Using Scrivener for project notebooks

Hi, I have used Scrivener on and off for years to keep various project notebooks. I feel very lonesome, but surely I cannot be the only one who appreciates Scrivener’s ability to organise, support research, include or link to just about anything and calm the chaos of the mind.

I understand that Scrivener’s focus has always been to support writers, but along the way, it has become capable of supporting a much more expansive community.

If there were a way to draw us misfits, into the fold, I am sure we would not do anything to tarnish its reputation. We will be very respectful. Afterall, we all love a good book :smile:

Thanks for all the fish,

I can only speak for myself (my own perspective), but I am pretty sure that Literature and Latte supports writing, any type of writing, as long as it is not a DIY manual for a bomb.

My opinion is that if you use the software to write (any form – or just use Scrivener (or scapple) to organize whatever), there is room for you here. :wink:

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Indeed, once you know Scrivener, it is hard not to use it for everything.


Yeah, sure, I agree. But try googling for something like “Best Scrivner structure for bread baking” or “Scrivener project template for [fill in the blank]”, where blank can be anything you want to keep a detailed notebook on. NOTE I am not suggesting that the world should start creating thousands of project-specific templates. I am alluding to the fact that I have come up empty-handed whenever I have searched for anything outside the “writer’s” scope. I am not criticising anyone for this. I just wonder if there is not a remote community that has not found a way to coalesce.

I am not sure I understand…
A template is simply a project in its early stage. Whether at this point it is intended to become a novel or a cookbook, the sole difference is in the terms used to designate this or that.

I don’t quite agree. If that were strictly accurate, there would be only one universal template. To use your examples, a cookbook does not typically have characters, scenes, etc., that structure a novel. Whether a specific type of book–or project–deserves a specialised project template or page template is very subjective.
I mean, take a look at project templates for Journaling. They are a whole different kettle of fish.

A project has:
Documents (some posing as folders), section types, and… that’s it.
Everything else is just what you name them.

In my first reply I think maybe I misunderstood your point. Apologies if that was case.

Agree. Absolutely. I feel we are going back and forth over nothing of substance. So peace be upon you friend :slight_smile:


You know how to create a template, right ?

No, but I am sure I can figure it out if I desire to. What is your reason for asking?

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I am not sure I follow.
But you can ask pretty much any question you may have here.
If you want something, or would like to know how to do it, just ask away. :wink:

If you want to connect with people using Scrivener the same way you do, create a thread where you describe what it is that you do, and invite people to share the details of their experience. (?)

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Doh! I didn’t see that noted in the T&Cs, but I’ll delete Boom.scriv immediately!

Hi there,

The folks on the internet that do share templates are typically writers trying to attract you to their website with freebies.

The first place I’d search for Scrivener stuff would be these forums, not Google. For instance, if you’re interested, say, in cookbooks

That said, my experience has been that most people don’t post their projects as templates to share with others. First, everybody’s busy. Second, every person’s working style is so different. In the end I’ve personally found it’s just easier to develop my own structure for my own purposes than to try to mold someone else’s idea to work for me. I’ll go out on a limb and say that many if not most folks who have been using Scrivener for a long time do the same.

All that said–if you want to start a thread and post templates from your various projects and ask others to share theirs, go for it! Be the change you want to see. :innocent:

I might even share my bomb-making–I mean, brownie-making–template.



There actually is a universal Scrivener template: Blank. There is no functionality in the others that can’t be duplicated by modifying the Blank template. That’s where I almost always start.

So to create a “project notebook” template, you might start by thinking about what folders and template documents you would like to see. Create a “blank” project, add those items to it, refine as needed.

Absolutely agree with the others. I’ve been using Scrivener for 16½ years, and for all my projects, whatever their purpose, they’ve all started from Blank. The only difference being I created my own modified Blank template with the launch of Scrivener 3 to include my choice of editing font (though I’m now actually reverting to the default Palatino!), heading, blockquote and other basic styles, and a project compile format.

When I began collating all our recipes into a Scrivener project, I looked at the Recipe Collection template but immediately knew it wasn’t what would work for me, so binned it and started again from my Blank.

Scrivener is flexible so that each one of us can work our own way; that is it’s great strength.



Here are some further resources and discussions that might be helpful for using Scrivener in a more general purpose fashion:

I don’t know if you will find an actual community of Scrivener users using Scrivener less in a writing role and more in a note-taking role. Instead you’ll find a lot of discussion scattered throughout existing communities. It is a minority usage, but one that has always had a lot of interest—to the point that a lot of v3’s design improvements were made with that kind of usage in mind. It just so happens that a lot of what makes for a good note-taking tool also makes for a good writing tool, so even those things tend to be more largely talked of in the context of long-form writing.

But as you’ll see, I’m a big fan of using it that way, and it would not be an exaggeration to say that the large majority of my Scrivener projects have nothing to do with long-form writing!


Hi Amber, thank you for taking the time to reply with this wealth of useful information. Very helpful and informative. Your pointer to “Linking text to text directly” is fascinating. I have only read the start so far, but it appears to be something that could/should be in the manual :wink:

Cheers, and have the best of days.

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Actually, everything essential has already been said.

What some of the people here are skeptical about and rarely mention is that one Scrivener project is enough for everything. If you want that. Like I do.

I have exactly one Scrivener file, for everything. Images, graphics, PDF, text everything you can imagine. It’s my all-in-one database. Sometimes I even write something with Scrivener :joy: The file is 1.5 GB in size. And I have never had a problem with it.

Scrivener handles large files well. Here and there the app might get a little slower. But it’s a matter of fractions of seconds, not worth mentioning.

Maybe others have different experiences. These are mine. :grinning: