I remember reading about Scrivener on the Internet Writing Workshop’s writing list, and truth be told, I didn’t pay much attention to it because I had purchased another writing software specifically for novel writing. It turned out to be so complicated that I abandoned it and went back to using Word.
I don’t solely write fiction. I write marketing collateral, web copy, book reviews, articles, and blog posts. At the time, the version I had of Word was functional and not as bloated, but what killed me was all the related writing that went with one project. The endless drafts and revisions, and the research. Suffice it to say that with each new document or revision the files kept multiplying and multiplying and multiplying…
You might be raising an eyebrow thinking that my admin skills are not great. You’re right, they’re not. I don’t know how many times I ended up emailing the wrong draft of an article or chapter because of my terrible filing system. What I needed was a virtual three-ring binder or even a file cabinet where I could find every document in one spot without having to open every single file in my documents folder.
And then there was the question of writing a novel (those who read my blog know all my woes, trials and tribulations about the WIP) and keeping that organized. However, in the fall of 2010, my writing life changed when a writer friend on Facebook showed off her scenes via the corkboard feature in a photograph.
I was jealous. I wanted and needed this program. Unfortunately, it was only for Macs and at that time I had an HP laptop. I tried to find a comparable program, but none matched Scrivener’s features or oomph. And so, in a fit of frustration, I visited the Scrivener Facebook page with the intention to plead with the folks at Literature and Latte to design a Windows version. Much to my surprise, in a status update, it was announced that there would be a Windows beta version just in time for NANOWRIMO.
Well, I was overcome with joy. When the time came to download that baby I was first in line, and that’s when I thought I could write a tutorial for the WinScriv version. I liked the windows version, but I confess I was a tad envious of all those Mac users whose version boasted more advanced features.
But something serendipitous happened during the spring 2011: my HP laptop was nearing the end of its life—just a mere 18 months after I purchased it. That’s when I decided to say farewell to Windows operated computers. I went to the “dark” side and purchased a 13” MacBook Pro. The first thing I did after booting the machine was download the then-current Macintosh version of Scrivener. That was almost two and one-half years ago, and it has been bliss.
But what about the tutorials? Well, I thought because there were so many new features in the Mac version, and I was still learning how to use it, I would keep writing them. Since downloading Scrivener, all my writing projects are created in Scrivener. It is my personal file cabinet (click image for a larger view).
The file cabinet was inspired by how social media guru Michael Hyatt uses Scrivener. Thanks to his creative take on organization, he has turned me into a maniac on how I arrange all my Scrivener projects within one project. As you can see, everything I write is here—all neatly categorized and easy to find.
And that sums it all up. I hope Scrivener becomes as an important writing and organizational tool for you as it is for me.