Programs you said goodbye to

This section of the forum is mostly dedicated to new programs which some of us welcome as being good or at least interesting, and which they want to bring to the attention of the Scrivener community.

But there also programs we say goodbye to: and not because they’re not good, not because we don’t like them anymore, but because another (better, more complete, more suitable in our particular case) program has taken its place. Programs we may have used for quite some time, until we realize that they have become rather superfluous in our workflow.

I recently said goodbye to MacJournal, after having used it for some years, and always with pleasure. Nice program, nice developer, but after the launch of Scrivener it lost its own place in my workflow. So I erased it from my HD; with some regret, I must confess.

Are there others with similar experiences?

A couple of programs that have nothing to do with writing or anything else entirely constructive, and PC-only:

GameStudio and MilkShape. GameStudio is a fairly cheap suite for developing your own 3D games, and is capable of creating games of a high quality if you have the talent and time. I had neither, but I enjoyed dabbling with it, and learned a lot about coding from messing around with it. MilkShape is 3D modelling software for the PC that costs only $20 and is a damn good alternative to 3D Studio MAX for anyone on a budget. A great piece of software with a fantastically helpful developer.

When I hit my thirties, though, I figured I’d ought to leave dreams of game design behind as it was just another way of procrastinating and not writing The Novel. (I could write a whole book on procrastination methods, which would be another good form of procrastination in itself.)

I also said goodbye to Ulysses with some regret, as it goes. I love Ulysses. I think it is a superb piece of software, beautifully designed, and does what it is intended absolutely perfectly. When I switched to a Mac, it became an emblem to me of what the Mac was - great software design that does what it is meant to without so-called bloat (yes, Scrivener is much more bloated, I know :slight_smile: ). It was with great sadness that I realised I couldn’t bend it to work the way I work (as a rich text junkie who needs to impose a lot of hierarchical structure on my work). There’s probably some alt-verse Keith out there who has actually finished his novel in Ulysses instead of having written his own writing software. Well, nah, maybe not - he’d still be procrastinating.

Um, and that’s probably it. Like most, the software I have used most frequently has been stuff such as MS Word, Excel and suchlike, and I still have them around.

Interesting question, though.


CopyWrite was one of the first Shareware programs I ever bought for OSX - it has now been replaced by Scrivener. Also, viJournal was among the next programs that I bought and I used to have a really good relationship with the developer, but upon upgrading to my MacBook, and viJournal being PPC, I eventually swapped it for MacJournal.

Heh. I saw the question and immediately thought of MacJournal. I used it a lot for composing blog posts, but was vaguely dissatisfied with it, and now that I use Scrivener, I have no regrets abut switching. Before I switched to a Mac, my favorite writing program was Keynote: it had a tabbed interface, extremely small file sizes etc etc, and it was one of the programs I really missed when I got the mac. Keynote was (is?) windows only. I was quite fond of writeroom as well, but of late, scri. is handling all my writing needs from blog to academic papers.

Once I said goodbye too when I discovered Scrivener was Journler. I loved the program (in fact, I keep it around for old time’s sake even though I never use it…) but it couldn’t do anything (that I needed) that Scrivener didn’t do better.

I also said goodbye to Sidenote and WriteRoom. Hopefully I’ll be able to say goobye to Word soon! :slight_smile:

Okay, so I haven’t quite said goodbye yet and I’m not sure I will before my next hardware upgrade but I’m afraid that’s going to be in the next year or so. Anyway the one I’m REALLY going to miss is Scrapit Pro (classic). I have been using it for well over ten years and I hate the idea of having to let go of it.

Yes, I absolutely adore Scrivener, it brings things to a whole new level and it has a ton of great features I can no longer imagine doing without but still it’s a difficult transition (especially because I am gradually moving hundreds of MB from one app to the other).

My one complaint (and that one has to do with the OS, not with Scrivener) has to do with the fact that I’m still not used to are the voices in OS X (in fact that is yet another reason why I chose to stick with a classic app for so long). As crazy as it sounds, I still prefer ‘Bruce (high quality)’ in OS 9 to any of the voices in OS X… including a few ‘professional’ ones. I’m hoping that will improve in Leopard but the truth is that I’m not holding my breath.

Oh, well, change is good and at least I’ve found a new favorite!



You do not have to hold your breath…take an actual listen to Leopard’s new voice technology:

I still have uses for MacJournal (my personal journalling program), Sidenote (for when I need something asap in which to stick something for temporary storage and I’m not sure where it goes just yet), and even WriteRoom (it has taken the place of the Scratch Pad as my ‘floating’ window when in different programs, since it is much more adjustable in size). But I’ve let go of many other programs along the way. Circus Ponies Notebook, Journler, and Mori, to name a few, have bitten the dust, mostly because there are other programs that work much better for me (mostly I mean Scr. of course!). Mori was the painful one. I loved Hog Bay Notebook and I really like the developer. And Mori has ‘widescreen view’ which I love and miss in other programs. It’s a clean program, but just too limited for my needs.

There have been others along the way, but these stand out. I still use Dt Pro and will keep Mellel and even Word (much to my dismay) on board when needed.


Thanks for the tip. It certainly sounds a lot better than Tiger but I think I’m going to start looking into sheepshaver.

I finally gave up on Copywrite. I still have it, since I’m a pack rat, but the ‘giving up’ part means I removed it from my Dock. :cry: Sad to see it go, but at the same time it was more a hope unrealized than the program itself that I let go. It came close to what I was wanting, but it never quite took over from Word. Scrivener is much much closer to what I need and want.

I’ve pretty much retired Bee Docs’ Timeline and Temporis in favor of TimeFlyer (very easy to use!), which I learned about here.

I still keep Circus Ponies’ Notebook around because it’s one of the few programs out there that allows clipping to specific projects via the Services menu. I like to keep my quick notes separated into their various subjects. Some stay in CPN, others (specifically, the ones pertaining to my writing) go into either DT or Scrivener, depending on the depth of information.

And I still have and use most of the ones others have mentioned: Writeroom, SuperNoteCard (this is still useful for more in-depth outlining for me because it allows card stacks), Omni Outliner Pro, Devonthink Pro, etc.

The ones I use most often are Scrivener and Yojimbo, that last is where I keep all the info-bits that I need for life in general.

Unlike others who seem to want to have one all-purpose program, I like switching off. That might be due to a short attention span, or to the fact that I like all the different ways of doing things. Don’t know. I like most of the programs I still use, and Scrivener is very high in that mix. :smiley:

Interesting… Doesn’t Scrivener do pretty much the same thing? I have tried SuperNoteCard several times but never really liked it (I have said before that I’m not a big fan of non-native apps). But I couldn’t see much in the way of stacks that couldn’t be done in Scrivener. What am I missing?

I got an old copy of ThreeByFive working on my MacBook using Sheepsaver. It takes a bit of setting up and playing around to get it going, but it works very nicely (although the menus act a little oddly).


I am like “Studio717.” I mix things up all of the constantly. I love watching software evolve over time, and often there will be a few nit-picky things that I do not like that cause me to switch to some similar program for a while; and so on. However, there are a few regulars. Applications which either have no competition, or are so well done that I don’t ever get the itch to try out other programs. Scrivener, Tinderbox, Boswell, and TextMate are the three main tools that I use in relation to writing. Beyond these stable ones, there are “second tier” applications that I do not use constantly, but value enough to never really drop them: Mori and DEVONthink fall in that range. VoodooPad Pro could probably be included, but I only use it for very specific things.

The only application I’ve really said goodbye to is Ulysses, on account of Scrivener eclipsing all of the functions I need from an application for writers. As with Keith, I will always have the greatest respect for Ulysses and wish that project well. It is the only program I’ve ever stopped using because something else fit better; and not because of any negative merits to the old application itself. So it feels kind of weird to stop using something so darn perfect. :slight_smile: I keep it around on my drive. I still have a lot of projects in Ulysses format, and I suppose I’m nostalgic, too.

The story I’m working on is large and complex and I sometimes use the decks (stacks) in SNC to help me clarify just what is going on at any given time. I’ll have a deck, for instance, that I’ve stacked of events in Rome, then lay out the linear cards for what’s going on in Paris at the same time. It helps to keep me from getting overwhelmed (ok, overwhelmed as much, since I still do, much too often) to be able to control the cards that way instead of having all of them out. (I will do this with different characters, too.)

Is this possible in Scrivener? There’s so much I keep discovering that it’s more than likely it does exist in Scrivener and I just don’t know about it.

I use Omni Outliner for much the same reason. It helps me clarify to myself what is going on or who is doing what at any given time.

Maybe it’s just that I’m easily confused.

Amber, I would love to learn Tinderbox - it seems to be perfect for keeping track of complex relationships - but it completely befuddles me. I keep thinking I should get the book, but paying out for the book what most other programs cost is a hurdle I have trouble getting over. :frowning:

The ability to display all cards in a certain deck, no matter what the hierarchy may be, is one thing SNC does that Scrivener does not. There was a big discussion on if this could be accomplished in a visually pleasing way, but there really wasn’t a good solution to the problem. I don’t really care for SNC’s implementation (even though it works), and besides it would now conflict with Scrivener’s tint card by label feature.

The only work-around is of course the Outliner, which lets you see multiple hierarchies all at once. The Binder is good if you only need titles to prompt your memory.

Re: The Tinderbox Way. I still have not purchased the book either. The price is steep compared to normal books, but compared to technical books (and considering how niche it is), the price is reasonable. But, I’m waiting for some used copies to float onto the market via Amazon Marketplace or AbeBooks. So far nothing fruitful. For some reason the only copy on AbeBooks right now is going for nearly $100USD!. I wish he would publish a PDF version for half price. I’d go for a $20 ebook; I pay that much for technical ebooks.

“Delicious Library”

I was very impressed with the program in the beginning. And yes, it still looks very nice and the integration with iSight is great. But soon I realized that I only started it to show other people how cool it is. Real world use? Not much.

Where to start…

Voodoopad - a great software for mapping the expanses of my tiny mind, but in the end, I felt it was too restrictive. Would have love a way to easily export a web-based wiki and edit it online.
Devonthink - great again for collecting data, but somehow started doing that job for me as most of my data is online anywhere. For the rest, I just use finder and spotlight.
Word - I still have to use it occasionally to open files, but the reason I got a Mac was to not use Microsoft
Textwrangler - great that it’s free, but also quite ugly
Firefox - just too slow for my taste
Any rss-app - rss, same as email, is the key to information-overload. I just have 5 or so feeds now in Safari + use aggregators to get popular content
Preview - dumped it for Skim
Windows - dumped it for OS X
Entourage - same as word, dumped it for mail + ical
The Dock - dumped it for Quicksilver

And the dreaded answer…

Scrivener - I had to dump it for now, and moved to Mellel instead. Before going on, my comment here does not mean that I want anything about Scrivener to change. It’s an awesome app. It’s just that I’m in the later stages of my thesis now and found Scrivener confusing to use. I need all my words in one document basically, not spread across.

Starting a project from scratch (I was 60% done when I got Scrivener) may result in better structuring, but mine was a nightmare. What didn’t help was that I started using Scrivener as a Devonthing-like datamanagement app, which just increased my stress-levels everytime I got confronted with all this data when I opened the app. There’s something to say to have apps just be good at one thing, not everything.

Mellel just allows me to structure what I have better for some reasons, and of course the citing is easier (though not perfect).

Sorry for that, KB, but I hope to come back to Scrivener for lighter tasks, like writing short stories, when I’m done with this hell-project I call my thesis.

Seems to me that you made the mistake of trying to turn Scrivener into a database, hence the confusion with miscellaneous bits of data. One way to control the mess is to limit your searches: in the search box, click on the downward triangle next to the magnifying glass, then choose delimiters that bring more focused results.

And it’s normal to move beyond S into a word processor, since S is mostly an idea and draft processor. You didn’t “abandon” it so much as move on, so I suspect you’ll be back again in the early stages of a project.

Uh, not so fast there, bubba.

TextWrangler is incredible. I can’t believe Bare Bones released it for free.

Yes it’s an old interface but the engine underneath is, shall we say, robust? You may not want to write in it but if you want to “wrangle” text (transformations and searches and such) there’s nothing better for free. Case in point? How about doing a search & replace on 1.5 gigabytes of text? “No problem!” says TextWrangler.

Keep it around.


Well. I would take Vim over TextWranger any day. :slight_smile:

When I switched to the Mac a few weeks ago, I left behind StarOffice 5.1b. I mention the version number because soon after that this office suite - that meanwhile has become OpenOffice (or NeoOffice on the Mac) - changed its concept profoundly. 5.1b was the secondlast version that had “the desktop” - an environment noone in the world seemed to like, not even hardcore StarOffice fans, except me and, I suppose, the guy who invented it. The “desktop” took over the whole screen and changed your PC into something that looked completely different and behaved completely different. It took some time to get the knack with it, mostly because one had to “unlearn” a lot of Microsoft-stuff. After that, it was a wonderful intuitive, geniously well-considered environment with a lot, lot of surprisingly clever details, that, in one sentence, fulfilled what Windows (and, BTW, the graphical environment as such) had promised. You really worked with data, you didn’t any longer think about programs. You managed your files with an easiness that other environments still have to attain. You could easily collect all texts, mails, task entrys, internet bookmarks and scheduled events of a certain project in one folder. (Try this with any other system. Even Mac OS X only comes close.) You could turn an incoming mail into a task or a rendez-vous in your schedule with a simple drag’n drop-operation. You could link anything to anything. You had self-defined abbreviations at hand in every circumstance, you could define keyboard shortcuts for whatever you liked. And I had only scratched the surface in what was possible.

Like a lot of REALLY good concepts, this one was abandoned, too. After version 5.2, StarOffice no longer had its desktop, but was instead a boring bundle of programs just like MS Office or so. You no longer simply worked with data, you had to think in programs again. A huge step back. I never really understood the reasons for this decision, but it must have been that most people disliked the desktop concept. No hope therefore to get it ever back.

So I stayed with my old version. But staying with an old version is a sad thing. It is not developped further. There is no hope that these tiny last mistakes ever get fixed. There is no hope that an upcoming technology ever will be adopted.

More than that: I couldn’t get my version of StarOffice installed on later versions of Windows. It didn’t work properly with XP, at least not on the PCs I encountered. So I kept my Windows 98SE-PC - that deteriorated over the years, lost more and more of its compatibility with the rest of the world etc. - until the machine itself began to break down.

What to do? I considered trying to get the old LINUX version of StarOffice and change to Linux, but to tell the truth, I’ve never seen a Linux screen I liked. I find Linux ugly - all interfaces available.

I started considering the Mac when I heard of NeoOffice (which was one of the first things I downloaded, of course, to be able to use my old files). I was stunned when I saw the OS X interface, and what I read about it’s possiblities, I realized that it at least would get close to what I was used - only faster and in unprecendented beauty. Which is an argument.

The famous “last drop” was reading about Scrivener, BTW. I decided to switch, and I am happy with my iMac now. But I smile when I read about the new Leopard feature “Spaces” - this is a functionality I already had in StarOffice since 1999…