Thinking of getting Scrivener, but have a few questions

Hi, I’ve been working on a story for awhile now, which I have a fairly extensive Story Bible for. Right now, I’ve just been using Microsoft Word, but I’ve felt it was kind of limiting, and that was when I found out about Scrivener. It looks fantastic, but before buying, I had a few questions:

#1. Cloud Storage: Right now, I actually alternate between using either my personal Windows PC, my academic Mac, and my personal iPhone for editing my Story Bible. Since I was using Microsoft Word, I’ve been able to do this. So I was curious if it might be to utilize Dropbox to sync my Story Bible across my three devices.

#2. Lore: Just a small feature, but I was curious if there was an option for lore entries. Ideally they could be interconnected, but if they can’t that’s fine too.

#3. Timeline: This is a big one for me, my story follows several characters, and a wide range of different location, and I was hoping to make a interconnected timeline which displayed the significant events across the different locations. The lack of ability to do this was a big limitation with Word. So I was curious if it might be possible to do this with Scrivener.

Does anyone know if these features are part of Scrivener? Any help is greatly appreciated!

As you are using an iPhone as one of your devices that mandates Dropbox as the cloud storage system. My personal setup is two Macs (Mac mini and MacBookPro), iPad, and iPhone all of which have the Scrivener programs installed. They are all linked to the same Dropbox account and directory; most of the time it is transparent but there are a few gotcha and caveats. The biggest gotcha is Dropbox’s default of “online only” but that is easily rectified by setting the Dropbox folder (and Proejcts) “make offline” on all the devices.

For your lore question you could use the Research folder and intra-project links. My own fiction writing does not need lore but I do make extensive use of links.

There are no timeline features in Scrivener. I use meta data, keywords, and Collections for this purpose. Others will likely suggest Aeon Timeline which integrates into Scrivener but is a separately purchased program.


I just want to throw in that the trial version of Scrivener works for 30 days of use, not calendar days! And it is fully functional.

So you can and should try synchronisation, among other things. There is a trial for both Mac and Windows. None for iOS, as far as I know.

You should also know that the macOS, Windows and iOS/iPadOS versions are all separate purchases. However, you can get the MacOS and Windows versions as a discounted bundle.

The developer of Aeon Timeline was/is a Scrivener user and in the beginning Aeon Timeline had a subforum here in these very forums. Since then it has grown, but it still works great with Scrivener. It’s kind of subscription based (if you decide not to pay for another year, you won’t get any updates, but the program keeps all the functionality it had at that point).

And since I was only talking about licences and purchases, one more thing: Scrivener not only looks fantastic, it is fantastic!


I second what @suavito said. Scrivener IS fantastic!

Don’t be intimidated by any “learning curve;” the basics are all you need to get started: using the editor (where you do your writing) the Binder (the sidebar on the left) the Inspector (sidebar on the right) and the Scrivenings/Corkboard/Outliner modes. Other stuff “more advanced” can be tackled when you need to learn about them. I’ve had Scrivener for 4 years and I’m still happily finding functions I never knew about before. (I just discovered Binder hoisting a week ago! :upside_down_face: ) And I’ve even found things by accident :astonished:

The video tutorials are excellent and don’t take long to go through (I think the longest is 15 minutes?) I often return and rewatch them as a refresher course.


Hi there, I’m an old user and have Scrivener v. ?? When I search for updates a window tells me v2.8.1.2 is the latest. It might be because my Mac is old - OS X El Capitan 10.11.8. My question is… if I use this old version of Scrivener will it still output properly at the end (Kindle, print ready etc.)?? My wife has Scrivener v 3.6 I think.

The Scrivener → About Scrivener command will tell you exactly what version you have.

I would recommend upgrading to at least Scrivener 2.9, as older versions will attempt to contact a license server that no longer exists. You can download it here:

Yes, all of Scrivener 2’s output capabilities should still work. Note, however, that most of our current support materials are for Scrivener 3, and Scrivener 3’s Compile command is very different. If you find something that doesn’t work as you believe it should, make sure you’re looking at documentation for the correct version.