Scrivener for iOS = out next week

This is key software for many authors.

It will be available on 20th July and will work on iPad or iPhone.

Scrivener + TextBlades = dream combination.


I know - this has been my big plan…

Looks like Textblade wins the Who Can Be Slower race.

Not necessarily.

You’re presuming that the 1.0 version of Scrivener for iOS will be fully functional. And that may be the case.

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Its out and the iOS version is almost on par with the desktop versions. Impressive for a 1.0 release.

Frankly this is my use-case writing on the go and I have been waiting for Scrivener and the textblade.

1 down and 1 to go.


I’m considering Scrivener. My use case is note taking and white paper creation with embedded photos, MS Office files, etc. I want to organise multiple notes with embedded content into subject/project categories. Would you say that makes a good use case for Scrivener?


Organise, yes. If the point is you organising and then writing from that array of data, superb.

Others might feel differently, but if the point is producing documents with photos and graphs and things layered and arranged in your final product, I’m less convinced Scrivener is the best tool for that.


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True. Scrivener is not a layout tool. It’s a writing and organizing app.

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Agree with Conrad and msacey. Its really a writing tool. Can be used for all sort of writing including research, white papers etc (I have used to publish internal white papers myself). You can also insert images etc.

But really its not a typesetting/layout software.

If pure storage and retrieval for research something like DevonThink (Mac only) and Evernote might be more appropriate I guess.

I would still highly recommend it though. Just because its such a brilliant app for writing.

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I have been using Ulysses for Mac and iPad for over a year now and love its simplicity. I tried Scrivener a few years ago but it looked very complicated, and the lack of mobile support made me choose Ulysses instead.

Has anyone done a head-to-head comparison between the two environments?


They are sort of aimed at different ends of writing. Ulysses is a great writing tool, and thats what it provides a simple writing environment. Scrivener is at the other end as in it lets you manage your writing project from research to writing to publishing in different formats (PDF,ePUB, DOC) etc.

If you do any programming I would say Ulysses is sort of like SimpleText and Scrivener is more like a full blown IDE.

To take a fiction example. Scrivener lets you break down your writing into book, parts,chapters, scenes in chapters (or POV of a character). Lets you tag individual sections with metadata. And see just the flow of a specific tag (I.e. saying show me the story arc off all pieces tagged with this characters name will show you the continuous text of those pieces so you can hone a story arc).
Can let you rearrange scenes by moving them around so you can change them sort of visually if you want to change the flow of the story etc.

I am just scratching the surface of the features here.

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Found a comparison to Ulysses.

Thanks. I was worried about the learning curve of Scrivener. It looked rather daunting. Whereas Ulysses was very easy to get into. My writing is both professional (I am a research analyst for Gartner) and private (I have started blogging and am trying to produce a politico-philosophical book about the interplay between culture, belief-systems, and human behavior) and does involve a lot of note-taking, ideas gathering, and shuffling things around. So far I have managed with Ulysses and some clever tagging. I just don’t think I have the time to really get to know Scrivener enough to make full use of all it’s features.

Do you have experience with Scrivener’s learning curve?

I do agree it looks daunting at first.

But the best way to start using it is ignore all the bells and whistles at first. Just learn how to break down pieces of text (you can break it down to text with contains other pieces of text etc. as well) and start using that. That in itself will make a huge difference in how you write and the flexibility it gives you, of being able to have pieces of work that you can focus on or even move around if you feel it should go somewhere else etc. And you can pick that up in about 5 min.

Research is also another good area to pick up as its just a folder where you can dump links, documents videos so you can refer to them when you are writing.

Then as you go along you will sort of start thinking yourself would be good if I could do this or that and can check out the help/net/their forums on how to do that specific piece, and keep learning.

Thats how I went about it as I was overwhelmed with it at first as well.

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Thanks. I will give it a go and see what happens.

Here is a good overview that will help you get started as well.

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Thanks so much! One last question: what is the best way to export a group of sheets from Ulysses into a Scrivener project? I would like to keep the structure intact.

Scrap that last question. Sometimes the plain and simple works the best: all you have to do is grab a group in Ulysses and drag it onto a Scrivener project. It will then automagically be copied there, with the structure intact.

Cool stuff!

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Ha ha. No worries.

Hope it works out for you this time.

Its really worth the learning curve, and once you get over that small hump, standard text editors will start feeling really clunky.

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Found an update to the scrivener vs ulysses review I had posted, covering scrivener for iOS.

MS OneNote might be a better solution for this. Or Evernote.