I have been using Scrivener for one week and I love it. I was recommended it by a commentor on ‘The Thesis Whisperer’ in this post: thethesiswhisperer.wordpress.com … hit-crazy/
Ditching MS Word has done wonders for my output. I did not realise how much time I spent faffing around with formatting as procrastination. My drafts were in perfect format, with indented quotes, endnote references and styles etc, but I wasn’t getting the word output I wanted. Now I completely ignore formatting and referencing and just write. THis is a tool that really understands and works with what writers need. I use the project and session targets. When I reach my session target (generally 1500 words) I feel really good and let myself have the evening off doing something else I enjoy (or more likely, cleaning up after my kids go to bed…Scrivener is helping our family hygiene…).
My supervisor likes to restructure everything I give her, so Scrivener is perfect for working on chunks and not being particularly attached to the structure. Being able to reorganise bits of stories, interviews, analysis and joining together bits is the ABSOLUTE BEST.
I like the research folders and import any files I am directly working from. As an academic I am indirectly working on a LOT of files. I use evernote to keep track of these. At the moment I have any number of evernote windows open as I write, and some key files imported into scrivener. What would really work well for me would be the ability to drag and drop evernote notes directly into the research folders on scrivener this is becasue I scan in handwritten notes and they are stored on evernote and I have no idea where they are on my computer if at all and I can’t be bothered finding them to import them into scrivener. Drag and drop would be writer’s heaven!
I have struggled with synchronising between computers as previously I had one file to sync and I had this setup to automatically upload to evernote then sync with the cloud then I opened it via evernote when I got home orwhatever. NOw I am trying to use Drive HQ FileManager (I guess similar idea to dropbox – I chose this one because my dad shares large files on this with me already). Learning to use Drive HQ has been themost frustrating part of using scrivener. I try to save my scrivener project to my thumb drive but for some reason this often leads to incompabitabilies and I have to reinstall scrivener before I can access the file. Just yesterday I thought I had lost about 1500 words and wasted a whole morning trying to find it – it is difficult to know with scrivener where you are saving to! I click save as and select the location but I’ probably need to move the whole project folder on the thumb drive each day rather than just saving the scrivx file? I don’t want to work off the thumb drive, I want to get the sync stuff with Drive HQ working but I need some practice, to get a routine of saving going. In sum it would be really great if Scrivener could do the syncing itself
And every academic’s request: of course you will end up integrating with ENdnote. I personally hate endnote and probably need to research a better reference programme, but its free at uni so that’s what I use. I want my endnote to sync properly online too but it never seems to work. Another thing I need towork at but short of time. Maybe scrivener should just get its own reference programme.
Formatting. I’d like styles in scrivener, just because I like being able to label different levels of headings – I guess scrivener does this by making these different chunks but I particularly would like the ability to better format quotes – indented from the margin, smaller font, with the just the click of a button.
That’s me for now! lOoking forward to a new release on Sunday! Looking forward to the final product! I have been recommending scrivener left right and centre to every new phd student!
University of Western Sydney