Why I love Scrivener: Let me count the ways

By Katharine Swan On Wednesday, November 19, 2014 At 11:30 AM

I have loved Scrivener since I first started using it, a little over two years ago.  In fact, when I upgraded to a new computer, I skipped Word altogether, and use Scrivener for all of my client work as well as my novels and other projects.  Even short blog posts for clients get written in Scrivener.

Here is a great blog post that lists a few of Scrivener's most useful features, especially for NaNoWriMo participants.  Another blog post on Scrivener that I find useful is this one, about using Scrivener with Dropbox so that your projects are always stored in the cloud, and you don't have to worry about ever losing your work.

Why do I use Scrivener for client work, though?  Here are a few reasons:

  • I can keep my research with my work.  I really like being able to store my research right there in the project with the finished document.  Plus, I can split the screen and be looking at both my research and what I'm writing at the same time.
  • Scrivener makes outlining easy. For longer client articles, I can create different documents for different sections, and write notes about each one on the note cards.  I can also jump around while writing the article much easier than I could with Word.
  • I can take snapshots of my work before making any client-requested edits.  When clients want revisions, I can protect my work first by taking snapshots of the first draft before making any changes.
  • I can keep the word count tracker up on my screen while I work.  When clients ask for a specific length, I can set the word count goal accordingly and watch the progress bar move and change color -- from red to orange/yellow and finally to green -- as I get closer to the goal.  This also helps me to achieve the target word count by making sure I am, say, halfway through the word count when I'm halfway through the sections.
  • Compiling into any file is easy.  I can easily compile a client article into a Word file in order to turn it in.  I also intend to use the software to compile my longer works into ebooks when I'm ready for that step.
There are other reasons why I love Scrivener so much, but these are the primary functions I find useful with client work, and why I write exclusively in Scrivener these days.

What about you?  What do you use Scrivener for?  And if you're not a Scrivener user, what do you use?

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Katharine Swan is a full-time freelance writer with more than 5 years of professional writing experience. In addition to maintaining several personal blogs, she writes a variety of online marketing materials for clients, including company blogs, articles, and press releases. In her free time, she spends time with her horse, reads, and writes fiction.

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