Microsoft Word has been my go-to for years…kinda because they seem to have taken the whole market. Everyone accepts Word, so you play by their rules and basically put up with any frustrations. Thanks to Scrivener, I left Word in the dust. Never looked back.
I felt validated when Jeff Goins agreed. He wrote an article “Why I Will Never Use Microsoft Word Again.”
While there are a million reasons why Scrivener is better than Microsoft Word, here are my top six:
1. Scrivener imports and exports to Word.
No fretting! If I have to send a document in Word format, it’s an easy export. I also import Word documents when I’m editing or even going over past projects that I used in Word. You get the ease of using Scrivener to write and still remain accessible to the rest of world clamped in Word’s ball-and-chain.
2. Binder format
Scrivener acts as like a binder, with unlimited sections, sub-sections, folders, and sub-folders. I’m taking two classes this semester to finish my degree (hallelujah!), so I copy the assignment off the webcourse page and use Scrivener to work from.
On the left, you’ll see the multiple folders I’ve made for my classes. When it gets too overwhelming to look at, I’ll close a few folders and it’s all tidy again. Scrivener uses “Projects,” so I have my UCF project, a “Books I’m Writing” project, and different projects for different magazines I write for, etc. It can be absolutely anything. I also have separate projects for my clients.
This may be my most used feature. If I need a link, I can put it here, which means I’m not searching for sites I’ve visited. It keeps it tidy. There is also a tab for references and notes.
Under the Research category, you can have websites that will work with you offline. This is so helpful if you’re writing something and using several sites as sources.
4. Typewriter Scrolling
It’s a small thing, but I love that my cursor stays in the middle of the page as I type.
There are different ways to view your work. Corkboard lets you see things in an index card format. You can add labels and statuses, which makes it easy to know what you’re still needing to work on. It’s also customizable.
6. Split Screen
When I’m editing or working from two documents, split screen is a lifesaving tool. I can easily switch documents in and out by clicking on them from the binder. This feature alone was worth every penny.
There are a million features — time tracking, word count goals — and I’m sure I’m only using about 15% of all that Scrivener can do. It’s available on both Macs and Windows.
They also have a free trial, which only counts the free days on days you actually use the program. I tried it for two days, then life happened, and came back the next week. Instead of losing nine days of my trial, they only counted the ones I’d used.
I’m a fan. Jeff Goins is a fan. I’m at the Florida Christian Writers Conference this week and have found other fans! Our friends at Scrivener have generously given us a coupon code so that you can get it at a discount. It’s a steal at a flat rate of $45, but using coupon code BETHANYJETT at checkout will give you 20% off the regular license.
[reminder]What feature of Scrivener do you love best? Join the conversation.[/reminder]