Day One of Scrivener

by RS on October 27, 2010

I wasn’t planning to write anything until Saturday, but I really cannot contain my enthusiasm for this marvelous software. Yesterday, I was still in the throes of completing all my deadlines, plus trying to get photos for an article I wrote for the print issue of HAND/EYE Magazine (this issue is all on Haiti, so you don’t want to miss it).

I was going back and forth between word and Scrivener, writing my stuff but still going through the tutorial when I finally decided to jump right in and play around with it. The first thing I did was create a binder for HAND/EYE Online. Every week, I have a folder with all the articles and images that will run online. So I created a binder and in it, I have a folder that I labeled Articles for October 28th. And then I created a file for each article. Because there are importing bugs, I simply went to my article, copied it and pasted it into the body of the text editor. And voila, I had my first Scrivener file. The neat part is that each folder and text file comes with a corresponding notecard. So on the notecard I can write a sentence or two summarizing the article. I love this feature because once I have all my files, I can switchover to the corkboard and see all my notecards. Another feature to notecards is that I can label them (article, chapter, research etc) give a status (first draft, revision, final, done). And I can timestamp when I modified it—so no more searching for the current version. I can also assign keywords, and whole lot more, which I haven’t even touched upon yet.  The best part of notecards, especially for HAND/EYE is that I can see my summaries for each article and actually use that when I write the letter from the editor. That already that has saved me time in trying to figure what I have to write.

For the actual complete article, there are some formatting bugs and right now they’re not so much a bother. I know this is just one of many iterations of the beta version, and it’s really no big deal to just copy and paste it back into word and format it the way I want. But I can imagine how powerful it will be once the full release is ready in February.

The second task I did was to create a photo album for each of the artists profiled in the articles. I kept that in my research binder. Each folder has the photos and each photo is essentially a snapshot that’s on the corkboard. Again I can move them around add notes to them like captions etc.

I was so impressed how well organized this system is that I actually went ahead last night and planned next week’s issue. So now I just have to write/edit the stories, but I have a majority of the pieces ready to go to my graphics guy next Monday.

Since I was in such an organizational roll, I went ahead and brought Julius over to Scrivener. Now, the BIG problem was that I couldn’t find my current version, but finally remembered I had it in Writing Outliner add-in program for Word. So I copy and pasted eight chapters, played around with the formatting and set up my notecards on the corkboard.This is how it looks

Scrivener Corkboard with Chapters from Julius

Pretty nifty, eh? Now I have to transfer all my research and notes over, and start. . . .REVISING! In the mean time, I’ve started outlining The Wilde Solution so I can get a jump start on Monday.

One final thing I did and that was emailing my project files to myself so I can have them on my netbook too. Worked like a charm, but I think as further back-up I might get an account with Dropbox and keep things there as a back-up.

More to come on Saturday with a mini-tutorial!


Hi Rebeca,

Sounds like you really love scrivener. I'm on the trial version, but I'm going to buy it when my 30 days are up. I'm looking forward to using it for NaNoWriMo.


I'm loving it! Now I have so much more of an incentive to revise and just keep writing!

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