Updated · Oct 12, 2022
Best for: Writers looking for a feature-rich word processor with great organizational options
What Is Scrivener?
Scrivener is a writing application created by Literature and Latte. It acts as an alternative word processor and is one of the most popular writing programs on today’s market.
Scrivener has deemed itself the ultimate organizational tool for writers. In fact, it is one of the best applications for writing long-form. Whether you’re writing a research paper or a novel, the Scrivener app provides you with all the features you need to write, edit, and organize your work.
Scrivener is enriched with a wide variety of features to make the writing process much easier, including:
Scrivener comes with an interactive tutorial that helps you make the most of the application. It shows up once you launch the program and will familiarize you with the different features.
The great thing about this tutorial is that it lives as a saved project within the software. This way, you can always return to it if you need extra guidance.
The binders are some of the most impressive Scrivener writing software features and have been raved about in many other Scrivener reviews. It compiles all your documents into an organized flow, allowing you to keep your research, chapters, and notes in one place.
The binders are very customizable, and you can create as many as you like. You can even break them down into sub-folders and store saved images or web pages within them.
Although Scrivener looks like Microsoft Word or Google Docs, it is very different. It differentiates itself with its templates for different document types, including novels, short stories, essays, research proposals, and scriptwriting.
The templates come with insightful notes that walks you through your writing project. The software also allows you to import additional templates for any style, genre, or purpose.
Sometimes, the most challenging part about writing is writing. An excellent way to keep yourself motivated is by setting goals, and the project targets feature on the Scrivener app can help you do this.
While the project target gives you a rough idea of what you’re working toward, the session targets show you how much you have to write per session. It can also show you other statistics such as character count, pages - paperback, and pages - printed.
Writing involves a lot of research, brainstorming, and note-taking. The Scrivener writing program allows you to import all your important documents directly into the application.
If you use images for inspiration, you can add photos to Scrivener too. We love that it allows you to have everything you need in one place, leaving less space for distractions while writing.
The corkboard feature looks a lot like a real-life corkboard. The idea behind it is to copy the original storyboarding method, which involves organizing your story with index cards.
This versatile feature allows you to lay your chapters, plot, and scenes out in notecards on a virtual corkboard. You can drag-and-drop the cards to rearrange chapters or scenes for easy brainstorming.
One of the issues of writing over a long period involves the endless search for notes or files from weeks or months ago. With Scrivener software, managing your writing project couldn’t be easier.
Every note you take and every document you import/save is stored on the selected project. You can easily search for whatever you need within your project file.
It isn’t uncommon to have random epiphanies during your writing process. These moments of genius need to be documented without interrupting your flow. You can do so with the Scrivener scratchpad.
The scratchpad acts as a virtual notepad that allows you to take down any random thought or idea. You can save it in a binder or a new project.
This is one of our favorite features mentioned in this Scrivener review. Using color-coding, you can organize your scenes, chapters, and notes. How you label your color codes is entirely up to you.
Chapters in the idea stage, first draft, second draft, and finished can all be in different colors, allowing you to keep track of your work. You can also color code according to document type or changing points of view.
The Scrivener word processor is perfect for multi-tasking. Using this program, you can simultaneously work on two documents. It allows you to remain focused while limiting any frustration and distraction that comes with shuffling between two pages.
This program comes with a distraction-free mode. Enabling this mode widens the document and hides all the buttons, tools, and menu bars. If you want to access these tools, you can choose to have a small menu available.
The distraction-free mode is customizable, and you can change the width and height of the space you are writing in. The default background is black, but you can also change the color or replace it with an image.
This feature allows you to store or reference information on any document in your project. While not all Scrivener reviews seem to like it, it can be a beneficial tool.
The inspector gives you the option of creating a synopsis for sections of your work. You can input general document notes, keywords, references, snapshots, and other details.
Because everyone writes differently, the Scrivener writing program comes with many features to help every kind of writer. However, you may not need all the features the program provides, which is why it allows you to customize your toolbar according to your needs.
Reverse Revisions and Auto-Save
Some writers change aspects of their chapters and then realize that they prefer how it was before. Thanks to the Scrivener writing software, you can now reverse any revisions you made. Reverse revisions are made possible with Scrivener’s auto-save.
This tool highlights aspects of your text, acting as a text and grammar checker. You can select what part of your text the tool highlights. The options include direct speech, nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, and conjunctions.
Using this tool, you get a grammatical overview of your work. You can also use it as a sentence quality checker. This feature helps you edit your writing and hone in on your dialogue for a tighter, more put together story.
Once you finish writing, Scrivener can help you publish your book. You can compile your book in any format you like, and it offers three exporting options: universal, Apple iBooks, and Amazon Kindle.
Scrivener is available for macOS, Windows, and iOS. It only offers a one-time payment plan.
- Scrivener for Mac and Windows: $53.00
- Scrivener for iOS: $19.99
There is no Scrivener app for Android. While you can purchase the apps separately, a small discount comes with buying the Window and macOS applications together for $85.00. You can install the software on as many computers as you want, as long as it’s on the same platform.
Scrivener also offers a discounted price for students and academics, bringing the price down to $45.05.
If you want to test out the software before fully committing, it offers a 30-day free trial. These days count for 30 days of actually using the app, not calendar days.
Scrivener Review - Verdict
The Scrivener software is a great writing application with tons of helpful features that any writer can appreciate. But just like any other software, the app has its upsides and its downsides.
The lack of an Android and web application is a significant drawback, as many other Scrivener reviews agree. It’s also a shame that the software doesn’t support collaboration, unlike Microsoft Word and Google Docs.
On the upside, this software offers a lifetime license rather than a subscription model. It also allows you to use the software on more than one device. As if that isn’t good enough, Scrivener offers a 30-day free trial that lets you test it.
While the software’s steep learning curve is a common complaint among Scrivener users, it comes with a detailed tutorial. You can refer back to it whenever you need to.
The abundance of features is another strength of the Scrivener word processor. The scratchpad, corkboard, inspector, and binders quickly improve your writing process. Many writers especially love the organizational functions of this app, and rightfully so. Scrivener can be used offline to avoid distractions. And once you finish writing your book, the software supports exporting and publishing.
All in all, we highly recommend the tool for any writer who’s serious about their work.
How much does Scrivener cost?
The Scrivener price depends on what device you are using. Scrivener offers two different pricing options: $53.00 for macOS and Windows devices, and $19.99 for iOS.
Is Scrivener worth the money?
Yes, Scrivener is a fantastic tool for writers. This word processor application comes with a wide selection of writing and organization features. It also offers a lifetime license, giving you a lot of value for money.
Can I put Scrivener on two computers?
Yes, you can put Scrivener on two computers. Once you have the app, you can download it on as many computers as you want, as long as it is the same platform type.
Can Scrivener be used offline?
Yes, you can use Scrivener online and offline. Using the software offline is a great way to eliminate distractions. You can read more about this feature in our Scrivener review.
Does Scrivener backup to cloud?
Yes, Scrivener backs up your data to the cloud. When you log in to a new device, you can continue working from where you left off.
Deyan has been fascinated by technology his whole life. From the first Tetris game all the way to Falcon Heavy. Working for TechJury is like a dream come true, combining both his passions – writing and technology. In his free time (which is pretty scarce, thanks to his three kids), Deyan enjoys traveling and exploring new places. Always with a few chargers and a couple of gadgets in the backpack. He makes mean dizzying Island Paradise cocktails too.
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