Quicknotes or indexcards through dashboard, mail and iphone.

As a non-full-time writer I ususally have to make notes on the fly while at my other work or when ever (not saying that this is not the case for full-time writers). Usually I just jot tings down on in a notebook dedicated to the project and then copy it over to my draft or research folder when I get home or when I start Scrivener the next time.

A feature that would simplify this process would be a dashboard widget or a hotkey kombination that would bring up an indexcard, as the ones in scrivener, to jot my idea down on. Select the project it belongs to through a drop down menu of sorts, just hit save and next time I open scrivener the indexcard should be in the draft or research folder or in a separate folder called inbox.

This feature could be extended to cover more ways of jotting down notes, say for example on your iphone or ipod touch. When you sync your hardware the note goes in you inbox of that project in Scrivener. It would also be cool if one could make a smart mailbox in mail that would recieve all mails with a sertain frase in them (the name of a project for example) and scrivener would copy all text in these mails to the inbox of the project it is connected to. The mail could be converted to a text document in the scrivener inbox.

These features would very much help in my otherwise scattered writing life.

Thanks for a great application

Best regards


the first part of your request already exists - it’s called Scratch Pad and it’s under the window menu. It’s able to float above other applications and you can show and hide it using the hotkey Command /


This sounds like a piece of work for Keith.

But I’m not sure if Scrivener is the right application for collecting notes. Actually, I’m quite sure that it is not.

Like you, Peter, I write down notes all the time. I guess most writers do. In my case inspiration is something that could happen anytime and anywhere (and yes, clichés are sometimes right, very often in the bathroom while I’m brushing my teeth). And it almost always comes in tiny pieces, sometimes in waves of these pieces, but almost never as a ready-to-print text in one go.

Collecting the creative explosions of one’s head is one thing, making a text out of them is a different one, I see it more like craftsmanship.

I found that when I’m not in the middle of a project the ideas that come to my mind and hopefully become notes soon after that, at maybe 95 percent don’t belong to any project yet. Just random ideas of pure genius (at least at the very moment I write them down. The next day they seem to be pretty dull …).

I started a notebook project in Scrivener but that’s not what it’s made for. First I had a single file. Well, yeah, great … could do the same with TextEdit too … Then I split the single file into a file per note. Giving each of them titles in the binder took some time and, hey, the binder is pretty crowded all of a sudden.

For me Scrivener is THE program for writing projects but it is not a note taking program. So I started to look for a note taking (and more) program.

Others in this forum did too, check out the “Software By Other Folks” sub-forum, especially the thread “Large information managers”.

I have tried out quite some programs but I am still undecided. As this program would be at center of all of my work I have to be sure I found The One.

A lot of people like Journler http://journler.com/ which is without doubt a great program.

But I think I prefer Together http://reinventedsoftware.com/together/ because a) it automatically generates the name of a note from it’s first words (Journler generates the name from the date; it can’t be blamed for doing that because it is made for journals but that’s not what I need) and b) the notes can be dragged and dropped into a Scrivener project and keep their name in the binder (Journler entries first have to be dragged to the desktop and from there into Scrivener!).

Together has a shelf at the border of the desktop with a nested folder structure you can drag any file into plus a quicknote feature. Journler has a special folder called “drop box” and an alias to it can be located on the desktop or in the dock. You just drop stuff into it and the next time you start Journler the program asks you piece by piece where you want to put it.

But these two candidates are just an example (there are a lot more). What I just wanted to say is: This is not what Scrivener is all about and in my opinion can not be. That would be too much.

The note taking aspect of the software is actually quite useful and important. The scratchpad feature is testament to that - but it needs to be expanded and taken out of the main app. It’s needs to be a widget that could be accessed anytime without starting and running Scrivener.

The way the document is saved, correct me if I’m wrong, makes it accessible to other apps as well? (Thus a widget for quick ideas or references can be saved to a project without the distraction of opening the app it self.
This is not a criticism of the app but you might not have time to open Scrivener and/or be distracted by something else that you written that needs to be edited. You just want to add that link or idea for later editing.

Scrivener was (?) designed to be a tool for the writer. Notes are important to writers whether they are ideas, links or actual scenes, chapters or whatever. They need to be available in Scrivener without the need to use yet another application… So a Widget that can be easily accessed and just as easy be gone is quite useful.

I’m pretty sure Keith can figure this out without too much work :wink:

Tobias Lind

I like this idea, and once Keith releases a Scrivener AppleScript dictionary, it would actually be pretty easy to implement as a Dashboard widget.

Assuming that there are commands in Scrivener’s dictionary for creating sections, and appending text the to synopsis - two relatively vital things I’d say - then it would be pretty easy to implement a widget that takes some text entered on the Dashboard, creates a new section in a specific location, and appends the text to its Synopsis.

Of course, I’m working under the assumption that there’d be ‘in Project file x’, and ‘get binder sections’ (to reveal a list of sections in the current project) in the dictionary as well - without those, you’d have trouble creating a useful widget.

That being said, I’d really like to put my hand up to do something like this, once Keith releases Scrivener’s applescript dictionary. I think it would be a worthy supporting tool for Scrivener.

Best idea to solve this is the notes icon that is on Iphone. It allows you to jot notes and with the click of a button email it to yourself.

That’s kind of a more expensive option than a Dashboard widget for most of the members of this forum :stuck_out_tongue:

Not to mention the reasonably enormous geographical locations that are, alas, bereft of iPhone.

I’m pretty sure that the note/indexcard widget is a “good” idea because it can keep you in the zone while using the full screen feature of Scrivener. If the widget “knows” what project is opened, it could default to it and you can add notes/ideas while keeping focused on the main task at hand.

(Also, I’m not sure you actually need applescript (though it would be cool) to do this. If you look at the package content of a project you will see that it is in a proper format: xml.)

Tobias Lind

You could always set up your Mac with proximity software, then write yourself an applescript that searches your iPhone, Palm etc for newly added notes. It can then add them to Scrivener for you.

That’s what I have set up. Now when I get home, by the time I get to the computer all of my notes are ready and waiting for me. No manual transfers, no fuss and no bother. 8)