Use of Labels and Status

I am interested in how others make use of the Label and the Status feature.

To me, the Label with its colours is the more important thing, because the colour is displayed in the binder as well. I started by renaming “Label” to “POV”, to list my POV characters and to give each one a distinctive colour. That way, I see with one look whether the view points are ordered well.

Meanwhile, I start missing to see the status of each text piece the same way. OK, I can call the outline or adjust the corkboard, but I realize I really would like to see my progress in the binder as well. And not only the progress, but remaining problem areas as well (“rewrite this!”). I have started to rename the documents, that is, to insert hints. A scene title “Jim meats Jane” becomes “?? Jim meats Jane”, when there are still problems in it. I think about encoding finished scenes with a special character as well.

I even thinking about whether I should redefine the use of Label and Status. Maybe I could work better with a colour signaling system? White: Still to write. Green: Finished. Red: Problems. Or so. And to signal the POV in the scene title: “(JIM) Meets Jane”.

But it seems odd to me. I am so used to encode POVs in colours, it seems so natural to me!

So I thought I asked how others make use of these features.

Hi, I see no reason why you shouldn’t use the colors the way you describe to signify point of view. Makes sense for what you are doing. I am writing a non-fiction book that needs to be finished soon, so I use the colors from the labels to show status (To-Do = red, First draft=orange, Revised draft=green etc). Gives me a good overview over what’s left to do.


Yes, using labels as status indicator is the only way to get an overview of the whole structure – via tinted labels in the binder. A bit of a pity, since the status meta data have become a – in my case – useless option. Sometimes, I use them to show the final status (to check – checked – for publication)


Currently I’m trying out various ways how to handle these in different projects:

My current novel employs a “classic” approach: The label shows what kind of file it is and the status is exactly this. So essentially I have 3 kinds of label: blue for plot, characters, notes ect; yellow for research; green for the chapters (and a folder with grey files, these are old and can be ignored). That’s the way I worked in Ulysses, and this project started there.

Then I’m planning the next novel, and I handle things a bit differently: Here Corkboard and Outliner are used massively, so I fiddle with three kinds of label to design a structre:

  • Orange card: something happens, someone does something - described on the index card. (“This guy appears for the first time.” / “His real identity is unveiled”)
  • Blue Card: idea, concept, background - described on index card as well. (“Using nano technology these guys have …” / “His hate derives from …”)
  • Yellow card: basic story concept: main aspects of the story that still need to be broken down in orange and blue cards.

Using Scrivener links and keywords I interweave the research documents in these cards.

I’m trying to have a whole structure in place, before start writing the real chapters in my green files. So far it’s a great experience. I’m acting similarly on a screenplay, but here I just convert the orange cards directly into scenes, which are then arranged as sequences as folders.

I feel this same way. It’s unfortunate that there’s not a way to have the status meta data tint the names in the binder. The color of the icon could be the p.o.v., and the color of the name could be the status. Of course, it’d be nice to toggle the status color, so that the binder isn’t visually overwhelmed.


I am still using colors for POVs. I can’t do otherwise.

But: I have discovered today that my folders, white by default, don’t have to stay so - they can as well get tinted in color! Now, because I am someone who very much likes (or even needs) to see his progress, I testdrive the routine to give each folder the color of the main protagonists view (usually red) as soon as all the scenes within are written in first draft. It is very satisfying to see more and more red folders stapling up (or down) in the binder…

For the detailed overview, I use the outliner view and the status field more or less as intended. Interesting that once I have this tiny visual clue of progress in the corner of the eye, I feel calm enough to work further this way.

I’d like to know how others use this “status” field: Up to now, I roughly use “N/A” as default (white page or only some words), “To Do” for scenes I am working on and “First Draft” for, well, completed first drafts. In the moment I am in the first third of the first novel I write in Scrivener, but I have already added a status “Needs Reworking”. I think about detailing this more, as soon as I have an idea how… :laughing:

You will add more colors. I know.

I added two new Label colors just yesterday. They all graduate from light to dark. Each writing session, I must find the subfolder with the most fluffy stuff in it, and make it denser. When the folder contents get unwieldy, I split up the folder and move it around.

This lets me keep visual track of the structure when I go to corkboard and move things around. I move sentences around with the corkboard, if I need to.

The best part is the way this facilitates letting the structure and the writing co-evolve. Each feeds the other.

I know I have something status can do, I just haven’t figured it out yet.

I changed the use of my labels today to reflect the characters’ appearance in the overall story. A different color for each scene: hero only, heroine only, hero/heroine, hero and secondary character, heroine and secondary character, love scene, villian, villian and hero/heroine. When I view it in the binder with file colors turned on or in the corkboard it gives a good view of who is getting too much or too little time. I like the idea of using it for POV but I think that would take me too much concentration.

Just for this WIP, I changed status to Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Climax and End but with haven’t found a way to view on those with a specific status. If the Synopsis title would change the color of the status, that would be cool. It could be used several ways.

No complaints. This program gets more awesome everyday. :smiley:

A bit like Werebear, I sometimes create two different labels for the same character:

  • nearly transparent for “early development”
  • solid for “developed, advanced”

This way, I can use colors for characters, and opacity for the status of the scene they are involved to.

I use Saturation (down) and Brightness (up) to create transparency, but maybe there are other methods.


I, too, use the status field to depict the stage of development: concept, first draft, revised draft, review (I think it’s complete, but want to go back through and check such things as foreshadowing, continuity, etc.), and completed. Does anyone use that field in a different manner?


Great idea! Two different informations at the same time! I will try this, too. Thanks for sharing!

Cool, Paolo! I’ll have to try that opacity trick.

Gee, and also write on the book sometime![/img]