You get the Scrivener review first in the Writers Apps series, because this is the app I am currently using. Each review is a big project, so I plan to post them up, and periodically update them, otherwise we’ll never get started. Also, it would be nice to have your comments along the way, especially if you are the creator or developer. I might miss things. Keep checking in for the latest news. 

Scrivener is created and published by Literature & Latte Ltd., and is the brainchild of Keith Blount, writer turned developer. Other products: Scapple.


Price: Around USD45, more if you buy the Mac/Windows bundle.

Platforms: Windows and Mac (El Capitan ready).

Online/Offline: You download and install on your computer or device, so technically file-sharing is not automatic. However, if you save your Scrivener files (file extension .scrivx, .scriv) in the cloud (DropBox, Google Drive, One Drive, iCloud etc.), whichever you use, then you can open them from any device on which you have Scrivener installed.

I bought the bundle and I have the app installed on my Mac Book Pro and on my Dell with Windows 7. I haven’t yet checked out if there are mobile options (e.g. for iPad).

Description: In KB’s own words, “Intended to be a first draft tool” for writers of long form fiction in any genre, in which the user wants to organize both their own writing and research/back-up material. However, it’s grown to be more.

Bonus: 30 days free trial, counted when you’re live in the app.

Quick Tip: Read the Quick Start in the Tutorial before you do anything.

Scrivener. Y'know - for writers.

Update 15/01 Read this before you use your cloud storage
The folk at Scrivener give us this advice about file-sharing.

Scrivener Quick List

The Binder: Organise your project in sections and folders. Start a Project and select your template. You’ll see how the Binder displays folder/file options for that template. Drag and drop your documents into them. The Draft folder holds only text files. The Research folder holds all media.

The Editor: The main window which displays the document you are working on. I adore the Enter Full Screen function (black button with two diagonal arrows in top menu) which transports you into free-writing mode with no distractions (but more about detail in another post. This is the Quick List.).

The Inspector: In right hand sidebar. Create the heading & synopsis of your document. Marvellous for chapter and/or scene summaries. Metadata functions are powerful – e.g for holding a common feature such as character POV (works like a tag).  Keywords function also allows you to tie in documents with a common thread, such as story timeline.

Snapshots: A form of version control. Take a snapshot of your text before you edit. Use roll back button (in Inspector) to pull up the previous version if you change your mind, to restore your original version. We love this.

Compile: Bring all your documents together as one for a read through/final draft, or to prepare for export to another file format. We love this too.

Split Screen: The nicest way ever to split up. Just great.

Scrivener summary in one sentence

I love it because the Binder shows me all my supporting documentation and research at my fingertips, and the functionality allows me to gallop through all my work from technical docs to novel to screenplay.