Smart Folders

I realize that this subject has been mentioned in other contexts but I wanted to suggest the addition of smart folders.

I’ve recently turned to blogging, I’m a late developer, and although I’ve used Scrivener for writing projects in the past I decided it would be a good place to draft material for the blog.
The type of material I’m writing and my lack of writing skills require at least one or two edits before posting. So the workflow is that things start in SC and when complete are moved to ecto for posting.

Now because I need to make edits its always good to leave the material for 24 hours before completing it.

So it occurred to me that having a smart folder would cover a number of things that I need:
A list of entries that are still in the early draft stage and need completing.
A list of entries that occurred in a particular timeframe.

In past writing projects, such as writing a white paper, it was less apparent to me that a list of incomplete items would be helpful. This is because there was an end point to the project. However, thinking back on it I believe smart folders would have been helpful even for very bounded projects.

I realize that you could manually change the location of a piece of text when the status changed but I’m of the opinion that we invented computers to do the mundane for us so that we could concentrate on being creative.


You can currently use Saved Searches for this - they are essentially less graceful Smart Folders. 2.0 will replace saved searches with something much cooler.

All the best,

You can essentially do this by creating a saved search. Use the Status field to indicate what stage a document is at–first draft, second draft, etc. (many are factory settings, but you can make your own to suit your purposes)–and then run a search for a given status, choosing in the dropdown to search only words in the status. Then save your search, and you’ll get a folder for it at the bottom of the binder. You won’t be able to view the items in it by looking at the binder hierarchy, but if you click on it, a current list of documents with that status will appear in the binder so you can see the list that you have to work on and double-click any of them there to start editing. When you switch the status, the document will automatically appear in the correct saved search “smart folder.” (Note that it won’t immediately disappear from the current view if you have the Binder showing the contents of a saved search and switch the status, but it will be gone next time you run the search/open the saved search and it will appear in the correct search by its new status when you go to that.)

This won’t actually move the files themselves–they’ll still be wherever you place them. So if you’re also organizing by blog topic or date, you won’t lose that outline by also applying saved searches.

Edit: Right, what Keith said. :slight_smile:

Thanks to both responders.

Very helpful.

The perfection of Scrivener makes only one thing stand out to me as a new user… in fact, the one missing element seems somehow exaggerated in importance just because the rest is so sleek… it would be absolutely perfect if it had one thing… (sighs, daydreams)… if you could click on a itty bitty triangle next to a smart folder in the left hand binder, and a list of all documents included in that search would unfold from beneath it without moving the original documents or leaving the Binder.

The usefulness of this feature would be extraordinary. Right now, I love the keywords HUD… but using keywords is difficult, because I have to go through so many steps in the search process. When I finally get my results – all of the documents that contain keyword X – all of the rest of my Binder is hidden, so I cannot quickly flip between a page in my notes or manuscript and the pages of the keyword search. That’s the real sting, the fact that I can’t see the rest of the Binder. How nice it would be if I could make a page for each character kept in a ‘Character’ folder, then give all of my evil characters a keyword “Badguy”, then with one click see all of my bad characters listed for easy one-click reference in a single “Badguy” smart folder.

So although this post may be redundant to the topic, if I had smart folders that would act like a regular folder in the Binder, able to unfold its search results right there in the Binder with the rest of my stuff, Scrivener for me would literally become the perfect program. Really. Not kidding. Example: I was thinking, when I first opened up Scrivener, it would be nice if I could color the little page icons so I can tell at a glance which one isn’t finished… and lo and behold, there it is. Right there in the ‘View’ menu. It’s like everything I want has been thought of… Scrivener is like a magic genie… my wish is its command. Now I’m making one more wish: smart folders with itty bitty triangles!!! Is there a way to do it?? :smiley:

Or even if a new division of the Binder pane would open from the bottom, which would be the Keywords search field results, separate from the Binder but still leaving the Binder available. I don’t know if I described that very well, let me try again. What if the Binder pane had a second panel that could be pulled up from the bottom or something, which would be a special separate search results area; so that search results could be viewed there, without wiping out the Binder. That would do it. In short, have two panes where the single Binder pane is now.

And just for fun, what would be REALLY neat… totally different topic… is if any photo contained in a document (say, a page for “Magicus Badbad, the Evil Sorcerer” containing a portrait of Magicus) would appear on his index card as a tiny little 40x40 pixel avatar floated to the left of the card’s synopsis! One-glance character identification on those cool little index cards! I could just look at the Character cork board all day and laugh like a bad guy, seeing all my evil characters faces. (I have a visual memory.)

2.0 is out, but I think the previous post is still relevant. I would love love love to have collections/smart folders that acted like regular Binder-denizens (perhaps contained in a “Collections” folder beside the Draft and Research folders) instead of the rather “exclusive” view that Collections currently have. And it would be great to be able to group collections together (put related collections inside their own folder).

(p.s. I haven’t bought scrivener yet… I suppose I will pretty soon. ^That above is pretty much the only thing i’m sorely missing :cry: )

p.p.s. Scrivener is still a most wonderful program, however, despite my lament. :wink:

You could use split view to achieve something like this, at least on a per-collection basis. Switch to the Collection in the Binder, load the Collection in the first Editor in Outliner mode and lock it (opt-cmd-L), then switch the Binder back to the regular view. Now you have your Collection side-by-side with your full Binder structure, and you’ve got another Editor pane (plus Quick Reference windows) for working. You can even click the ⇄ button in the footer to link the Editors so clicking a document in the Outliner will load it in the other Editor.

You can move the tabs around so that the related Collections are at least next to each other, and you can color code them to show the relation as well. (Not the same, I know, but an option.)

Thank you for the reply. I might not have thought of doing this. Although it’s is not exactly what I’m looking for, it will be useful.

For now, instead of this, I am more attracted to the idea of using different databases in order to organise collections.

For some parts of my data (particularly small idea snippets), Collections (based on keywords) will be my primary interface, hence my wish for the ability to categorise collections into folders. I know other PIM apps have this feature, but the very very nice “scrivenings” mode will probably keep me with Scrivener.

Scrivener isn’t really a PIM app; it’s a writing application with some writing project management features built in. :slight_smile: Smart folders aren’t on the list at all, sorry - collections were incorporated into 2.0 and very much take the place of smart folders; it wouldn’t make sense to have both and collections were our preference. Having collections as an exclusive view gives them access to the full functionality of the interface, the binder area, corkboard, outliner and so on; they also allow the re-running of any search. Smart folders, while arguably more easily groupable in the binder, would only allow access to the corkboard and outliner (and indeed, this is how 1.x’s “Saved Search” feature worked, which was very much like a smart folder feature). It may be that what you are envisioning is being able to open the smart folders within the binder to view their contents - if so, that wouldn’t be possible given the internal implementation, as Scrivener doesn’t allow for multiple occurrences of a single document (aliases and suchlike) within the binder.

So, no smart folders I’m afraid - collections are where it’s at for Scriv.

Thanks for the kind words, by the way!

All the best,

(Yes, quite aware that Scrivener is a “scrivening” app – would have preferred to have my PIM and my writing integrated in one app, though, since personal info management is only an attendant circumstance of my writing/creating.)

It is, at least, a relief to hear that in no uncertain terms. :laughing:

I wasn’t hoping for both — essentially I was hoping that collections could be organised in additional ways.

I’m not quite sure I understand this. :blush:
I do prefer to have a bird’s-eye view of the binder and the collections simultaneously.

Yes, I was hoping that collections could be viewed as if they were just regular folders, although, upon further consideration, they do not necessarily have to be part of the binder.

How about if the collections were still in that separate area above the binder, with the addition of being sortable into folders?

In other words, a sort of hierarchical Collection-binder, separate from the primary Binder. That would be very nice… :mrgreen:

Thank you @KB for taking the time to explain things and your train of thought when adding features.

Yes that is what I was envisioning. I would love to be able to sort and move smart folders around up and down in the binder and nest them like folders. I want to be able to add entries everyday and then have grouped tags and things that are marked incomplete etc all show up in another folder so I can quickly get back to them and see them all grouped together in the way that I use the binder. This is so helpful in the OS and I would love to see this in Scrivener as well.