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.

7 comments
NoeKaplan
NoeKaplan

Thank you, thank you, thank you, this method works for me and it's the only one ! (Scrivener  for Windows). 

RobynJane
RobynJane

I'm using Scrivener more and more for my writing. I also prefer not to lug my laptop around with me when I'm out and about, but I am rarely without my iPad, and never without my Android phone, both of which have Evernote loaded on them. I find Evernote's web-clipping function invaluable. Before I started using Evernote, I lost far too many "brilliant" ideas because I could never remember them. And yes, I AM indeed a writer who rarely carried a pen and a notebook!

SarahCorbettMorgan
SarahCorbettMorgan

Totally frustrated with this feature. I follow the instruction and when I select "Save PDF to Scrivener" I get a flash, sometimes even the number of pages being processed, and nothing to my Scrivener file. Note: I only have one project open and I do have Research highlighted before attempting this. What is going wrong? 

RebecaSchiller
RebecaSchiller

@SarahCorbettMorgan Gah. You might have to do what I did--uninstall and reinstall Scrivener. That was the only way I could get it to work. Another alternative is to try printing the webpage. Go to File->Print and in the area that has PDF, click on that. Scroll down and it also has the option Save PDF to Scrivener. See if that works. If it doesn't then you'll have to uninstall and reinstall Scriv.

RobynJane
RobynJane

@SarahCorbettMorgan Rebecca Schiller is absolutely spot-on! I've cleaned up many problems and issues by doing a new, clean install of Scrivener. Don't understand it, but if it works, it works!

GlennHefley
GlennHefley

You might also wish to look into a software package called Qiqqa.. it is free and open source... and so beautiful for doing research. Thanks for the post. I love that feature.