For those who are wondering, I’m close to finishing Scrivener 3 Compile Mastery for Windows, so look for an announcement on that in the next few weeks. Until then, you might enjoy an interview I did about Scrivener on the WRITE NOW! Workshop Podcast with Kitty Bucholtz.
We had a lot of fun chatting about our favorite features and how we use them, as well as the best strategy for getting started with the software.
If you prefer video, you can even watch us on YouTube. (And, yes, I do need better lighting for my rare on-camera appearances. Hey, I’m used to sharing my screen with you, not my face.)
Find the episode on your favorite podcast app, or at one of the links below.
Here's a little primer (complete with videos) I created to get you started with Scrivener for iOS. If you're looking for a full class on the app, check out Steve Shipley's Udemy course.
Creating a New Project
Scrivener for iOS can be used as a standalone program without the Mac or Windows version. As such, you can create a new project within the iOS app. This also means that if you’re on the road and want to start something new, there's no need to set it up on your computer first. In a minute, I'll tell you how to move the project to Dropbox, if desired. Here’s how to get started.
Tap the + Create Project button on the right side of the screen. Alternatively, you can tap the “Tap to create a project” button under On My iPad at the left.
In the New Project dialog box that appears, tap in the text box and type the name of your project.
Choose whether to save the project on your iPad or Dropbox. If you’re not working with the Mac or Windows version and don’t need to sync with Dropbox, choose “On my iPad.” If you’ve already set up Dropbox for syncing, and would like this project to be available on your other devices, select Dropbox. NOTE: Remember, you can always move an iPad project to Dropbox later. I discuss this in the next section. The project is created using Scrivener’s basic Blank template, and the project is opened.
Video review – 50 secs
Closing a Project
When you’re ready to close a project, simply tap the left arrow button in the upper left corner until you reach the Projects screen.
Sometimes, if you’re in a document in a folder in a project, you may have to tap it several times to back up through the layers.
NOTE: If you tap your iPad’s home button to exit Scrivener, the project doesn’t close. If you plan to work on that project on another computer/device, be sure to return to the Projects screen and sync before exiting.
Moving a Project
On the main Projects screen, projects are organized in two ways. Under the Projects column on the left, they are grouped by location and sorted alphabetically. The project tiles on the right side of the Projects screen display the projects by “last viewed” date/time.
You cannot adjust the order of display in either list, but you can move them between your iPad and Dropbox to change their location. Here’s how.
In the Projects column, tap Edit. The Projects column enters Edit mode.
Press and hold the three lines icon to the right of the project you’d like to move until the project box turns gray.
Drag the project to the desired location. The project is now shown in its new location. NOTE: If you moved a project from your iPad to Dropbox, a blue triangle appears to alert you that the project has not been synced to Dropbox.
Tap Done to exit Edit mode.
Duplicating a Project
To duplicate a project (same as File—>Save As on the Mac or Windows version), do the following.
In the Projects column, tap Edit.
Tap the circle to the left of the project to duplicate.
Tap the Duplicate button (squares with + inside) at the bottom of the Projects screen. Scrivener creates a complete copy of the project in the same location as the selected project and adds a number to the end of the new project’s name.
Tap Done to exit Edit mode.
Deleting a Project
Here’s how to delete a project.
In the Projects column, tap Edit.
Tap the circle to the left of the project to delete.
Tap Delete at the bottom of the screen. When the confirmation message appears, tap Delete. The project is removed from your list. NOTE: If the project is stored in Dropbox, it won’t disappear from Dropbox until you sync Scrivener, even though the file no longer appears in your list.
Tap Done to exit Edit mode.
Renaming a Project
To rename a project, do the following.
Press and hold the project name (in either list) until the Project Title dialog box appears.
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.
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.
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).
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?
Last week, Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn got me to sit down and chat about Scrivener on video. We had fun dishing about our favorite writing software and sharing tips on how we use Scrivener to write. If you get a chance, come check it out.
I hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving holiday. Enjoy your weekend!
Is your New Year’s resolution to get better at Scrivener? I can help!
I know I said the blog was on a holiday hiatus, but I’m so excited that I got my registration page up and running for my next Scrivener class, I just had to share. If you’ve been patiently—or anxiously—waiting for it, you can find out more and sign up on the Scrivener Online Classes page.
Are you trying out Scrivener for NaNoWriMo this year? Or maybe you’ve been using it for a while, but aren’t sure how to make the best use of it for this one-month sprint. I hope these tips (and links to how to implement them) will help you meet your 50K goal.
Set targets: Set up your 50K target with a November 30 deadline, and choose the days of the week you plan to write. Scrivener will calculate how much you need to write each day to stay on track, and adjust as you add words.
Keep a change log: I’ve mentioned several times that I shoot for no-edit writing during NaNo by utilizing a change log. How?
Add a text document to your Research folder—or create a new folder, maybe one called Ideas with the light bulb icon (right-click to change icon)—and call it Change Log.
Every time you think of something you need to go back and fix, add it to the document and get back to writing as if you already made the change. You can edit later, but if you change your mind again, it’s a lot easier to edit the log than the manuscript.
Annotate: How many times have you been writing along and realized you don’t know the name, speed, value, location, or color of something? Or maybe you can’t decide on the character’s name or type of car. Mark it, skip it, and get back to writing with these options.
Use an annotation or comment to make a note in the manuscript.
Don’t like annotations/comments? Mark the spot in your script with a character combo that won’t show up in any normal word (I use ZZZ), and move on. Some people like to differentiate, for example ZZR for research and ZZE for areas that need more work.
You can easily search for the marked up spots later.
Idea Log/Outline: Got a great idea for something coming later in the story? Create one or both of these files and store them with your Change Log.
Jot down notes for upcoming scenes in an Idea Log.
Create an outline that you can fill in as ideas come to you. This will be great for keeping you on track when you’re not sure what to write next.
Unused Scenes: Writing a scene but don’t know where to put it? Have an old scene that doesn’t belong, but you don’t want to delete it (I never delete anything)? Create an Unused Scenes folder and store the scenes for later.
Whatever else you need: You can keep your research materials, photos, character sketches/GMC, prewriting, and anything else that helps you, right inside your Scrivener project. I’ve just scratched the surface here, but hopefully this will get you started.
Even if you don’t make 50K, if you’ve added words, you’re still a winner where it counts.