Cool Tools: Writing Software (Mac and Windows)
I've been doing a lot of writing lately, on a very big project, and I've found a writing tool I really love: Scrivener 2. Word felt too much as if it were "in my way" and didn't provide me with tools to facilitate a big writing project. I've used Scrivener many times before, but now that I've used version 2 for a while, I love it so much more than any of the numerous writing applications I've tried through the years.
Things I really love about Scrivener 2:
- The binder concept makes organization a snap and very versatile. I use a Manuscript folder with chapter subfolders and a Research folder with chapter subfolders. Easy. Clear. A Clippings folder contains anything I highlight and save to clippings from a quick right-click.
- I simply drag and drop or clip info into my research folder: text, pictures, audio, video, web pages... You get the idea.
- I can write in small chunks and later re-organize those chunks with simple drag and drop.
- I love the cork board and note cards. They feel comfortable and make reorganizing the writing so simple. I organize the project so each written chunk is a notecard when I'm in note card view.
- The outline mode is helpful and provides quick access to lots of information.
- The full screen writing mode focuses my attention on the writing. No tools, no distractions—just write.
- While writing, I can open anything in the manuscript, research, or clippings folders in a floating window to inspire my thinking. I can open as many things as I need.
- The amount of meta information I can use, notes, comments, footnotes, annotations, etc. that can be added is incredibly powerful and easy.
- I can split my window, have my cork board with my note cards on one side and my writing area on the other. Actually, you can put anything you want in either of these sides or change it to top and bottom, and add floating windows, and...
- The finished project can be compiled in numerous formats (Word, PDF, Manuscripts, Proof Copy, Open Office, Final Draft [scripts and plays], webpages, ebooks [Kindle and iOS], etc.
- I can remain in sync across multiple devices using the cloud.
I could go on and on. This program is incredibly powerful and flexible without adding a lot of complexity to using it. Scrivener works well in a personalized work flow. Use as much or as little as your writing projects demand.
Here's a screenshot of one of my workflow windows.
Several videos about the software are available. May I commend these:
1. A Quick Overview of Scrivener 2
2. Numerous other video tutorials
3. An author's (Yuvi Zalkow) overview of his use of Scrivener
Scrivener has won numerous awards and certain should. I highly recommend it. (And no, I am not getting anything from Literature and Latte for this recommendation. I doubt they even know I exist over here on this side of the pond. It's simply a tool I use and love and therefore recommend freely.)