What about my established folder structure?


after 10 years of using Scriveners and storing all my projects on Dropbox, I now got my first iOS device.
I watched the tutorial how to be able to sync my projects with iOS and right now I’m a bit shocked.

I have an established folder structure organizing my body of work that is quite extensive. There is non fiction work, fictional work, journalistic work, work-for-hire, etc.
You want to keep this stuff seperated to have some organization.

Now the tutorial tells me I have to move them all into one sync folder, to work from my iPad, too?

Is this right? This just can’t be right.
Is there a workaround like linking the projects into the sync folder?



Do you need to work on all your projects on your iOS device?

It is correct that iOS Scrivener can only sync with one folder, but it syncs everything in that folder including all subfolders and their content. It means that if you have all your project folders in a complex structure under a top project-folder and point iOS Scrivener to that top folder, iOS Scrivener will download all of your projects to your iPhone or iPad. Are you sure that’s what you want?

I have made a sub-folder called Active projects which I sync with my iPad. The projects I want to work on with my iPad are moved into that sub-folder so I don’t fill my iPad with all I have ever written.

No. You just need to have them be under the same parent folder at some point that Scrivener on the iPad syncs to.

You already have your Dropbox folder as a common parent for your folder structure. By default, Scrivener for iOS looks for Dropbox\apps\Scrivener as its parent (so you can have things in Dropbox that Scrivener won’t scan) but will scan every folder underneath that point. You can reconfigure Scrivener for iOS to look at a different folder under your Dropbox folder, even that root Dropbox folder if you want.

I have Dropbox\apps\Scrivener that holds all of my active novel and story projects. I also have the sub-folder Subfolder, which contains another Scrivener project, and Scrivener for iOS sees all of the projects under Dropbox\apps\Scrivener and Dropbox\apps\Scrivener\Subfolder.

This still would be about 10 projects from different parts of my work and would break my established folder structure. Something that is just a dealbreaker. Sorry, but no program has to mess with how I organize my stuff on a basic level.

So, no workaround?


iOS doesn’t have a file system like you have in MacOS, Linux or Windows, and the sandboxing principles of iOS makes it difficult to have one¨.

No workarounds. You either create a synced sub-folder into which you temporarily move your active projects or you sync everything you have, but losing the file structure inside iOS Scrivener.

Remember, syncing iOS Scrivener is not an automated process like it is in MacOS. iOS Scrivener downloads and uploads any changes when you manually tell it to do so.


Well, I guess then I’ll have to mindlessly move around my files and put Aliases into the folders where they should be. All while swearing.



As noted, you could move your entire project folder structure so that it’s a sub-tree of the iOS sync folder. Or you could change the iOS sync folder to point to the top of your project folder structure. Or you could trade the iOS device in for a MacBook Air.


Scrivener for iOS is a great standalone app, but syncing through Dropbox isn’t to everyone’s liking.

I stopped using Scrivener for iOS and Dropbox, and I switched to iCloud (any cloud service will work) and markdown editors instead. This post explains how.

If you are unhappy with Scrivener for iOS (as a recent purchase that doesn’t work as expected) and don’t want to continue using it, you can contact Apple and ask for a refund.

Edit to add: support.apple.com/en-us/HT204084


Why not add a two-letter prefix to the projects you move to the sync folder, telling the origin? Like SF for sci-fi, NF for non-fiction, etc? That way you’d see the project type in iOS as well.