[Suggestion] Beta 12: Project Notes Cumbersome to Access

Project Notes in the beta are more difficult/slower to access, so this is a step backward from the production version for Windows.

Project Notes as a folder with unlimited documents provides increased flexibility, but accessing those notes has become far more cumbersome. When a writer has a flash and needs to jot it down quickly, the new way of finding the folder in the binder and creating the document takes too long. Three times I forgot what I wanted to jot down by the time I created the note document. That’s infuriating.

Now I get around the clumsiness by creating empty Project Notes documents and setting them as Project Bookmarks, but as I use the pre-created documents, I have to remember to create new ones, which disrupts the writing process. Also, document bookmarks change the icon in the inspector to indicate there are bookmarks, like the other inspector icons, but that isn’t true when there are only project bookmarks.

In Project Settings, Special Folders, Default New Bookmarks Folder, you can set the folder for new notes from a Quick Reference, but even in a Quick Reference, I can drag items from the binder to the bookmark pane, but I don’t see a way to create new note documents. In addition, documents I drag to the bookmark pane for the Quick Reference are always document bookmarks, not project ones.

Writers need a simple and quick way to create project notes. The scratch pad has its uses, but it doesn’t work for project notes because there’s too much housekeeping to send the document to a Scrivener folder, and because it opens on top of Scrivener, so looking at the documents you have open while writing your notes doesn’t work.

If there were a plus sign on the Project Bookmarks inspector and Quick Reference Bookmarks pane to create new project notes, and that process placed the new document in the folder specified in the settings, and it used the template for that folder, that would provide a quick way to create project notes.

Another option would be to have a new inspector for project notes using the process mentioned above so you aren’t using the Project Bookmarks for multiple purposes.

Not having access to the Mac version, I don’t know if this is a bug or different functionality, but it is a glaring problem. I love your program, and I took the time to write this to help you make it even better.


Opening the bookmarks from the icon on the toolbar into a Copy Holder window, and from there opening it into a Quick Reference panel does give a plus sign to create a new bookmark and it does place it into the folder specified in the Project Settings.

It does not use the default template for the specified folder, so it isn’t much help for project notes, and besides, it opens as an independent window on top of the main editor.


Well. I don’t use project notes for much except whole-project planning.

However. When I want to make changes to it, and I’m in the flow of writing, and just had this idea that might or might not change the project, I’ll put it either in Document Notes (now called Notes), or I’ll type Ctrl-N to make a new document, and type it out.

Then I either copy the Notes I’ve made to a document in Project Notes, or copy the new document I just made to the Project Notes folder.

In general, though, I don’t find “Project Bookmarks” or a “Project Notes” folder helpful.

FWIW, here’s a Mac-oriented discussion of the thinking behind Project Notes:
literatureandlatte.com/blog … ject-notes

I don’t know how much of this functionality has been implemented in the current Windows beta, but it all will be at some point.


One suggestion that may work for you.

  • Delete all bookmarks in your project.

  • Create a document named “Project Notes” under the Project Notes folder.

  • Never delete it.

  • Add that Document as a Project Bookmark.

  • It’s now your first Bookmark, so it will be first in the list of bookmarks.
    – (unless they change to auto-alphabetizing, and then you’ll need to rename it to “_aaa Project Notes” or something similar).

  • The Bookmarks tab becomes your project notes tab (not labeled that way; sorry. Not sure how to muck with that just yet).

  • Since that bookmark is first on the list (they’re listed in order of date of creation), the text section there will ALWAYS show your project notes text when you select the tab.

Will that work for you? ONE document for Project Notes (as it “used to was”), and easily available in the inspector.

Thanks for the link Kewms regarding project notes. However, after reading it through a few times and trying to wrap my head around it, there was one sentence which stood out;

"Anchoring the redesign around those parts of it that worked well, like them being easily accessible in the inspector at all times, was something we considered essential to the redesign of the feature.

Clearly the OP doesn’t think so. It seems awkward and inaccessible without a fair bit of work trying to make it so. Not what we were led to believe when we were told that Scrivener 3 would be more user friendly.

Thanks, rwfranz. Your suggestion would work, but those are a lot of steps to follow to create the functionality that came out of the box in the production version for Windows. It also loses the ability to set the status of the notes and use different notes templates. That’s hardly a step forward for this new version.

For a writing tool, I’m simply asking for an easy way to jot down project notes (because I don’t know at that point in time what scenes they will impact, so document notes only bury the information) while I have the text documents I’m working on open, so the inspector seems the proper place for that kind of access. I get why the bookmarks don’t have the ability to create new documents from there since bookmarks and project notes aren’t the same thing.

That’s why I think the most logical approach would be to have an inspector for project notes similar to the one for project bookmarks so you can select them from a list and view or edit them easily. With the additional functionality to create a new note from the inspector, and if the new note document were based on the template for that folder, a writer would have everything needed,

Just my two cents.


Why not split the editor?

What you’re fundamentally doing is adding a “notes” file to the Binder at a specific location, right? Isn’t the editor itself Scrivener’s most powerful tool for doing that?


Katherine, thanks for the suggestion, but that wouldn’t be a solution for me.

First, I often already have the editor split with documents I’m writing. Using the other editor for notes reduces my options compared to the existing Windows version, so that’s not a step forward.

Second, the whole beauty of the inspector is unobtrusive and quick access to related data. I often switch between the notes, synopsis, and metadata. To eat up half my editor screen with notes I refer to now and then seems a waste.

Third, the binder doesn’t split with the editor. I’m not suggesting it should, but scrolling the binder in the beta is painfully slow, so switching between the Drafts folder and the Notes folder to create new documents is too time consuming. I suppose using Reveal in Binder might get me to each folder faster, but I think my workaround is more efficient once I do the upfront work of creating the empty documents.

This is just my perspective. In reading the Mac oriented discussion, the ability to search the notes, to use templates like other documents, to set the status, and so on are all fine features. For me, though, the most crucial aspect for project notes is quick access, That’s where I think the beta stumbles.

No matter how the project notes are implemented, I’ll continue using Scrivener. It’s a great product.


I’m with Miik on this one.