Would like some advice/opinions on a use of comments/footnotes

Theres a big part of my writing that I have been struggling to organize for quite some time. Mostly background information that wouldn’t be included in the finished product. Call it a personal quirk, or perhaps the blue light from the screen makes me manic, but I hate having to scroll through a lot of documents per project. It always feels too disorganized for comfort, and as if I’m going to misplace/overlook something.
A way around this, that I believe my personal psychology would support, is to arrange the topics into a single document, and then create a footnote for each one and input the information into it. This is around 2000 entries, and about 700,000 words with the potential for more. This way I have a lot of freedom and can look at the list as a whole for organization, and I can export the page into a pdf with the footnotes included for backups.

The reason I opened this topic is to ask, will scriveners system be able to support this without crashing or corrupting the data?

700,000 words in a single document is quite likely to cause performance issues. Scrivener is designed and optimized around the idea that individual documents will contain about a chapter or so.


Note that you don’t have to combine into one document. You can simply view a group of documents in Scrivenings mode. The comments side-bar will combine those comments from all of the documents in the editor, stacking them together so that you click on one and are scrolled to the document and position within it where the comment is anchored.

I wouldn’t advise doing a Scrivenings mode on a folder containing 700k words’ worth of documents though, but if you can group them into chunks of fewer than 100k each… that might be okay.

I can confirm Katherine’s words: a single document of similar length would inevitably have serious performance issues.

I’m working on a book that presently counts some 500.000 words in the main text, and some 100.000 in the notes. It is (of course, I would say) divided into many folders, each of which counting many documents, But when viewing (and especially when revising) the whole book as a single document in Scrivenings mode, the performance of the application slows down. That’s not Scrivener’s fault; Scrivener as a workhorse has very few rivals. But there’s a limit to everything.

Perhaps if I just create a document for each topic in a folder, and then link each one in a separate document as a kind of index with the document linking, I could have the same effect without the performance issues. Might take more rearranging should I want to change the order, but it sounds like it would be worth it…