Tips

Managing Scrivener Projects and Templates Pt. 6: Newsletter Update

Sciv Newsletter TemplateBack in December I created a Scrivener template for Newsletters which is available for download. The post was rather popular so I wanted to update how I’m using it with readers and whether it’s been beneficial.

I’ve created a 2015 Newsletter project and organized it according to my schedule for this year. I’ve cut back on my newsletter to once a month to allow for more time to write as well as not overburden list members with messages.

The template has been very helpful to me. I’m able to write an edition rather quickly from the template based on regular features. It’s quite simple to create a new newsletter and write content in short order and transfer various sections into my Mailchimp template easily. This lessens my time working in the online template and reduces errors and issues with the content.

During the month, I write various ideas in a new folder to further develop once I’m ready to write the next edition. In this way the template acts as a repository of ideas for each newsletter. Once I’m up to date on the ideas they can be written rather easily.

I’ve found using these kinds of templates very useful for other types of content including blogging, my platform management and even book reviews. Scrivener’s design and functionality have increased the amount of content I can produce across the board and project templates are a major key to my productivity as a whole. With the correct configurations I can write without putting too much energy into preparations so I’m much faster at completing a piece of content.Scriv Newsletter Doc Temp

Additionally, I’m using document templates withing my projects now so I’ve set one up for my newsletter that includes all my regular content, headings and formatting. I’ve posted an updated Newsletter template that includes document templates. To learn about document templates click on the link below. To learn more about making a managing project templates check out these posts:

Managing Scrivener Projects & Templates Pt. 1

Managing Scrivener Projects & Templates Pt. 2: Newletters

Managing Scrivener Projects & Templates Pt. 3: An Author’sPlatform

Managing Scrivener Projects & Templates Pt. 4: Author Project Manager

Book Cover Green Top & Bottom Cover - CopyManaging Scrivener Projects & Templates Pt. 5: Book Reviews

Under Construction: Templates & Scrivener

Scrivner Tip: Making Document Templates

Have your begun using templates? How has your productivity been impacted? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

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Project Management For Writers Pt. 9: The Priority Trap

CalendarLast month I sent my book, The Bow of Destiny, to my editor for a structural edit. I expected the book to be out of my hands for about thirty days. This meant it was a perfect time to work on the next book in the series, An Arrow Against the Wind, as well as some of my short fiction projects.

I set a schedule to complete the rough draft of the second book and got started. I also began a hefty overhaul of a short story that was a very rough draft. I worked into a balance with these projects after weighting their priority according to my available time.

By the time I was in a steady rhythm with these projects I had accomplished a great deal. I had written several chapters in the second book and revised the short story into a cohesive draft. I expected to finish the rough draft of An Arrow Against the Wind by the time The Bow of Destiny came back from the editor.

WritingBut to my surprise, the editor returned the manuscript several weeks ahead of schedule. There was good news as she far fewer structural issues than previously so the book is rounding into shape. I just needed to address these structural issues and be ready for the next round of detailed editing.

But now I was faced with problem. Should I finish the rough draft on which I was working or pivot to edit the manuscript in progress. I had allotted time to complete An Arrow Against the Wind but I also needed to have The Bow of Destiny ready for the editorial schedule. What should I do?

This question stopped me cold for a few days while I weighed the options. I thoroughly enjoyed writing like I was on book 2. However, the first manuscript needs to be completed.

Dueling priorities had me trapped. The quandary had to be examined. I took a serious look at An Arrow Against the Wind. I knew there would need to be some structural changes to the manuscript. I decided to go ahead and do these to find out how much writing was still needed to complete the rough draft. In the end, I found that I needed much more than I originally thought. I could still write higher word totals each day and finish the draft by the deadline.

Puzzle Pieces.jpgNext, I considered all that needed to be addressed on the first manuscript. I started a fluid schedule to determine when I could finish the changes and be ready for the editorial schedule. I found that I would be well ahead of the schedule.

In the end, I’ve chosen to complete the edits for The Bow of Destiny. It needs to be completed first and be ready for the editor’s schedule. This weighed much more to me than the second manuscript. The advantage to completing the editing was that I would have the manuscript waiting for the editor and I could already have pivoted back to completing the rough draft of the next book, even have that completed.

The take-away here is that you can make a solid schedule but circumstances change. A project schedule should be fluid enough to allow for shifts in priority. Learning to be flexible with your schedule is necessary to managing projects – and for me these books are parts of a larger project. How you prioritize your projects is up to you but flexibility may be necessary.

Book Cover Green Top & Bottom Cover - CopyWhat unexpected events have you encountered that required changes to your schedule? How have you adapted to circumstances to move in a different direction while still accomplishing your over-arching goals? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

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Clip art licensed via Microsoft Office

Scrivener Tips Pt. 7: Elements For Your Document Template

A few weeks ago, I shared about using the document template feature of Scrivener. It allows you to create a template internal to your project with differing features and content so you can start writing more quickly without forgetting your commonly used elements for your documents. It makes the process of writing approachable.

But what should you include in a document template? How much should you include? What’s the benefit of this bit of work? Let’s take the last two questions first.

Scrivener Set As Template Folder

As to how much you should put into a document template, this depends on your needs. If you need a simple template with all the common formatting for your project then it’s a straightforward process. If the nature of your project requires more information then you should include that. For instance, with a blog or newsletter project (assuming you are using a year-long project for these), you can use the document template to include common content that appears in all your posts or newsletters.

As to the benefits, it’s a time-saver. You won’t waste time re-creating the same document conditions every time you start a new chapter, blog, newsletter, etc. Also, this template usage eliminates forgetting to include common content such as those used on blog posts and newsletters.

But what should you include in your Scrivener document template? Here are a some suggestions:

Scriv Tip 7 Doc temps1. You may want to create several templates depending on what your project is. As an example, I’m using a year-long project for my blog posts and newsletters so I may need multiple templates for these. This is especially true of my blog project where I develop different kinds of posts. I can make different templates for Scrivener posts, interview posts, serial posts and general category posts.

2. Include your ending content for blog posts. Again, these may differ based on the type of post.

3. Include introductory content. Again this may differ depending on usage but it sure helps you jump into writing without much worry with getting everything correct.

4. Regarding formatting, do you have special formatting that will be used in your project several times? Then you should consider creating a template that incorporates this formatting. There’s nothing so time consuming than trying to re-create formatting to match earlier content. With the document template you can re-create that formatting by choosing to use the template.

Scrivener New From Template Cork

The main take-away is to include as much as necessary to simplify your writing process rather than get bogged down with unnecessary details. As I run across a repetition of form in projects I’m creating a new document template or adding necessities to existing ones. That way I will spend less time on continuity and complete my writing faster.

Book Cover Green Top & Bottom Cover - CopyHow can you use document templates in your Scrivener projects to streamline your writing? If you’re already using this feature, what elements of your writing do you include in your document templates? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

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Screenshots from my blog project

Just as a note: I am not affliated with Scrivener in any official capacity. For support questions, pricing and other concerns please contact the vendor.