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6 Reasons Why Scrivener Is The Best Writing Tool EVER
Posted on April 26, 2013 by Elena Aitken
Every writer has their own way of writing. Some use paper and pen, some use traditional word processors and
some use writing software programs. I personally, use Scrivener. In my opinion it’s the best program out there.
And this is why I love it so:
I can organize to my heart’s content! – I can separate my manuscript into chapters and scenes and
even scenes within scenes if I want. This makes it super easy to bounce around, fix stuff and remember
where everything is. Also, note the pretty colors. I like to color coordinate my files so I can easily see what
POV chapters are in, what draft, and different file notes…
Very cool cork board function- For easy plotting, you can create note cards just as you would on a
regular cork board. It’s easy to drag them around, color code them, and even work on the synopsis for each
scene. You can customize your cork board however you like it to look.
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I gotta see my progress! – One of my favorite features of Scrivener is the word count feature. I am super
goal orientated so if I can see a visual representation of my progress, I get giddy! I love to see the colored bar
move across the screen. And you can set your goals to reflect what days you write and when you want to be
finished the project.
Compile in any format - It’s easy to compile your project to any format you want. This is great for those of
us that self pub. With the click of a few buttons, I can decide what I want included in the project, and what I
don’t. You can export into all format types, but what I’ve been doing lately is compiling in an epub and then
using Calibre to convert to mobi files.
Syncing it up- I recently got an iPad and my very first question was, “How can I use it to write?” After a bit
of digging, I discovered that even though there is no Scrivener for iPad, you can totally make it work. All you
need is a Dropbox account and a writing program for your iPad. I downloaded a program called Nebulous on
my iPad (others use Simplenote or Plaintext, and I think there are more.) Basically, what you do is Sync
Nebulous to Dropbox. And then to get it into Scrivener, you Click on ‘Sync’ – ‘with external folder’ and select
the unique folder that you’ve created for this purpose. AND…boom. Super easy. (At least it was once I
figured it out) This is a link that will help explain it, although it uses Plaintext, but that’s just personal
preference.
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The Customer Service is Kick Ass- When it comes to asking for help, Scrivener has the best response in
customer service that I’ve seen. When you need help with something, all you have to do is tweet
@scrivenerapp and you will get a response. Here’s the answer to a question I had yesterday.
And a few months ago, this was my question:
And this was their response:
As for the ins and outs of how it works, I know there’s a lot more to Scrivener than I actually use, but I’m still
learning and applying new stuff everyday. Here are a few websites that are fantastic resources. Check them out:
http://www.makeuseof.com/pages/your-guide-to-scrivener#chapter-2
http://everythingscrivener.wordpress.com/
http://www.rebecaschiller.com/scrivener-for-windows-tutorial/
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About Elena Aitken
Elena is a work at home/stay at home/write at home mom of twins who regularly loses herself in her fictional characters because
their lives are way more exciting!
View all posts by Elena Aitken !
Oh, and to make it even better, Scrivener is on sale right now at Amazon. Check it out here. Because you can’t go
wrong with such an awesome program, especially for only $20. Check it out!
So, what do you think? Do you use Scrivener? What’s your favorite feature?
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This entry was posted in General Mess, Writing Process, Writing Tips and tagged elena aitken, scrivener, scrivener tips, sync scrivener with ipad, why scrivener rocks,
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44 Responses to 6 Reasons Why Scrivener Is The Best Writing Tool EVER
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patriciasands says:
April 26, 2013 at 3:27 pm
Fantastic information, thanks!
Reply
Elena Aitken says:
April 26, 2013 at 5:23 pm
Thanks, Patricia. I hope it helps other writers discover Scrivener so they can fall in love, too!
Reply
Louise Behiel says:
April 26, 2013 at 4:19 pm
well bummer – it’s only available in the US from amazon. great article, Elena. I’ve used the freebie version but have never
mastered the software. you make it sound fairly simple.
Reply
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Elena Aitken says:
April 26, 2013 at 5:25 pm
Oh, Louise, that sucks. I somehow am still on the US site. But even at full price…SO worth it!
Reply
Tina M. says:
November 13, 2013 at 3:51 pm
I bought it via internet, and I’m not US citizen!
think I need to go hunting for all those features. Have had it for a year now and never got it to show its full potential.
Reply
Angela Wallace says:
April 26, 2013 at 5:15 pm
Ok, I gave in and bought it! Hopefully I’ll get the hang of it quickly. I am looking forward to using the cork board to keep
track of all the unimportant character names and places! Lol. Rather than scrolling back up through the doc… “Now what did
I call that again?”
Reply
Elena Aitken says:
April 26, 2013 at 5:25 pm
Angela. You will love it! I promise. It’s so easy and start with only a few things, you can always add more features
and fancy stuff later.
Reply
amyshojai says:
April 26, 2013 at 5:53 pm
Angela and Elena, that’s my problem–keeping track of names, descriptions, addresses and suchlike. And I tend to write
bunches of scenes that are needed but on revisions find they’d work better in different orders. Cut-and-paste can really be
awkward. Just downloaded, look forward to using this.
Reply
Elena Aitken says:
April 27, 2013 at 7:02 am
Amy, it’s a fabulous tool for moving stuff around like that. And you can highlite the scenes that still need another
round of revisions, or mark them when they’re done. it’s really helpful
Reply
Stephen Woodfin says:
April 26, 2013 at 8:55 pm
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Elena, I do all my writing on Scrivener now and don’t know how I got along without it. Thanks for the post. As for those who
can’t get it on the Amazon US store,at about $50 for full price it is still the best bargain I know of for a program with such
great functionality. I don’t use nearly all the capabilities it offers. Also, I encourage all the writers out there to take the few
days it requires to get passed the learning curve. They will be glad they did.
Reply
Elena Aitken says:
April 27, 2013 at 7:03 am
Stephen, thank you for your comment. It is a great tool and you’re absolutely correct, even at $50 it’s a HUGE
bargain! I’d pay it again for such a great tool. Like you, I’m slowly learning more and more about it, but I
absolutely agree…everyone should take the time to learn about it and give it a shot.
Reply
Evangeline Holland says:
April 26, 2013 at 9:14 pm
I tried Scrivener when they first released it for PC and it’s waaaay too structured for me. I’m visual, but I need to make a mess
before I can see all of the pieces I need to pull together.
Reply
Elena Aitken says:
April 27, 2013 at 7:04 am
Evangeline,
Thank you for your comment. Scrivener is definitely not for everyone. That’s interesting that you find it really
structured. I found it the exact opposite, but I came from Word.
I’m interested, what do you use for your process?
Reply
Evangeline Holland says:
April 27, 2013 at 3:18 pm
WordPad and a spiral notebook, lol. I am easily overwhelmed when there’s too much to look at, so I need a
blank canvas/page/screen where I can jot down whatever comes to my mind about my WIP. When I tried
Scrivener, it felt like I had to use everything I wrote in the various tools because all of it sat on the program’s
home screen. Whereas if I open up WordPad or a spiral notebook, I can plot and brainstorm to my heart’s
content, and set it aside to let it grow in my brain. Then when I open a Word doc, writing feels organic.
I sound crazy, don’t I?
Reply
Elena Aitken says:
May 6, 2013 at 11:19 am
you totally don’t sound crazy at all! I think it’s important to do whatever works for you to keep the
words coming.
Reply
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Carol Lerner says:
August 28, 2013 at 2:08 pm
Hey. Scrivener does have a setting where you only have a blank “piece of paper” in front of you. Just
sayin’
Reply
Emma says:
April 27, 2013 at 3:18 am
I haven’t tried Scrivener yet, but I must.
It sounds like a great help.
Reply
Elena Aitken says:
April 27, 2013 at 7:05 am
Emma,
Let us know if you give it a try!
Reply
Lori Kaplan says:
April 27, 2013 at 10:09 am
Hi Elena, thanks for the post! I’m checking it out and finding a lot of people are as enthusiasitc as you are about Scrivener.
There was one frustrated user who commented on Amazon about having trouble with the Compile feature, and a rep from the
company responded calmly with a clear and easy solution. Very impressive support! Someone else at Amazon wanted to sync
with an iPad, so I posted a reply referring to your post! There’s a 30 day trial on the Scrivener home page… 30 days of actual
use, so I might try it out… either way, thanks again for sharing : )
Best wishes with your writing projects!
Reply
Elena Aitken says:
May 6, 2013 at 11:21 am
Thanks, Lori.
The 30 day trial is perfect because it’s definitely enough time to figure out whether if works for you or not.
I know it won’t work for everyone, but for me, it’s absolutely indispensable.
Reply
Dawn says:
April 27, 2013 at 10:32 am
Oh, thank you, thank you , thank you! I just recently downloaded the Scrivener trial for an online writing class I’m taking, but
have been too intimidated by all the cool features to really sit down and try and figure it out. You hit the highlights and now
I’m off to explore it a little more for myself!
Reply
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Elena Aitken says:
May 6, 2013 at 11:22 am
Dawn,
If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to start slow with the features and work your way into it. I get overwhelmed
easily and for me, using a few features at a time was key.
Reply
michael kors handbags says:
April 28, 2013 at 6:39 am
Good post, i will share with my friends.
Reply
Elena Aitken says:
May 6, 2013 at 11:22 am
Reply
Tiffany A White says:
April 29, 2013 at 10:43 am
I need to try Scrivener!! I want to!
Reply
Elena Aitken says:
May 6, 2013 at 11:23 am
Do it, Tiffany!!
Reply
lauriegienapp says:
May 6, 2013 at 4:37 am
Ugh… I hate to post anything that might be viewed as anything less than glowing, because I love scrivener as much as you do!
But I just want to caution Windows users that our version of scrivener does not (yet) have the sync feature. So while it’s still
very easy to use Dropbox, and go from your desktop to your laptop, or even your iPad…. you have to use import/export, and
go through several extra steps. However … Scrivener is so awesome, it’s still worth it.
Reply
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Stephen Woodfin says:
May 6, 2013 at 8:59 am
I may be not understanding the full sync feature, but I use Scrivener for PC and save projects on Dropbox. When I
open the project on any of my computers, it is synced to the latest version of the project I saved on Dropbox. So it is
really seamless moving between computers.
Reply
lauriegienapp says:
May 6, 2013 at 9:29 am
Stephen.. perhaps it’s just a matter of terminology. Scrivener for Mac actually has a menu option called Sync.
Scrivener for PC does not (at least, as of the April 2013 update). So PC users can use export and backup and
use Dropbox to access projects between computers… and as long as we open the latest version, make my
changes, close it, and then open that same version (now changed) the next time we open the project on a PC,
we’re all set. However… if I wish to work on my iPad, as Elena described… (and I agree with her, you can use
Plaintext, or Nebulous…. I personally prefer Textilus)… since I do NOT have the sync feature available to me,
it’s a matter of importing the new material, which ADDS TO (rather than syncing with) the latest version…
and I just have to make sure I delete the outdated stuff
Reply
Stephen Woodfin says:
May 6, 2013 at 9:42 am
Okay. Yes, that is clumsier than what I’m used to. Thanks, SW
Reply
Elena Aitken says:
May 6, 2013 at 11:25 am
Thanks, guys, for clearing it up.
I use Scrivener for Mac and I sometimes forget that the PC version might not have the
same features.
There might be a few extra steps, but in my opinion, totally worth it!
John Castle says:
June 7, 2013 at 3:59 am
I use Scrivener for all of my work — novel, novella, screeenplay, nonfiction essay. I love everything about Scrivener. It is, to
my knowledge, the only truly scalable writing app out there — by which I mean that you can engage as few or as many of the
features as suits your individual style. No other writing app I know of is that flexible, and that is, in my opinion, what makes
Scrivener such a winning proposition.
Reply
Vybarr Cregan-Reid says:
June 7, 2013 at 5:09 am
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I use it for my formal academic writing, for non-fiction, and for my blog (www.psychojography.com). It is the best piece of
software for writers. Nice post.
Reply
Dorthea says:
August 22, 2013 at 1:25 pm
This blog, “6 Reasons Why Scrivener Is The Best Writing Tool
EVER | Wordbitches” illustrates the fact that u know precisely what you are writing
about! I really 100 % agree with your blog. Thanks a lot ,Jennie
Reply
Rebeca Schiller says:
August 26, 2013 at 7:13 am
Great post and thanks for the mention!
Reply
CKR says:
September 29, 2013 at 6:56 pm
Well, this is months late, and a whole lotta dollars short, but I gotta tell you, while what you suggest might work for you, and
works on a Mac, those of us on the PC cannot easily sync with the ipad. There are many reasons for this — chief among them
the fact that the iPad, like all IOS devices, is a data roach motel.
As much as I loved using it, the fact that there was no Scrivener for the iPad pushed me into a Windows 8 tablet (NOT RT!).
There, I can use Scrivener, Windows recognizes that my data is my own, and I don’t have to use drop box, but can actually
sync the files directly.
None of this is an indictment against Scrivener — which is an excellent writing tool that I use on my PCs. It’s more that the
entire idea behind the IOS platform is that Apple owns and controls my data, and that there are very few useful tools to
actually write on the iPad. Yes, there are a few, but the fact is, they ALL have something missing. Some (Textulus, I believe),
don’t understand the simple concept of subfolders. I don’t know why, but those guys cannot seem to understand how much
more powerful it would make their app. Other apps, cannot seem to get rtf to work (which I understand is a bit of a problem
on IOS). And I won’t even go into the utter disaster the Office product is on the iPad. It’s simply unusable.
So… Scrivener rules. But, like everything else Mac, it rules best if you USE a Mac computer — and that’s something that I
can’t see in my future. If they ever get Scrivener for the iPad off the ground (and there is some recent movement in that
direction), I’ll consider going back to the iPad. But for the foreseeable future, it’s Windows 8 on a tablet.
Reply
search says:
May 20, 2014 at 9:07 am
Having read this I believed it was very enlightening.
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Wordbitches
I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this information together.
I once again find myself spending way too much time both
reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!
Reply
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