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Scrivener for iPad and iPhone is here (TLDR: I love it!)

corkboard with picture cardsFinally!

For years now, iPad® users have been begging Literature and Latte for a Scrivener app for iPad and iPhone®. It took a few years longer than planned (for a variety of reasons), but (I'm guessing you've already heard) the Scrivener app is finally here, and it’s pretty awesome.

The app combines the familiar, easy functionality of iOS with the best of Scrivener’s features.

And it works with both the Mac and Windows versions of Scrivener.

extended keyboard and adding annotations

What’s In It?

The Binder, Corkboard (iPad only), and Inspector are there. You can set goals and track progress (with a cool new look), add comments and annotations, color code your documents, apply Label and Status values, add document notes, and even compile your work. And lots more.

In many ways the app is more intuitive than the original software, though some of the best editing features may elude users until they discover the extended keyboard.

progress bar

Honestly, I wasn’t one of those who craved Scrivener for iOS—I’ve always preferred writing on my laptop when on the go—but this app is a game changer. Assuming I’ve already synced my projects through Dropbox (and have wifi or cell access) I can simply open the project on my phone or iPad and tap out my thoughts.

I can even create a new project right in the app and sync it with my computer later.

So now I can leave my laptop at home when I want to travel light and still get some writing done. I’m already seeing the possibilities, especially after spending the last month moving/traveling (with a couple more weeks to go before we're in our house).

the inspector open

The Deets

Interested? Search for “Scrivener” on the App Store® (beware of imitators, you want the app from Literature & Latte) and buy it today. Or click here for a direct link. At $19.99, I think it’s more than worth it.

In fact, the functionality is so good, you could use it as a standalone program, without syncing to a computer at all if that’s your preference.

Before You Start

I strongly recommend at least skimming through the built-in tutorial, especially the part on syncing. Most of the questions I’ve seen in user groups about syncing today could have been answered with a quick read-through. We all want to jump in and play, but you’ll have much more fun—and less stress—if you take a few minutes to educate yourself first.

A few notes:

– Before you try to sync, you must update your desktop/laptop software to the latest version (Mac and/or Windows).

– You also need to have/get a Dropbox account (if you use this referral link, we both get an extra 500MB of storage, but no pressure!) and install Dropbox on all the computers/devices you plan to use with Scrivener.

– Remember that when you finish working on a project on your iOS device, you must click the sync button in the navigation bar before trying to open it on another computer/device. Likewise, ensure that a project on your desktop/laptop has synced to Dropbox before trying to open it on your iPad or iPhone.

– Probably obvious, but for syncing to work properly, you must have an Internet connection on all affected devices.

Have fun writing on the go!

Are you using Scrivener for iOS yet? What do you think?

Need more help? Sign up for an online class, read more Scrivener articles, or schedule a private training session. If you don't already have it, you can download Scrivener here.

Paper books: my low-tech treat

I love reading on my Nook or iPad. I’m a techie, gadget girl at heart, but beyond the cool factor of carrying an entire library of books on one slim device, I love the convenience.

Finished reading a book while on vacation? No problem, just open another. Or download a new one—as if I’ll ever get through my massive to-be-read pile. Instant gratification. No waiting. No worries about losing my place when my sticky flag loses its grip, or holding down pages with my fingers while on the cross-trainer, and the rest of the world doesn’t have to know what I’m reading while I sit at the doctor’s office.

I can even read through my own WIP without lugging around my laptop!

And I can’t ignore the environmental impact of an e-reader. Once manufactured, an iPad has a very small carbon footprint, using less than 12 kilowatt-hours per year. Plus, no trucks, planes, or boats are needed to ship my books, and no massive distribution center is required to box them up.

Yet every once in a while, I crave the paper.

It’s not just the smell of the pages.

It’s not just the feel of the paper under my fingers, or the sound it makes when I turn the page.

It’s not even the heft of the book in my hands.

After working most of the day in front of a screen—sometimes more than one—I need a break. The iPad can’t give me that. Even the Nook with its e-ink, paper-like look can’t give me that. Sure, once I’m engrossed in the story, I’ll probably forget, but there are times when I can’t face another screen.

Those are the times when I want a good old analog, paper-in-my-hands book. It’s my low-tech treat.

Luckily, I still have quite a stash.

Photo credit: OLD BOOK © Peter Dolinsky |

Take note, paper

How I take notes in 2012.

I may never take notes on paper again. Not if I can help it, anyway.

I took my iPad to my chapter meeting. Not only was the presentation noteworthy, but for me, so was the process of jotting it all down.

I’ve long wanted to take my laptop to such events, but for various reasons decided it wasn’t a good idea. For one, I think the clacking of keys is a bit obnoxious in a small, quiet room with only the speaker talking.

We also don’t have tables or desks at our normal venue, so my lap would get hot, and I’m not lugging my lap desk!

But I can’t overstate the advantage of digital notes. I take them directly in Evernote, which means they’re instantly searchable, organized into a notebook, and tagged. No more notes hidden away in a notebook on a shelf that I may never crack open again. And they're accessible from anywhere I have internet access, not just my living room bookshelf!

With apps like MindNode, I can mind-map the meeting if I want, or with one of the drawing apps, I can draw pictures. Heck, with the awesome camera, I can take pictures (directly into Evernote even).

What’s not to love about that?

The iPad cometh

Mine's like this, except black, and with less interesting photos.

Okay, I'm super busy, but I just had to mention that I got a new iPad 3, and it's awesome. I'm still playing around with it, but one of these days I'll put up some posts about how to use the iPad with Scrivener.

And when Scrivener for iPad comes out–someday–I'll be ready. 🙂

Photo courtesy of Apple Inc.