Unorthodox or non-writing use

Keith suggested I ask around the forums. So here I am. I am not wanting to use it for wrtining books or anything - but I am looking to use it for possible other and even general writing and documenting.

one major thing is an enormous of to do and to get list.

I have outside, office, shed, garden , vineyard work lists and other stuff and to have them all in separate files is tough.

I just taped a few sheets of paper together and I have filled them in about an hour with various categories.

SO - I am wondering what other people do in regard to the manners that may seem a bit unorthodox for using Scrivener.

I refuse to use Microsoft on my macs, tried Nissus and had too many glitches, I tried an older version of Pages and too tedious to get stuff to work. I have been using NeoOffice, but too clunky and the new version is terrible. Due to Open office 3.0 code which is a disaster.

So I was curious about this Application.

any help would be greatly appreciated. Money is bad this year - biz is dead, and I have majot surgery bills still from 3 surgeries last Fall.

thank you.

Hmm, I just use Scrivener for writing stories. Have you thought about OmniOutliner?

There is no reason why you can’t keep To Do lists in Scrivener, if all you want is a collection of flat lists of text items – in fact, I used to use Scrivener for this myself. The binder gives a nice, hierarchical structure for organising your lists (for example, into the categories you mention), and I simply deleted items as I completed them. Obviously, you don’t get the task management functionality of a dedicated program like The Hit List (my current favourite of this ilk), but you can certainly use Scrivener in this way if you just want a basic implementation. I imagine it would also work for the Autofocus task management method which someone mentioned here on this forum a while back.

In your case, you could create a folder called “To Do”, containing separate documents for each of your various categories (outside, office, shed, garden, vineyard). Another folder could be “To Get”, containing either a single document listing all the items you want to buy/acquire, or a number of documents separating your list according to (for example) timescale or source. The ability to add document notes, related URLs and so on might also be useful here, and if you create your folders in the Research area, you can add PDFs or web archives which might be extendable as a sort of inventory of receipts/invoices, or a catalogue of brochures related to your “To Get” list.

It’s not especially unorthodox, but I have a Scrivener project full of things that I might (or might not) develop into proper writing one day. Basically, I use Scrivener to hold all those bits and pieces of random text or “notes to self” in one place so that I can see what I have got and impose some sort of structure on it. Split screen is useful because I can view or work on two documents at the same time.

I have never used Scrivener for general correspondence, but I don’t know why not because the binder would be a useful organisational tool (allowing grouping into folders related to particular projects, for example), and Scrivener has all the usual formatting things for general text work. You can print straight from Scrivener, and can use Print Preview to check that everything looks reasonable. Once you had set up a document with all the formatting you want in your letters, you could simply duplicate it each time you wanted to write a new one, renaming and moving the new document as appropriate.

To some extent, Scrivener can be used as a sort of document management framework and a receptacle for just about any sort of document. However, I would be very reluctant to suggest that it is exactly what you are looking for, since you may not think so when you use it for your own purposes and since you would be using a tiny fraction of its functionality. Your best bet is to download Scrivener for a free trial. You get 30 days of actual use, which is easily long enough to know if you can get it to do what you want – and if you don’t like it, the files you have created will all be in RTF, so you won’t lose access to them.

Ok - thank you for your comments.

I would like to find a better text writing application which I am/was hoping Scrivener to be. Plus could be much more useful for the weird documents and info I have that I would like to so-called bring together.

Hmmmmm. Thanks again!

Your request is a little confusing.
You want a “text-writing application” for “non-writing use” ??
I think you are looking for a combination data collection and task management application.
The ones cited here most often are:
Things, Together, DevonNote, The Hit List, Yojimbo and Circus Pony Notebook.
You’ll find them on VersionTracker or MacUpDate.
Good luck!

I use Scrivener as my writing tool and also as my organization tool for all things business and life. I’ve made a folder for each day of the week, as well as an UNSCHEDULED folder after SUNDAY, so that there is a repository for things I don’t need to deal with yet. I keep all my to-dos as individual files within the day of the week folders. I move them around within a folder based on the order I want/need to do them. I delete whatever I complete (although you could mark them as complete on the synopsis line (the index card front face) if you don’t want to delete)–and then if there are unfinished items, I move them to another day’s folder. I keep separate folders for issues I deal with that are not to-do related, and I make separate files for each.

One thing I found handy was to put everything in the RESEARCH section, so I renamed the RESEARCH folder MAIN and that way I have less restrictions on what I can drag/drop into my folders.

I’ve tried omni outliner, omnifocus, the apple mail to do list, even mind manager to keep track of my life but ultimately, Scrivener is the most intuitive one for me visually. Give it a try!
hope this helps. m.

Matman - I really like your suggestion for using Scrivener to organize tasks. I think I will try that too. I prefer visual tools to lists, it’s just how I work. So, thanks for the tip.

Now, I’m really new to this, still on trial version and haven’t really used Scrivener at all yet. I like what I’ve seen so far though and plan to check it out thouroughly during NaNoWriMo in november. BUT - I have this idea, of a perhaps unorthodox way of using the software:

I’m a curious person, and like to find out lots of things about lots of different subjects. I don’t always know what to do with it, and I do forget stuff. Making notes in books and scraps of paper… well, we all know how that works out in the end - once you need your notes, you have NO IDEA where it is, in what book you wrote it, or even where to start looking.

So I’m thinking of making one BIG all-research-project, and write down all kinds of areas of interest and found-knowledge… stuff to keep around for no particular reason at all, but which MIGHT come in handy some day. One folder for Physics, containing Carl Sagan snippets and quotes and occasional Youtube-clips (will Scrivener work with hyperlinks, btw?) etc. One for Philosophy, with reflections and theories about thos Big Questions of Life etc. One for Psychology, one for Criminlology, one for… what-ever catches your fancy. But accessible and organizationable - in Scrivener.

And THEN… I have this idea about doing the same - but for inspirational stuff. Pictures, quotes, articles… Anything that gets your creative juices flowing. For safe-keeping and for organising.

That’s my idea - and it seems like good ideas to me, although I haven’t had a chance to try them out just yet…! :slight_smile:


Yes, you may store web links in Scrivener. I do all this stuff in either DevonNote or Devon Think Pro. Those are textual databases, with a lot more searching and analytical power than Scrivener. They display web links instantly, and you may create hyperlinks between different parts of the database. As your interests grow, the power of the DN or DTP software gets more and more useful. Good luck!