and allows a hierarchical structure - that was one of the main reasons I created Scrivener, even though a lot more ended up going into it. Maybe someone else can think of something, though.

Thanks for trying and all the best,

The only thing that I can think of off the top of my head is Leo. However, if you are not a geek/programmer, don’t even think about it. You know you are in for a mess when the installation instructions (well, if any exist at all you know it isn’t going to be the typical Mac experience) state that it is a straightforward process, and then proceed to tell you to get the source using a non-standard versioning application (which of course will need to be installed as well) to get Leo’s stable trunk and then in steps 5 and 6, ask you to acquire and compile Qt or PyQt at your leisure.

There isn’t much out there that does anything like Scrivener, especially not when it comes to how visible your notes are to browsing. Most of the things that do allow a degree of that cost much more than Scrivener, and many that offer similar features still fall short of how easy it is to manage information with Scriv.

Scrivener is well worth the price, especially if you consider yourself a writer. However, if price matters, and you only want the hierarchical organization of notes, you might try Caboodle. It costs $19.95: