Getting the hang of Scrivener

Now that I’ve completed the tutorial for Scrivener, I’m starting to get the hang of how this application works. In some ways it’s like OneNote as well as AllMyNotes Organizer and RightNote. In fact, it seems to pull in bits and pieces from a lot of familiar apps. In simple terms, there is a tree/folder structure and an editor. And unlike other tools, like Word for example, the focus is on writing, not formatting. That’s one thing I really like, there’s not some over powering, all encompassing, ever intrusive ribbon of formatting and view options that just gets in the way.

The first order of business was to build a structure and import some old writing into it. That was actually quite easy now that my articles have been copied out of OneNote and turned into .TXT files. That was actually done with the help of Notebooks for Windows.

Since these are all older works, my goal was to basically archive them in one place where they could be easily organized and referenced. So far, that’s working quite well. Moving forward, I already have another Scrivener project put together for 2016 with folders related to particular topics. While this is actually quite neat, In many respects, this isn’t really the right way to use Scrivener. Sure, it can be used as a document warehouse, and there’s no reason not to, but it’s really meant for writing longer documents such as putting together lengthy pieces of fiction and non-fiction like books or manuals. For the moment, I’m just trying to organize what I already have and use it as a Binder for the future.

And while I’m not writing a book, at least not at the moment, I can see exactly why people turn to Scrivener. It really does move in the direction of writing small pieces and then “compiling” the finished product. I’m going to practice writing blog articles and when I’m comfortable enough, I do have another, much larger writing project in the works. Some friends and I are working on fiction pieces for Shroud of the Avatar. I can already see how Scrivener will help organize, sort and build the final product.

I also plan to use Scrivener for the “free writing” I do on a regular basis. These are ideas, observations and snippets for later projects that I toy with through the day. I do a lot of writing just for fun and it will be nice to hold them all in one place organized mostly by the month they were written in. Since I can add labels, it will make ideas easier to find so I can expand on them later.

I don’t know if Scrivener will be my daily editor of choice, at least not yet. I have both the Windows and Mac versions so it’s certainly possible, but some of the day to day tasks might actually fall to Notebooks for Mac. It’s just an editor, plain and simple. It has a folder structure, but, at least the way I use it, I just start writing without worrying about where it might fit, or even if it does fit, into the overall structure of what I was previously working on. Sometimes I just get an idea and want to run with it without thinking too far ahead. Those ideas could then be imported or synched into Scrivener and I can go from there.

Once thing I have noticed, and this is simply a result of the development time, there are quite a few differences between Scrivener for Mac and Windows with Mac clearly having the most features. The basics are all still there, but some of the finer tuning doesn’t exist on the Windows side yet. I prefer the editor in the Mac version.

However, I’m really starting to take a shine to Scrivener. It’s taken me awhile to make a commitment to using it, but I can see why writers ditch Word and switch over.

Another benefit will be I can go back and compile everything I’ve written on the whole or on a certain subject to see what topics I covered and how much content it was. I’m always curious as to what really goes into a blog over the course of a year.

So yes, my plan of moving away from OneNote is in full swing.

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