Monthly Archives: March 2015

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.