Scrivener Review: The Best Way To Organise Writing Projects

By Jamie McSloy / April 2, 2017
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Scrivener Review

If you’re a pro-writer or want to be, then you need to invest in good tools. Now, we’re not like carpenters or electricians who have to spend hundreds – if not thousands – on their equipment. If you have a PC and an internet connection, you’re most of the way there.

However, sometimes bootstrapping doesn’t work for writers. At one point I used to use Wordpad and deliver all of my files as .rtf files. This was less than ideal.

Now I don’t bootstrap so much and am happy to spend money on software and other tools; especially if they make me more money in the long run.

Scrivener is going to do that, but it’s not because it’s a word processor. You can type words and save them on your computer with Word or even Wordpad if you need to. Like I said, when I started freelance writing I did that.

Scrivener is much better for a reason completely unrelated to typing itself and it’ll make your life a lot easier and your business more profitable.

Let’s get on with telling you why.

Scrivener Review

To call Scrivener word processing software is to do it a bit of a disservice. I mean, it is definitely an alternative word processor to Microsoft Word. That said, I think it’s major strength isn’t really as a word processor; it’s as organisational software.

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Microsoft Word is pretty clumsy for editing, rewriting and working with multiple documents. Scrivener isn’t – and that’s its major strength. So there’s no better place to start than by talking about how to organise notes with Scrivener.


I’ll start with the biggest reason to get Scrivener writing software: It’s ability to organise your work is unparalleled.

I first bought it a few years ago and thought it was clunky, but after playing round with it for the last couple of months, I’m never going back to Word.

I’ll show you why in pictures in a moment, but let me say something else first: this is not just software for writing novels and other fiction. Essentially, Scrivener’s biggest strength is that it can help you keep all sorts of different files and folders within a single document – and this is true whether you’re talking about a novel:


Or a website project:


Also, thanks to Scrivener templates, once you’ve created a folder structure you like, you can save it as a template and then use it over and over again for every project.

For the above, that’s my standard Niche Site template within the Scrivener writing program.

Here’s what I used to deal with when I started a new website:


Tons of new files and folders made my computer completely useless when it came to searching for things due to the clutter.

Scrivener helps you avoid that.

Also, this organisation will help you complete projects quickly. If you scroll back up to that novel structure, you’ll see I’ve split the chapters into various sections. “Theme Stated” and “Catalyst” and the like are labels I use to make sure my novels all contain the hooks I need them to.

This has allowed me to increase the speed I can write a novel dramatically. You could also use this same structuring approach for any project; you can use Scrivener for academic writing, create a Scrivener journal template or use it as a simple research tool. If you’re creating sales funnels then you could also use it to organise those. This software has unlimited options for organisation, so I’ll move on.


You can get Scrivener for Windows or Scrivener for Mac. From what I can tell, it works the same on both machines, but I’ve never used an Apple computer so maybe there are plus points or minus points. I’m not sure about Scrivener for Mac but Scrivener for Windows has never lost my stuff unlike Word, and I’ve never encountered any errors that crash or otherwise impede my ability to work.

In fact, there’s a plus point I haven’t mentioned yet; Scrivener will auto-save your project if you accidentally hit that red X in the corner or otherwise close the program.

This is a lifesaver when you’re an idiot who has fifty tabs open at a time across multiple applications. That’s me.


Gamification is important for writing success.

One of the annoying things about being a professional writer is that ultimately your success will come down to how many hours you’re willing to sit in front of your computer typing. Even with the most interesting projects in the world, writing is a time-consuming activity. If you’re working on a big project, then you’re going to go long periods before you have material success.

Gamification is important because it makes you feel like you’ve done something valuable and worthy of inner praise even if you haven’t completed a project yet. Scrivener has a simple tool that achieves this:

How To Get Scrivener

Scrivener is downloadable and the process of ordering is seamless. Simply go to the Literature and Latte website by using the links below depending on whether you want Scrivener for Mac or Windows. You can get your confirmation email and have your Scrivener download working within minutes. There’s even a built-in Scrivener tutorial that’ll give you a brief overview of how to use all the features so from the minute you buy scrivener to the point where you start using Scrivener for writing.

Get The Software Here for Windows and Here for Mac.

P.S. If any of the above makes you feel like Scrivener is a massively complicated bit of software then don’t worry. It’s easy to use and friendly. If you really wanted to push the boat out, you could get the incredibly comprehensive yet quite pricy Learn Scrivener Fast course which costs $127. It’ll teach you everything.

For a cheaper alternative, Scrivener for Dummies is a Scrivener book that’s got good reviews.