Using a single project file or multiple projects

I am a writer. I write for my blog, data-set’s for Mendeley, lecture notes, dissertations and I am also working on a book (which I will use a new project for)

I find it’s easier to use a single project file for all my work and just group everything into their respective folders. As long as I am meticulously organized this should suffice, correct? Iv’e been doing this however my written work library is growing very large.

I am asking for advice, I keep second guessing myself on this “one project” methodology. Should I have separate projects for my Blog, Data-sets, Lecture notes, ect…?

Yes I know I should find what works best, the problem is I am not really sure. I like the ability to stay in the same project and “pull from” various other folders for ideas to include in my other work. I primary use Scrivener for iOS, so having a single project it almost necessary as you can only have a single project open at a time.

I am not sure if it is possible to “import” a file from one project into another on the iOS version. Does anyone know? I would probably have to compile it and save it to dropbox and import from dropbox, unless someone knows a trick?

I love Scrivener, I sleep with my iPhone next to be every night and many many nights I wake up with inspiration that I capture instantly into Scrivener. How many people love Scrivener this much? I wish I could order a full-size poster of the logo and hang it above my bed. Scrivener has been a godsend in helping me write and organize my written work. If Scrivener were a person I would marry Scrivener.

I am at the mercy of professional Scrivener users right now. One project, or multiple projects? My written library is growing very large these days. I write blog posts, data-sets for Mendeley, dissertations, lecture notes, talking points for my YouTube, and lecture notes. Should I break these many categories into multiple project files???

These are the tough decisions that keep me up at night.

Thank you

David Mathiasen

It’s really up to you. Scrivener can handle very large projects, well into the GB range, but smaller projects are more nimble and easier to work with in a lot of ways.

Personally, I have one project per major client or book-length work, plus a couple more for notetaking and idea management.

I would say that reorganizing into multiple projects will be easier and faster with one of the desktop versions, even if iOS is your primary platform.


Some previous threads I’ve been involved in that may have a relevant tidbit or three:

Asking for advice as well. I have the same or very similar question: Is there any way to directly link a Scrivener project file to a separate Scrivener project file? I love the Scrivener link within a single project file, but why not have the ability to link to any of the multiple files?

As a new user, the idea of one large file to compile all writing and data + links + etc. seems grand. My goal is to create my own personal Wikipedia, connecting relevant words/topics to other draft pages. I feel that I will have an overload of folders and drafts if I kept this in a single project file; even if Scrivener can handle multiple GBs, it may become an overload of info that needs some reorganizing.

I generally read, write, take notes and journal on non-fiction writing. I would like for all of this gathered information to form a cohesive sphere of information linking to other information. The closest examples are Wikipedia or a well-done website with great ‘linkage’ to other topics…maybe I need a webpage for all of this…

You can create an External Reference in the Document References to link to another Scrivener Project. I’ve done this a lot in a similar way to what you’re proposing.

I see you’re using both Mac and Windows. I also use both and sync between platforms using DropBox. The caveat here is that the external reference is the full pathname to the other Scrivener project so the ‘connectivity’ doesn’t carry from Mac to Windows because of the filesystem naming conventions. It’s more a nuisance than a major impediment and my solution is to use the Mac as my source of truth for defining references etc

Hope that helps.


Great…thanks! For anyone searching for this it is through:
Inspector → the second tab ‘References’ → below Synopsis and General is Document References → click on + symbol → Look Up & Add External Reference.
(there may be a better method)

And to clarify (as I have not tried all possible options; still a trial newbie), can this external reference only be created/accessed by the Reference tab in Inspector and not through a Scrivener link (via word or phrase) or other method? Maybe its a request for the wish list to access external documents via a direct link within the document. Either way I am sold!

That option exists as well. Can’t believe I hadn’t found it before.

Highlight the text within your document and from the Edit menu select Add Link, select File and then enter the pathname of the Scrivener project, or other file you want to open.

On Windows, I couldn’t make the target open when the link was defined as File but when I defined the link as No Prefix, it worked as expected.

Again, my caveat on pathnames across platforms still applies :slight_smile:

Thanks for helping me learn something new about Scrivener.


…this program is now complete. All other features found on Scrivener beyond this point will be like the next technological advancement…didn’t know I needed it til it appeared.

Appreciate the discovery.

Also note: If file path name is changed (within same operation system), then original link will no longer link. So when I moved one file into a different folder within Dropbox or in Desktop/etc., the link’s path name changed, thus voiding original link within the document.