I am interested in determining whether Scrivener is a suitable platform for all my writing needs. Currently, I’m using Scrivener for a large non-fiction book project, and it has proven to be extremely useful for this purpose. This has led me to consider whether I should migrate all my writing projects to Scrivener to streamline my writing workflow into a single application.
In addition to my book project, my writing portfolio includes the following:
Presentation notes that vary in length from one to possibly eight pages. These notes are prepared for conferences, staff meetings, and parent and donor presentations. It’s worth mentioning that my presentation notes often incorporate screenshots of corresponding Keynote slides to signify points where I need to reference a slide. Consequently, the format consists of multiple heading levels, with text followed by an image, then more text, and this pattern continues throughout the document.
Communications intended for distribution to the community we serve.
For all these types of writing, apart from the book project, I currently use Apple Pages.
My questions are:
Do you use Scrivener for all your writing tasks, and if so, what are your reasons?
If you do not use Scrivener exclusively, please explain why and share what other apps you use for the types of writing I have listed?
Thanks in advance for your kind assistance!
One of the potential benefits of using Scrivener for all of my writing is that I can bulk compile and export my work for archiving in other applications, e.g., DEVONthink.
The only point that comes to mind and that may cause some issues would be images.
Scrivener is not Wysiwyg. So, you can have the image in there, but with very little control over the way it’ll come out. (Position, text wrap around it [ ← forget that completely], etc.)
Writing, I use Scrivener exclusively. No sweat.
Whatever I can’t do I post process in LibreOffice. (Which is not a lot.)
I write everything with Scrivener and also save all my research material.
You can do that, but you don’t have to. All my research material is also in Scrivener. Scrivener’s ability to handle large projects is underestimated. And should a project actually become (too) large (I mean > 5 GB), the material can still be split into several projects.
I use it for almost everything, including a dedicated project to serve as a repository for random stuff. I find it useful to use a single software for the familiarity and the more I use Scrivener, the more I find functions I didn’t know about before.
I use Mars Edit for blogging because I can upload posts directly to my WordPress blogs and so avoid logging in (as well as avoiding the WP editor.)
Apple Pages and Bean come in handy for some things.
I just started to really use scrivener for most of my writing. I had been using Apple Pages.
I’ll keep Pages for things like my resume and journal as I want direct control over layout for my resume. And my journal is linear and won’t ever be edited or revised. I use a single document for each year.
But everything else is going into scrivener. My NaNoWriMo attempt, my essays, my writing idea lists.
Edit: Anything that is already completed will stay in the application it’s already in. I don’t see a point in migrating it.
Disclaimer: I will always use my iPhone Notes application to quickly record ideas so I don’t lose them. I transfer them to scrivener at a later time.
One ring to rule them all, tis Scrivener to bind them.
That includes research, scientific papers, peer reviews, grant applications, course material, personal and work letters (for which I Pandoc > LaTeX letter class so my letters have address, letter-head and signature with no effort from my part), some presentations (RevealJS, though I’m also a fan of the app Deckset which works better with plain markdown thus one more step if I use scrivener…). When i am at talks or conferences, I use iOS Scrivener and a folding bluetooth keyboard, and have years of notes of every academic talk I’ve attended, all in one project.
Since its early beta in 2016 I’ve used Scrivener for everything, including magazine articles and books and the research for same, and, until I retired a few years ago, for editing a national magazine in all phases, from managing the submissions to writing dejection letters to the editing back-and-forth with authors and the final output to the talented folks in production.
Its my tool of choice for all writing because, of all the other options out there–I started with Wordstar way back in the last century and switched to Microsoft Word when it hit version 1.01–Scrivener is the only program developed by a writer. Writers may have been there in the gestational stages of some of the big-budget programs, but they were quickly taken over by the corporate wing and made to be all tools for all purposes, which means the same as A tool for no purpose in particular.
For me, Scrivener and its flexible little packets of text strung together by an outliner works as I do. Except for compile. But then I only have to output raw manuscript pages in 12-point Times Roman, and needn’t fiddle around with Drop Caps and flush-left and block quotes and dramatic passages emphasized by embarrassingly garish fonts.
IMHO Best advice, only move a few “large and active” writing projects, and don’t do it for “everything”. You won’t be pleased if you, for example, move letters with letterhead or special formatting. Use a word processor (Word, Pages, or whatever) for that kind of stuff.
Thanks for the kind advice. I should have been clearer. I’m only “copying current work in process” to Scrivener. I will continue to use Word or Pages for formal reports that need to be formatted professionally.
To note :
If the goal is to centralize everything, even without moving the whole of your work into a Scrivener project you can still link to files destined to other apps, inside your project (either in a list, or create a document per), which link will automatically launch and load that file in whatever app is the default for its format when clicked.
You can do so by dropping the said file straight into a document (in the editor), or using the bookmarks panel.
I second that.
I used to think the Scrivener Compiler was difficult to follow and a tad confusing.
I still think it can be streamlined in certain aspects. The section types assigned in the project settings can work as section layouts unequivocally. In other words, to let the compiler handle those sections as they were created, rather than manually assigning the section layout to possibly manually select and interchange them later on—but I could be oversimplifying a more complex way to simplify this.
Now I have different customized output formats, each for the specific work I am planning to put out.
The only thing I want to stress is that LaTeX manages to perfectly format the finished product, without titles being just entered before the end of the page or the like.
I think going forward, the L&L team can think of ways to make the compiling process feel a bit more approachable (but it just takes a little bit of practice and experimentation) and the output feel as robust as LaTeX.
Would that even be possible?
Having said that, I am addicted to tweaking around and fiddling with the compiler to find the perfect solution for my ideal format.
Most other pieces of software really struggle with that; in fact, iA Writer does not include anything close to that which does not require proper CSS programming, and Microsoft Word is not conceptualized to have an output that is different from the editor.
Exactly this. Compile remains one of Scrivener’s differentiating features. Other apps have adopted the Binder metaphor, but AFAIK no other developers seem up to the task of a truly flexible and sophisticated UI-driven export process.
This is partly why new users can be so overwhelmed: they’ve never encountered a feature like it. But for those who persevere and succeed in wrapping their mind around it, Compile can be a beautiful thing.
Yes, many authors do use Scrivener just in part. They limit themselves with only relying on the organisational features and little more. And that is fine.
But I appreciate, just like most of us (as I can read), that there are options for only using one software for most if not all tasks.
I am curious to try the new L&L app, to see how it compares with Scrivener in the output or composing side.
I am sure it will not stand a good one to one comparason, but it might be an answer for many that find Scrivener overwhelming.