Going Steady with Scrivener and Evernote

My favorite Scrivener feature without any doubt is the research folder of the Binder.  As you can see with one of my WIPs, I use it for the outlining process, images, documents, PDFs and so forth.

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For several years now I’ve used Scrivener as the hub for my research, but I discovered I needed something else to store all the material I gathered. I played around with DevonThink, and I’m not 100 percent convinced I need it.

Evernote was an app I downloaded, but rarely used until this year when I decided to spring for the premium version. Conclusion: it was well worth the $45 investment.

Gwen Hernandez recently posted an Evernote/Scrivener tutorial on her site and you can see how she uses it to import a note or a hyperlinked Table of Contents.

I go about importing a note in a different manner. How so? Let me show you.

This week I’m taking a how to structure a short story/novella course. At the moment, I have a vague storyline about three women who have ties with the Spanish Civil War. There’s quite a bit of literature about it so I plan to Google and save whatever I can find in Evernote.

After conducting a simple search, I found a senior thesis about women prisoners during and after the Spanish Civil War that I want to save in Evernote using my Evernote extension in Google Chrome.  I save the web page as “Simplified Article.” The reason behind this is that I don’t want all the garbage that appears on a web page.

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When it’s saved in Evernote, I select the note and in the pane to the left I see the entire article. Typically the page still has a lot of unnecessary text so I clean it up more. A couple of things to note…because I have the Premium version of Evernote, I can highlight sections of the note that I’m interested in as well as write comments.

Next, I go to File->Print. At the bottom of the print menu, I have several choices of how I want to print it. I want to save it as PDF. Once I select that choice, a window will open of where to save it. I save it on the desktop so I can easily drag it into my open Scrivener project’s research section. That’s the way, I’ve been importing my PDFs from Evernote. But as I scrolled further down the menu I noticed that I can actually skip the save to my desktop step and save it directly into my open Scrivener project.

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Now remember, you can only import PDFs into the research folder so before you select Save PDF to Scrivener in Evernote, the research folder needs to be selected. Once I’ve done that, I click on Save PDF to Scrivener, and in seconds, the PDF appears at the bottom of the research section. When it imports into Scrivener it’s untitled so click on it and label it.


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I find this method easier and it’s fast. Give it a whirl and let me know in the comments if it works for you.

Can You Hear Me Now?

Can You Hear Me Now?

(Click on the link. It will download. Open it and listen).

And now for text if you prefer reading….

I tend to conduct numerous email interviews. I like email interviews because it’s easier to not misquote the person you interviewed. But I also need to be prepared for phone interviews. That means I need a decent recording application.

Today’s tutorial encompasses how you can transfer audio files from other recording applications into Scrivener.

Method One:

I use SuperNote, a recording app for the iPhone. SuperNote has the capability to upload an audio file directly into Dropbox and from Dropbox I can download it into iTunes. From my iTunes song library, I simply drag the recording into the research section of that particular project (if you’re curious, I’m writing an article about invasive species in the Adirondacks).

In the research section, you’ll see a file with a musical note. Click on it, and it will open to a black page in the editor. At the bottom, you’ll see the play, pause, rewind and forward controls along with the volume control to the left, and to the right a tiny rewind control for when you pause it and want to hear what was said a few seconds earlier.

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Method Two:

Scrivener also provides an internal recording application. You can find it under Project->New Media File->New Audio Note.

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A few things to note, and this is important! Before you click New Audio Note, you need to be in the research folder. This is the only place where you’ll be able to save it. If you’re conducting an interview and you’re in the draft section of the binder, you will lose the entire recording! I suggest you create a recordings folder in the research section, label it as Recordings or Interviews. Hit the expansion button to open it.

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Now…go back to New Audio Note. A window will open.

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If you’re recording from text you’ve written, you can move the window to another part of the screen so as not block it. To record,  hit the red button and start speaking. Once you’re done, hit save. The interviw will go directly into the recording file in the research section. Next label the file with the person’s name or the topic and date it.

And that, dear readers, is how you record in Scrivener!

The Omm of Scrivener

It’s been a very long time since I posted a tutorial online and I am sorry that I’ve neglected my faithful readers, but this business of freelance writing, teaching the five week courses, and private lessons is surprisingly time-consuming.

I’ve been wracking my brains to show you something that’s not only super neat, but useful. After perusing Literature and Latte’s forums, I found the perfect lesson.

So…you all know how I like to customize my work space and change colors, icons, and layouts. This is a neat layout for those of you who rather be in the zen mode to write. In other words–no distractions.

But wait! Scrivener has a Composition mode feature and you’ve provided that tutorial. Stop teasing us!

Patience, grasshopper, for what I’ll be showing you will take you to a very different level. Let’s say you want the features of distraction free Composition mode with the added feature of Split-Screen. For instance, you want to see your document but also the Corkboard in distraction-free space. To do that, activate the Split Screen feature. Next lock in place the Corkboard.

This is what we have thus far:

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But we know how to do this! Tell us something we don’t know!

Next go to Preferences->Appearances. In the section that says Full Screen, check Always Auto-Hide Toolbar in Full-Screen Mode and right beneath it check Hide Binder and Inspector when Entering Full-Screen Mode.

Did you do that? Good. Now enter full-screen mode, and this is what you have:

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It’s still too busy.

Okay…we can do more to make it look less busy. Don’t like the ruler? Take your mouse pointer to the top of the screen to unhide the menu bar. Go to Format->Hide Ruler. Don’t like the format bar? Go to Format->Hide Format Bar.

But now I have something special to show you. Don’t want to see the header or the footer? Well guess what? You can hide those as well. Activate the Editor screen, and like above take the mouse pointer to the top of the screen until the menu bar appears. Go to View->Layout->Hide Header View. Follow the same steps and hide the Footer View. Now activate the corkboard, and follow those same exact steps.This is how it looks like:

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Well, that is kinda neat, but I want the corkboard on the left.

Do you now?

Click on the corkboard, and take your mouse pointer to the top of the screen until the menubar appears. Unlock the Corkboard by going to View->Editor and uncheck Lock In Place. Then go back to View-Layout->Swap Editors.

Oh…that is cool. But I don’t like the corkboard’s background, and I want the editor to be a softer color.

Fine…that can be changed as well. Let’s tackle the corkboard first. Just like you did before make the menu bar appear. Go to Preferences->Corkboard. Go to Corkboard Background and select Custom Color. Activate the color box by clicking on it and the color wheel window will open. Select your color. Close it out by clicking on the red X.

To change the Editor’s text background, simply go to Preferences->Appearance. In the section that says Customizable Colors select Editor->Text Background. Activate the color window by clicking on it, and a window will appear. Select your color and close it out by clicking on the red X.

If the index cards are too white, simply follow the same steps as above, but choose Index Card Background. And this is how it looks:

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But what if I want to select another text file for the editor pane?

Two ways to do this: If you take your mouse pointer to the extreme left the Binder will appear and you can select your text. Once you move the pointer away it will hide itself. The Inspector works in the same manner.

There’s another way to view text files and that’s via the corkboard. Before you hide the corkboard’s footer, make sure the double arrow icon is activated then click on an index card and your text file will change in the Editor.

Wow! That is super neat!

I told you so. Now go write.

Namaste.

New Five Week Course Starts March 2nd!

If you missed the last session, a new five week private class is scheduled and it starts March 2nd. What to expect? Well, here’s a breakdown:

  • A daily tutorial Monday-Friday.
  • The lesson should take no more than 60 minutes to read through and do the homework.
  • A Scrivener group on Facebook for students who have signed up for the class. Here you can ask more questions, post screenshots, trouble shoot and share organizational writing tips.

Here’s what 25 days of lessons consist:

  • An email with what to expect from the lesson.
  • New for this session: A List of Command Shortcuts for each lesson
  • New for this Session: Weekly Quiz
  • New for this Session: Weekly preview and recap

Week One
Lesson 1: Starting a new project in Scrivener
Lesson 2: The Editor
Lesson 3: The Inspector: Synopsis, General Meta-Data, and Document Panes
Lesson 4: Scrivenings Mode
Lesson 5: The Corkboard

Week Two
Lesson 6: Outliner and Custom Meta-Data
Lesson 7: Split Screen Mode

Lesson 8: Document and Project Notes
Lesson 9: The Scratch Pad
Lesson 10: Customizing Layouts

Week Three

Lesson 11: Composition Mode
Lesson 12: Project Find and Replace
Lesson 13: Document Find and Replace
Lesson 14: Project Targets
Project 15: Project and Text Statistics

Week Four

Lesson 16: Sanpshots
Lesson 17: In Annotations
Lesson 18: Comments
Lesson 19: Collections
Lesson 20: Splitting and Merging Documents

Week Five
Lessons 21-25: Compile

Bonus Week Six
Question and Answer Week

Tuition is $200.00 made payable via PayPal. To sign-up for the class contact me at rebecaschiller425@gmail.com.

New Month-Long Tutorial Starts January 12th

To kick off the year, I am offering a one month beginner’s Scrivener tutorial for Mac and Window’s versions starting January 12, 2015 through February 13, 2015. The cost of the class is $200.

Students will receive an email Monday through Friday with step-by-step instructions, screen-shots illustrating examples of how your workspace should look, and homework assignments. Reading through the material and completing the homework assignments should take no longer than 60 minutes.

I am available via email to answer questions and to trouble-shoot problems. For this session, I am currently accepting 20 students for this session. Registration for the class closes on January 9, 2014 at 5:00 pm EST. To register, please email me at rebeca@simplyscrivener.com.

Custom Layouts

Wow! It’s been a long time since I posted. My excuse…lots of writing projects, and the Outlining in Scrivener course. I should add that in January I’ll be teaching a Scrivener for Windows course. More details to come in the next couple of weeks.

So…let’s go over Custom Layouts. I showed how you can customize the tool bar and workspace, but you can also customize the layout as well.

Here’s my standard layout: The Binder is open where I can see my folders in the draft section and the various folders in the research area. The Inspector is open as well. This is the way I normally like to work.

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One of the neat features that Scrivener has is the ability to recall exactly where you stopped typing. It also remembers your layout. So give this a try. Type a sentence or two, and place the cursor between the two sentence. Hide the Binder and the Inspector. Close the project, and reopen it. See? It’s exactly how you left it.

So let’s fiddle a bit with the layout. Scrivener provides you the option to change and save your layouts. You can create several layouts for different phases of the writing process.

To create a new layout for both Mac and the Windows version, first create the layout you want to save, followed by going to Window->Layouts->Manage Layouts (or in click the Layout Manager icon in the tool bar).  A window will open, and as you can see I’ve created a handful of layouts.

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To save a layout, create one that you use often for all your projects, and follow these steps:

1. Create layout

2. Go to Window->Layouts->Manage Layouts

3. Click on the plus (+) sign at the foot of the Layouts window. A field box will open. Name the layout. To use that layout, hit Use.

To delete the layout, select it and click on the minus sign (-). To modify the layout, make your changes, and in the Layouts manager, click on the gear wheel (actions menu) and select Update Selected Layout. Close the window and you’re done.