Template questions

I’m rather new to Scrivener for Mac, and have a few questions. (By the way, the more I use this program—and the more I find out about its features—the more impressed I am by it. I wish I could say the same about Mr. Bill’s Word Processor.)

When is it worthwhile to develop a new template, and when is i more useful to choose the closest one and modify it?

I’m typing my personal journals from 1969 forward. They’re in a variety of formats (handwritten, typewritten, dictated into cassettes, reels, digital dictation machines…bound books, notebooks, loose pager…so on and on…) and I’m trying to unify them.

So the novel template is pretty close. And I use footnotes, and the character pages, and all that sort of thing.

Is there a better template for a journal? I have specific format things that mark the beginning of days, months, and years. Can I implement those features in a template?

I use small caps to identify dateline places, but Scrivener doesn’t support that format. Any ideas how to get around that?

I also have a few novels I’m working on.

Thanks for any wisdom!

(I just found a resume from 1981… so I’ll be putting that in, too. Anyone got a good resume template?)


I’ve been using Scrivener since about 2006/2007 and I’ve never used a template (well, I did play with a couple for a few minutes). Some people feel the need, and others don’t. It depends on how you like to work. I just let things grow as I go along. Others like to have a clear structure in front of them before they start. As I usually have no idea where I’m going, or if I do, I usually end up in a totally different place, clear initial structures are of limited use to me. I just start with a total blank and go from there. Some would say that I also end up with a total blank, but I tend not to see it that way …

Cheers, Martin.

Most of the time, I also don’t bother with templates at all. (The exception has been a few plays/staged readings I’ve worked on, where script format was essential.) For a journal, it’s been enough simply to have a separate project for each year, broken down into a folder for each month and within folders a document for each day. For everything else, the, the binder hierarchy and metadata fields have provided as much variation as I’ve needed.


I created my own novel template pretty much as soon as I decided to start on a second one. These days, I take advantage of things like my own custom document templates for character sheets and the ability to set the default document template for my Characters folder. I set icons for each extraneous folder, and I have common keywords and statuses all set up. Compared to the writing of a book-length rough draft, setting up your project the way you like is fairly easy, but this prevents me from doing too much in-Scrivener procrastination.