Here’s a little gem half-hidden in Scrivener. It’s do with managing notes for a whole project — bits of text that relate to a book as a whole, not the individual documents that make up the text.
Many of you may be familiar with Alexander Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas. A staple of the startup scene, it’s a great shorthand for brainstorming and mapping out a new business venture. We took a Creative Commons-licensed PDF of the canvas1 and turned it into a digital, editable Scapple board (pictured below).
Scapple? Scapple is a brainstorming tool created by the good people who make Scrivener.2 In the words of its creators:
Scapple is an easy-to-use tool for getting ideas down as quickly as possible and making connections between them. It isn’t exactly mind-mapping software—it’s more like a freeform text editor that allows you to make notes anywhere on the page and to connect them using straight dotted lines or arrows.
Combining the Business Model Canvas and Scapple together has allowed us to quickly map out where our business is going, without having to go through laborious cycles of printing and scanning paper. Plus, everything looks better in color.
Download model here - The Civic Beat Reader » GitHubbed: Scapple Business Model Canvas + WordPress Recipe.
I can’t believe I’ve never used this software before, and I suspect that it exists by default on most computers for accessibility reasons. True to form, Scrivener makes it super easy: Just go to the Edit menu, and scroll down to Speech. Before I found this option, I would compile my document to a plain text file (Under Compilation Options > Transformations > Select Convert to plain text: Paragraph spacing and indents), open in TextEdit, and select Speech from the Edit menu. If you have a long document and want the ability to pause and rewind, you can even convert text to a spoken track in iTunes. I’ve never tried this myself, but the technique is explained in detail here.
more here - Scrivener tip: Text to speech | Nicole Feldringer.
So, Scrivener is a project management and writing tool that helps writers take their work through from idea to final draft. Unlike everyday word processing tools, it was created with authors in mind. And it’s being billed as a way to significantly improve the creative writing process, giving authors all this and more:
- A distraction-free writing environment
- A way to outline and structure ideas logically and take notes appropriately
- Create storyboards easily
- Track themes using keywords
- Combine multiple scenes in one place
- Use the corkboard view to pinpoint and categorize scenes for chapters, scenarios, and concepts
- A hierarchical file structure, where you can rearrange files by dragging-and-dropping virtual index cards in the corkboard
- An outliner
- A split screen mode for editing multiple documents at once
- A full-screen mode
- Make snapshots, where you can save a copy before making drastic changes, so you don’t lose the original – faster and easier than DIY version control using Word
- Mac and PC versions
- Choose from a variety of export options including PDF, Kindle, ePub and iBooks Author
more here - Scrivener software – An Authors Best Friend?.
When I first started teaching others how to use Scrivener, I often skipped the basics because I figured everyone knew how to use a computer, therefore they already understood this stuff. I was wrong. I’ve realized there are a few key concepts that many users—new and old—don’t understand well.So, here we go. Back to basics.
I became aware of Scrivener, an alternative writing tool, several years ago, and have been intrigued ever since. At first glance, the benefit for creative writers is clear, but numerous scholars also use Scrivener. Here’s part of the description from the product page: ”a powerful content generation tool for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents . . . . its focus is to help you get to the end of that awkward first draft.” While word processors really focus on generating text in linear fashion, Scrivener is adapted for managing writing projects which take shape in a more reflexive or piecemeal style.
How could this fail to be of interest to academics? However, because I no longer undertake such project, I’ve looked at how academic researchers report using it. This post summarizes what I’ve found.
In this blog post I want to show you a cool trick for making semi-graphical Status labels in the writing program Scrivener, and then explain some of the reasons you might want to do this. I used it to make a manual progress bar.
￼I use Scrivener and Markdown to write my blog, as well as writing documentation and training material. If you don’t know, It is a structured writing program – usually used for novels, scripts, screenplays and academic writing – which can output to PDF, HTML, Markdown, LaTeX, ebook, Final Draft, Word formats and more.
more here - A Manual Progress Bar in Scrivener.
Recently, I’ve been writing shorter pieces and have developed a new workflow in Scrivener. At the beginning of a writing session, I work on the text which I’m prepared to write (i.e. I have all the references and ideas fleshed out in an outline). At a certain point though, I lose power with writing and find myself searching for references or outlining ideas.
A workflow I’ve developed to deal with this dip in energy is to use the rest of my writing time to start organizing Research in my scrivener file. (The research tab is always there but I never knew quite what to do with it). This way, when I return to writing the next day, the document is downhill-parked and I can hit the ground running by using Scrivener’s multi-scrivening view to slowly but surely turn my raw research into text.
In addition to the five reasons to write your thesis in Scrivener there is at least one more: Scrivener provides a possibility of seeing and editing concurrently several snippets of texts. It’s invaluable if you want to align several distant parts of your thesis (e.g. Aims, Discussion and Conclusions):
Writing a thesis is painful. And it should be. But the pain should rest in wrestling with ideas and data not with software. Scrivener takes the pain out of the software side and ensures that your attention is always in the right place.