Presales - is this for me

Hi all… Typing on the iPhone so bare with me. I am looking into this software and would like some assistance in deciding that this is right or wrong or even sugestions.

First of all i am not a writer. I am the owner of a small upcoming social game company. (…
My primary need for writing is to get game design conepts, ideas, research and outlines out to our team. Since I am not a writer by nature but a programmer and game designer I hold to much in my head. So not only am I looking for a tool to help get it out but to
orginize it from an idea to a full blown game
design specification. Since there are many ideas, tons of webpages and reference it’s very hard to get a solid method of:
1 getting it on paper
2 making it as easy to read for developers ad well as marketing and project managment.
3 not spending massive ammounts of time getting it into my workflow (which is scattered)
4 keeping it out of email
5 supportive of a GTD workflow which I will one day achieve nervana in and then most likely die but with an empty inbox
6 be able to share and somehow have access on both laptop and desktop

the research sections and note cards make
me drool with wanting this Merlin Mann’s recomendation also tilted the wheel. But my use case is weird… In most I need to store massive urls And support data as well as images and wireframes. And esnd in a format the can be colaborated. I live in mail and scattered places on basecamp tand this hado stop. My bookmarks are so out of
control I’m not even sure I can get them
back and with my failing old lizard brain I often forget what project it was for.

Is scvener the right tool to help or am I looking for a pipe dream?


Welcome. Why not try the software on the trial basis (which is generous)? Your requirements sound sufficiently unusual for it to be likely that ultimately only you will be able to tell whether Scrivener’s features are what you need.


For the collection of material, URLs, PDFs, images, even rendered animations, bits of thought, and more developed complex ideas, I think you will find Scrivener could very much benefit you. While it is undeniably designed around the philosophy of generating very large documents, it has a number of features which make it suitable for collecting bits of information or annotating the state of the hard drive. On the last one, you could create a card which references some graphic work by the design team. Notes are typed into the body text area, and links to the resources on your drive are dragged into the References pane. The References pane can hold a link to nearly anything, including Email, web URLs, local files (or mounted server files, though they will only be accessible when the server volume is attached, of course), and even other Scrivener objects. A Scrivener document node can then become a bit of an information hub, and by using its various meta-data features, can be organised amongst other such hubs usefully.

Where you will probably find it most lacking is in productivity. While a certain number of its features could be utilised to emulate GTD models or other simple productivity philosophies, it was never built with these in mind. A simple usage example might be to use colour labels for type (NextAction, Delegated, etc) while the Status stamps could be used to indicate context—or vice versa. Both can be searched for independently, and these searches can be saved into the Binder for quick access. Scrivener is thrifty about how much data it creates, so while a document (or folder, there is little difference between the two) has the potential for housing many pages of text, ancillary notes, and so on—Scrivener doesn’t create resources unless they are requested. Thus, you can spam the Binder with empty cards without fear of slowing down the system. In a GTD scenario, you could record task title and description in the synopsis field, status with Label and Status, and do all of your workflow in Corkboard or Outliner view.

It’s not built for it, but could be used for it, and if you are like me and heavily document your work as you do it, the text body area is always there for extensive write-up for future reference.

As Hugh suggests, you should check out the trial. It allows thirty days of actual use (not thirty days from install), which should give you a very good idea of whether or not it will work for what you need.

Another application you might want to check out is Circus Ponies Notebook. Silly name aside, it does have a lot of productivity built into it, and is designed around the philosophy of taking and collecting notes. However, you might find it a bit lacking in terms of export. For me anyway, I always felt reluctant to build a lot of information into Notebook because its export feature is a bit rigid. Scrivener’s export is file and folder based. If you select the Binder and dump the entire thing out, you’ll get a neatly arranged folder of files mimicking the structure of your project. This export will become even more powerful in the future.

And while you aren’t a writer, some of the tools built for writers might still be useful in helping you focus. Full screen is a wonderful interface approach for concentrating on a single thing, for instance. Compile, while designed to assemble a 700 page document out of hundreds of pieces, can just as easily be used to quickly generate work logs and quarterly reports.