Scrivener is undoubtedly one of the most popular book-writing software available today. In this Scrivener review, I will tear down this productivity software and compare it with other similar software like Microsoft Word. In the end, I will figure out why so many authors prefer this software for their writing projects.
Writing books is not difficult. However, writing an enjoyable book is a tremendously difficult task. It needs to be creative, well defined, coherent, and organized.
There are so many fragments that need to be connected, so many files that need to be organized.
Gone are the days when you might scribble your notebooks with a pen while sitting on the balcony. Today more and more authors are shifting towards the digital platforms and are making the best use of technology to write faster.
Scrivener is one such writing software that provides several facilities to streamline your writing process.
So what exactly is Scrivener?
You must be having many questions in your mind. Let’s not waste time and jump into the topic. I hope it will be helpful.
Here is what I will cover in this Scrivener Review.
- What is Scrivener
- Is Scrivener Suitable For You?
- Binder Organizes Your Documents
- Readymade Templates to Kick Start Your Project
- Set Up Your Deadlines With Scrivener
- Import Anything
- Scrivener Color Styling
- Speed Up Your Writing With Split Screen Facility
- Customize Toolbar Easily
- Restore Previous Changes
- Worry-Free AutoSave
- Publish Easily
- Scrivener – Pros and Cons
- Scrivener Pricing
- Scrivener Review – My Final Thoughts
What is Scrivener?
Scrivener is a writing, editing software, and file organizer that makes your writing experience comfortable. It is a book-writing software that was developed in the year 2007 by Keith Blount who himself is a renowned writer.
After facing several issues of storing and organizing notes, he came up with an idea of this software to reduce the workload while working on a project.
This word processing software also provides an inbuilt, robust document management system which allows the users to organize notes, research material, and write up so that it can be accessed and referred easily.
It is supported on both Windows, macOS, and iOS and includes several readily available templates to kick start your writing project.
Is Scrivener Suitable For You?
Are you a writer who writes fiction, nonfiction? Then this software is for you.
You can handle complex content, bookmarks, and notes in one place and in an organized way.
No need to move your files from one folder to another as this software can automatically manage your content in just a few clicks and makes your writing and learning hasslefree.
Scrivener is also popular among academics. Authors like Dr. Stephen Kinsella, Mark Vopat, and Samuel Arbesman are big fans of this software.
Biographers, Children’s Authors, Journalists, Lawyers, Novelists, Poets, Screenwriters, Students, Translators, and writers from many other fields use this prductivity software for their projects.
So, if you are starting an extensive writing project, Scrivener could be very helpful for you.
Below, I am discussing its features that make this software so powerful.
Binder Organizes Your Documents
Plan your book before you even start writing your first paragraph. Isn’t it cool?
Binder area makes your writing planning flexible by allowing you to create chapters and notes in one place.
It allows you to organize resources and chop up your complete project into several micro-jobs.
The best part is that it is highly customizable and gives you the freedom to add and use different resources in a single place.
Readymade Templates to Kick Start Your Project
Scrivener comes with a considerable number of readymade templates. Fiction, nonfiction, thriller, screenplay, whatever be your requirement, there is a template for you. While reviewing this software, I found this facility very useful.
These templates are designed to make your task easy. Select your project type and you are ready to go with a pre-made template.
The best part of these templates is that you can import third party templates that serve any genre, any style, or any usage, thus making it a much simpler and useful tool.
You can also choose between a simple or complex layout depending on your requirements.
A template saves your time and multiplies your efficiency. Moreover, you can download additional templates from Squibler and make the best use of it.
Set Up Your Deadlines With Scrivener
While writing this Scrivener review, I found this target setting feature a bliss for most of us who work under pressure.
You can set a deadline or target for your work so that you can finish your work on time. This feature brings the motivation to work and reach the goal on time.
With the ‘Session Target’ feature, you can set your daily goals while working on a project. It keeps track of your progress and shows the performance based on the number of words, characters, or pages completed.
I have reviewed several book writing software on this website. However, this target setting feature is one of the best in class. This feature could be beneficial for those who are competing for the NaNoWriMo challenge.
Book writing is definitely one of the toughest creative tasks.
First, you create the storyline and then compile different pieces together at the last stage.
Your data might be scattered or hidden inside a folder.
With Scrivener, you can import and make them accessible from one place. This saves your time and ensures the accessibility of content from one place.
Use this feature to import projects from MS Word documents, Final Draft scripts, images, PDFs, web pages, audio files, and even movies. To me this is the most versatile import facility, I have ever tested.
This useful feature in this award-winning writing software follows an old-fashioned way of story boarding.
You can place your card on the Corkboard and organize them with an easy drag-and-drop facility.
With this feature, you get access to all your content from the top and arrange them easily to make things work according to your working style.
Scrivener Color Styling
As you can guess from the name, this powerful tool helps in differentiating content and notes from each other.
While using this feature, you can customize everything by just a few clicks and set the color code for unique documents such as chapter, scene, image, location, research, and many more.
Making color combinations for different tasks makes it easy to identify files and reduces confusion while working.
You can easily save your time by referring to a file with just one glance.
Speed Up Your Writing With Split Screen Facility
Working on two different tasks simultaneously on Scrivener is another popular feature.
You can easily work on your document and check your research at the same time. Now if you want to refer to a previous chapter, just click that chapter and you reach there.
During the review session, I have used this facility explicitly. No doubt it has doubled my speed of working.
Customize Toolbar Easily
Scrivener also has an option to customize the toolbar so that you can list down necessary tools in your toolbar, which can be accessed by just one click.
You can optimize your work by filtering out the necessary tools for your working environment.
Restore Previous Changes
Scrivener allows you to restore to earlier versions of your content. While reviewing it, I found this feature to be very helpful. It can even save you from any accidental mishap.
This is another useful feature of this writing software. Autosave facility periodically saves your document. So, you need not worry about saving them manually.
You can easily compile your book as an ebook and make it live in no time.
Worry about ebook format?
Well, Scrivener comes with several export options including
- epub (Amazon Kindle) format
- Apple iBook (IBA) format
- Universal PDF format
No need to add external plugins. With just a few clicks, you’re ready to export your work.
Do you want to check before publishing it? You can check the preview of your ebook right from the main menu.
This makes the book publication process hassle-free and saves your time.
Scrivener Pros and Cons
Scrivener is definitely the most popular writing app for professional writers. However, one size does not fit all. So, let me tell you about the pros and cons that I have experienced while using this software.
Scrivener Review – Pros
There are several arguments that I can put here, which makes it better than any other writing software.
- It keeps everything in the right place: Before switching to Scrivener, I spent several hours managing my files. Thanks to this great application, I can now focus on my writings only. The fantastic combination of a powerful word processor and database management software makes my writing process hassle-free.
- I can set writing goals and monitor performance: For writers, it is essential to balance quantity and quality. Now I don’t need to maintain a worksheet to keep an eye on my daily and weekly progress. This work is done by the application automatically.
- The free trial: This application comes with a 30 days trial version. You are free to install the software, use it for a month and decide whether you want to purchase it or not.
- Affordability: There are numerous free writing tools in the market, but they don’t come close, considering the number of features offered by this software. You only pay for once to enjoy all the features for life long.
- Offline writing: Scrivener is bliss for internet addicts like me. Offline writing has improved my writing pace significantly. Now, I’m not distracted by social media tabs anymore.
- Easy chapter management: It lets you manage your chapters easily. You can also rearrange them whenever required.
- Easy-to-use templates: There are numerous easy-to-use story templates available in the market. Use them to kickstart your novel writing project. This is probably one of the major reasons why writers prefer this software for their long writing projects.
Scrivener Review – Cons
No software is perfect, neither this one.
- It took me a long time to get familiar with all the features: This software comes with a lengthy tutorial, and every user needs it badly. However, you can start writing by using a few basic features and can explore the rest later.
- No support for Grammarly: Being a nonnative English writer, I need Grammarly badly for my writing projects. Unfortunately, there is no support for Grammarly yet. It’s painstaking to switch between two software where productivity is your primary concern.
- Switching among the devices is not smooth: If you want to use different devices for writing, then things may get a little complicated, as device switching experience is not as smooth as other competitors.
- No Android version: Mobile devices have become mainstream these days. However, Scrivener is not available for Android devices. Though I’m not a big fan of writing on mobile devices, several people may prefer it.
Scrivener Coupon Code and Pricing
Scrivener offers two types of licenses for macOS and Windows; both are priced at $49. This is the single-time license fee that you need to pay for the software’s standard version. However, if you want to use it for academic purposes, go for an educational license available at $42.
Moreover, the iOS version is priced at $19.99 only.
Do you need a cross-platform license? If you want to use this application on both macOS and windows, go for the bundle package, which is available at $80.
Use my exclusive Scrivener Coupon Code: LetterJunction to avail flat 20% discount on any version of Scrivener.
Scrivener Review – My Final Thoughts
Scrivener is undoubtedly one of the most powerful word processing software and workflow organizers. It saves your time by organizing files and research materials in one place. You can easily access and reorganize your content with just a few clicks, and with my 20% Scrivener coupon, it’s a steal. Don’t hesitate to purchase this award-winning software. I’m sure it will help you write your next masterpiece.
I hope you find this Scrivener review helpful. Please do comment in the section below.
Update for Windows Users:
Scrivener recently has launched Scrivener 3 for Windows skipping the intermediate version 2. Here are the feature highlights of Scrivener 3 for Windows.
- Modern User Interface
- New style system to make it easier to format
- The compilation is easier for new users, while it is more powerful for those who know the inside out.
- Now supports ePub 3 export
- More control on navigation
- Writing history keeps track of your daily activity
- “Arrange by Label” mode keeps track of threads
- Improved Metadata
How to Update to Scrivener 3 for Windows?
According to the official announcement, this is a paid update for those who bought it before 20th November 2017. However, you are eligible for a 49% discount if you update from version 1. If interested, avail of their 30-day trial before updating.
For everyone else, the update is free.
FAQs Related to Scrivener
What does Scrivener do?
It is an application to assist any writer in every possible way. Whether you are a bestselling author and preparing the final draft of your next sensation or a college student struggling with assignments or an occasional blogger who writes just for fun, you will find scrivener useful. Here you will get all the necessary features to make your writing fast and manageable.
Is Scrivener better than Word?
Every person has his own preferences. One should select any writing software as per their convenience. Scrivener is no doubt an advanced tool with more features that provides better writing experience as compared to MS world.
Is Scrivener worth the money?
Yes, as per my personal experience and the reviews I got from my fellow writers, Scrivener is worth every penny for those who like to play with words.
Is Scrivener a one time purchase?
Yes, Scrivener is a one time purchase. You can get this one for just $49 for Mac or Windows or $19.99 for iOS.
Does Scrivener work offline?
Yes, you can conveniently work offline.
How to sync Scrivener with Dropbox?
If you want to synchronize it with the Dropbox then, First of all, ensure that Dropbox is installed and running properly on your PC or laptop. If not then install it from http://www.getdropbox.com.
1. Now open the projects screen
2. Tap the “sync” icon
3. In the menu click on “Link Dropbox”.
4. Grant synchronization access for your Dropbox account to the scrivener.
5. Now the Dropbox settings panel will appear. You can select the projects which you want to be synchronized with.