Using Scrivener My Way

Scrivener’s great strength is it’s flexibility. I’m not going to use it as a word processor. It’s simply not built for that. I use Nota Bene and MSWord. I’m not going to use it to keep track of the thousands of documents and books I’m using in the non-fiction opus I’m writing about a famous hospital. But I am going to use it to organize and store that material. I’m going to use it as a giant filing cabinet, nesting lots of data in folders, files, sub-files and so on. Since a chunk of my research is in pdfs, and since Scrivener can not index pdfs, I’ll be working with Mendeley too. But Scrivener will help me compile chapter by chapter, or section by section, the eclectic bits of information I need. To do that – so that pdfs and other non-text files can be mixed with text files, I’m creating a new template with the “research” folder moved to the top. Any child of “research” will accept image files etc. Has anyone else used Scrivener to organize a massive about of information this way? Which someone had a pure “research” template, a template only to sort, organize and story the info/data that will be used by a WP. PS: How can you turn a regular folder into a “research” folder?

It’s tempting to use Scrivener as a database,
But for masses of material that you want to search & classify,
I suggest that you take a look at DevonThink Pro.

I’ve only just started using Scrivener, so I can’t really comment on your question. But it’s good to see another Nota Bene user here! It’s my word processor, and like you I expect to use Scrivener primarily for organizing, not writing. I agree that the ability to use it in multiple different manners seems to be one of its strengths.

In the first project for which I’m using it, I’ve got a tentative outline unpacked in the Draft section, and I don’t know if a whole lot else will ever go there. I envision having a lot of documents in Research that have links to Nota Bene’s Ibidem note-taking files (sorry for the in-group terminology!), ready to be organized into their appropriate uses. I’d be interested in updates on your progress.

Sigh…this is all really confusing to me. I like the idea of a “complete writing studio,” which is how Scrivener’s being billed, but then I come to the forums and see all these complaints about bugs, “missing features” relative to the ever-more-advanced Mac version, and on top of everything else this notion that Scrivener is not a “complete writing studio,” actually…! :confused:

Well, here’s hoping a future Version 8 or so becomes the wordsmith’s equivalent of Adobe Creative Suite Master Collection in depth and scope!! 8)

Scrivener is built for word processing, outlining, and … a ton of other stuff. Different folks perceive and use it differently, depending on their needs/interest and amount of time they invest in evaluating and learning it.

Adobe Creative Suite Master Collection? $50/month subscription with year commitment… or possibly outright purchase(?) at somewhere between $500 and $1200. No doubt a powerful suite of tools… but if one pays attention to the chatter, it has its own issues and detractors, same as any other software including Scrivener. But Scrivener only costs about $45.

Key thing is… most all such software now days is available for free or affordable short term (month or so) evaluation. Research, identify likely candidates, try them out, before investing major time in a using one in a project and then only discovering later that doesn’t meet one’s needs. Whining is easy. Evaluation and selection of appropriate tools is work and involves risks. Creation of great tools is difficult and deserving of respect, regardless of what tools one prefers or uses.

Realistically, most craft/art folks use multiple tools, rather than a single tool.

Well, I didn’t mean Adobe’s pricing model, only its applications’ “scope and depth.” And while Literature and Latte is no doubt a very fine company, if Scrivener’s just ever supposed to be only one tool of many, please don’t call it a “complete writing studio,” which calls to mind something much more comprehensive.

I think Scrivener is a lot more “complete” tool for idea processing. Word pretends it is a never ending typewriter with some afterthoughts that it is hosted on a computer. Scrivener on the other hand is written to get the ideas out first. But, I like to use more than one tool - Scapple/iThoughts X/Curio for planning, circus ponies notebook/Tree for heavy duty outlining and Devonthink for more intense database retrieval. Scrivener though is where everything comes together. For all the features that have been added to Scrivener since its beginning as Scrivener Gold, at its heart it is the best non-linear thought processor out there.