"Readable" place for chapter notes

Greetings all,

This is my first post to the Scrivener forum. I am also fairly new to Scrivener itself and am rather bumbling around trying to find what will work best for me with the software. I do have Ms. Hernandez’s book and find it extremely helpful.

Right now I have a proliferation of notes which are burgeoning within the Project Notes area. The problem is that some of these are applicable to the entire novel that I am writing and some only to a particular chapter. I would like to be able to extract out the “chapter” notes and place them somewhere “readable”. I like that there are document notes, but, given the potential amount of text that I might want to add, the width that they appear in even if one removes the binder from the screen is fairly narrow. It would be really helpful to me to have a place to put my notes in a “space/document” that can be expanded a bit wider. With this in mind, are these my only options?

Create a notes document in the binder for each chapter. This would certainly help if I wanted to work in split-screen mode and I can always uncheck the “Include in Compile” checkbox so that it is not included in the text proper of the novel.

Or I could work in “Compose” mode and bring up the document notes and stretch it so that it is a bit wider and more readable for me.

Are there other ways to have document/chapter-level notes visible and editable while I work on the actual chapter itself? I wasn’t sure about this, but was hoping that someone within the forum might have some suggestions.

Thank you so much for anything you folks can come up with. Take care.

Dave Nolan


Have a look at Project Notes (Project > Project Notes, or cmd-opt-P). This is a sizeable, floating window which by default is meant to keep all your generic notes about the project. The window is available in Composition mode as well as the standard editor.

You can create new notes within the Project Notes window, so you could also have a separate notes pages for each chapter if you wish, or for anything else…

Another way would be to open a QuickReference window for each relevant document. Again, this is a sizeable, floating window that is available in all modes. You have to open a specific QR window for each document you’re interested in, but it allows you to look at the actual text of each document outside the editor and inspector, with the option of seeing the relevant notes. It also allows you to see the Synopsis, Keywords, References etc for each document.

A combination of these two facilities should do what you want - it’s very flexible, so you’ll have to play to get the combination that will suit you.

Hope this helps,


You can open QuickReference windows and view the notes, there, too, if you keep the notes in the binder instead of the Project Notes area. From what you describe, it sounds as though it would be a good idea to store your notes in a “Notes” folder rather than in the Project notes and then view them in split screen. Here’s a tip for when you have a notes document that refers to a specific document, too:

  • Add the notes document as a Reference to the document that it refers to.
  • Under “URL”, delete “[Internal Link]” and just enter an asterisk there ("*").

Now, if you open the click on the icon next to the document title in the header bar to bring up the menu, the referenced document will be listed at the top of the menu. Selecting it will open it in a split view. This is just an easy way to add extra notes to your documents. (You could just double-click the icon in the References list, but this just makes the referenced document available even when the inspector is hidden.)

All the best,

Just to add another idea to the mix, you could still use document notes for this, but view them in a QuickReference window. The advantage of this to me is that it keeps the notes immediately associated with the relevant document and doesn’t clutter the binder with documents I don’t need (since I only care about these notes when I’m working in that document). You can slide the divider in the QR window all the way up so that you’re just viewing the document notes, leaving you to focus on the document itself in the regular editor.

I work in smaller sections than complete chapters, so that works for me to keep scene-specific notes with the document. If you’re doing the same, but you’re trying to make higher-level “chapter” notes that are relevant for multiple “scene” documents, keeping a separate document in the binder will probably work better, since it’s not so tightly associated with a single document and it will be easier for you to find and reference. In this case, I sometimes have a parent document grouping a set of related scenes together and then have notes on that complete sequence of scenes in that parent document (which doesn’t compile its text and may or may not compile a title). Grouping the scenes this way is something I’m likely to do anyway for structural organisation, so it again doesn’t add extra stuff to my binder, and it makes sense to me later when I need to look for my notes. (Granted, just having a “Notes On Chapter” file would probably be easily identifiable, too…! :wink:)

How about using the “Chapter” document itself — showing as a folder with the actual text of the scenes involved written in subdocuments — as the repository for all the notes pertaining to that chapter, so it can be opened in split-screen beside the scenes you’re writing, but then on compile, only having the title compiled, not the text held within it.

Mr X


Thank you everyone for all of the great ideas. I think what I am going to do is experiment a bit with each and see what works best for me. I am leaning towards the distributing the chapter level notes to a separate document within the binder, themselves within a sub-folder of the chapter folder. I guess there are advantages to having the notes in the document notes area, but I think I am going to like the flexibility of having a document that I can use in split-screen mode and, seemingly, manipulate the text better. This and having the more broader scope notes in the project notes area, I think will allow me to organize things best.

Thank so much for taking the time to respond to my post. I really appreciate it.

Take care.