"Pre-organizing" with Labels, status, keywords and templates

Hello, All,
I’m curious about how people use the most common metadata and templates in their projects, especially academic ones. I’ve been using Scivener for years for small projects (short articles, reviews, etc. – all academic work). However, I’ve got a big project now and think that Scrivener may have useful features that I’m not exploiting. Most people on the forum seem to understand the basic was of structuring a project in terms of Chapter/Section/Subsection. However the “pre-organization” seems to be a challenge (I fully empathize with Art2science’s dilemma on this thread [http://www.literatureandlatte.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=26117&start=0#p180451]).

I started working on pre-organization by asking myself: What do I need to know about my documents?

There are about 2000 notes largely based on previous work in the Research Folder. Below are the main answers and new questions.

  1. A rating, such as: 1=“of interest” through 5=“love it! out of the ballpark!” and ?=“undecided, maybe, maybe later somewhere else.”
  2. Is this doc a duplicate?
  3. What are main and other topics in the document? Where are its possible places in the Draft hierarchy? is the document moveable? Maybe it goes in another section?
  4. Does this document/topic belong in this book, or in another article or book?
  5. Who is this document for? a particular person? lay audience? psychologists? philosophers? biologists? myself? my friends? someone(s) I want to impress? covering my ass? [maybe this and the following questions go into a template? I wouldn’t necessarily have a template for every document, but when I was puzzled or stuck, it might help.]
  6. Is this document an example? a point of argument? a digression? a footnote?
  7. What is my relation to the doc? love; hate, but must have; looks like a lot more work; dull; bored because I’ve done it so often (a dangerous category—it may be boring to me, but essential to readers).

There is no overall project level method for finding duplicate documents–correct? (There are acceptable, but time-consuming workarounds.
For “at a glance” questions (e.g., ratings) Labels might be best because of color in the binder, but I would have liked to keep color for workflow steps. Maybe rate first, and then change the label for workflow, or just use Status? I could use Keywords to begin detailing the hierarchy for the Binder.
I’m also tempted to remove all pretense of hierarchy in the draft binder, flatten it completely, and, in effect, start from scratch. These are just a few issues that might be involved in pre-organization, or productive procrastination, as described in 2011 by MimeticMouton?
The pre-organization phase of a big project is something that must be highly individual, but it would be interesting to hear how Scriveners ultimately worked through similar issues. My suspicion is that my project, and those of others with similar issues, actually have a first draft embedded in such bulky, troublesome projects. An effective use of metadata and templates might bring those books to first light.

I’m not sure I understand most of you questions, so I sure don’t have answers (use Scrivener for fiction), but for the last one mentioning showing status at a glance with Label colors in the Binder. I do that, and with the last book wanted to have another visible marker, so I used the Change Icon feature. It gave me an additional way to mark chapters and scenes that I could see at a glance.

If your questions and answers can be limited to one or a handful of words for each document, then I’d suggest the Outline view in conjunction with the standard metadata (Labels, Status, and Keywords), and Custom Metadata fields. Each “standard” and custom metadata field can be viewed in its own column in the outliner, so as long as you keep your questions and answers succinct, you can use the outline view to see quite a bit of information at a glance.

Once you have all of your documents marked with this information, you can use the toolbar’s search feature to create saved search collections; very handy to group documents with metadata in common without actually moving them out of their locations in the binder.

Thanks, Ellen and Robert. I’ve started playing around with your suggestions, and they have been helpful (and colorful). In addition to the saved searches, I’ve also found that a combination of keywords and the standard collection feature are a big help for seeing different ways of looking at my notes.

There’s no way that I know of to use Scrivener’s interface to compare the contents of all your documents with all your other documents and come up with a list of duplicates. However, if you named the duplicates the same, then you can sort your outline view by title (a Mac only feature for now, it seems), and then visually search for adjacent documents with the same names. That’s usually easy to spot, even with lots of similar names. You sort the outline mode by clicking on the column header. One click sorts in ascending order, two sors descending, and a third click gets you back into binder order.