Planning

Lost Your Scratchpad? Here It Is In Scrivener!

Scrivener is a powerful writing tool. I write about it weekly with tips and usage ideas. To read more of my posts click the Scrivener tag or category at the end of the page.

If you read this blog very much then you know I like finding and figuring out how to use the various tools and settings in Scrivener so I can write more efficiently. I also like to share these usage tips so other authors also benefit from Scrivener . With that in mind, I’m sharing another tool in Scrivener that you may not know about: the Scratchpad.

Scriv Scratchpad

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First let’s find out how to open this tool. Click on Tools and then on Scratchpad (from the keyboard that’s CTR + Shift + 0 (that the numerical zero not the letter O).

Opening Scratchpad gives you this basic window.

Scriv Scratch Pad

But what’s the purpose of this tool? If you use the Inspector you may already use the Document Notes to add various details to a document in progress. But Scratchpad is just what is sounds like – that scratchpad you keep by your computer and take ad hoc notes. Guess what? Scratchpad in Scrivener acts the same way but you can do more like send it directly to a project that you currently have open.

So here’s how it goes – say you are like me and have several projects open. I might be journaling or revising or whatever and a stray thought hits me about something else I’ve got open. This happens to me especially while I’m journaling. I might write the thought down in my journal and there it stays until I want to put it in the appropriate project. Then I have to go searching through my journal trying to remember what day I wrote the note. The same thing happens with that scratchpad by your computer.

With the Scrivener Scratchpad you can just open it and put the note there. If you have the project open that relates to the note you can send it to that project. Here’s how – at the bottom-center of the Scratchpad is the “Send file to Scrivener” button. Click on this and you are shown all the projects you have open. From there you get a series of fly-out menus that allows you to drill as far down as necessary in your project and send the note to the chosen location. There are 2 choices – sending the note to the location you choose or appending the text to the location you choose. In other words it will either copy the note directly to the chosen location or place the content directly in that location.

Scriv Scratchpad CopyHow does that work? I just wrote an example note and sent the copy to this post in my Blogs 2015 project. It creates a sub-document to the document in which the text is located. No more lost notes, now it’s in a specific location.

When I choose to append, it puts the text at the very end of the document. This is handy for something like what I was doing last night and should have used the Scratchpad for instead of bouncing around between projects to do. I had placed some notes in my journal about my novella, What Is Needed, regarding a change to the ending. I could have easily used Scratchpad to write that ending and, as long as the project was open, append that content to What Is Needed.

Scriv Scratchpad Appended

You can write in a document while the Scratchpad is open so if you work on a large screen or multiple montiors you can drag it around and leave it open. Also, there’s a feature to print contents of your screen and save it or even choose part of a document to print to screen like this:

Scriv Scratchpad Printscreen

So Scrivener’s Scretchpad is a simple tool for making notes and inserting them into documents or making screenshots that you can save or insert as a note somewhere else. It’s a handy tool I plan to use more often. Since you can use the keyword to turn it on quickly, you can use the same keyboard command to close it so you can toggle in and out of Scratchpad as needed. Give it a try and see what you can do to better track your odd notes, ideas and such and then insert them as necessary into other projects.

Book Cover Green Top & Bottom Cover - CopyDo you often lose track of your notes either on paper or in Scrivener? If you use Scratchpad, how do you make use of it? 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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Just as a note: I am not affiliated with Scrivener in any official capacity. For support questions, pricing and other concerns please contact the vendor.

 

Scrivener Templates and Project Management Pt. 5: Book Reviews

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Scrivener has been a key component to improving my productivity this year. I’ve recently written about various uses for Scrivener such as blog posts, newsletters and even template email messages. Additionally, I’ve shared about using Scrivener templates including some resources for these. In my last post I shared about managing templates. In Part 4 I released my Author Platform Management template. A few posts pastin this series I indicated how I’ll use Scrivener more in the coming year. In my most recent edition I revealed how I’ll approach my increased usage. Today, I’ll reveal a new template and I’m planning another how-to post next week as well as another addition to the Author Platform Management template.

I recently had a Twitter conversation with V. Walker who read how I’m using Scrivener more this year. She expressed her interest in the software with a retweet. I noticed that she was, among several things, a reviewer.

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What ensued was a short conversation about how she might use Scrivener – as a reviewer. I hadn’t thought of it previously but what another great way to make use of this software. Some people do short reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, etc. But some people review more seriously than others. The Binder is a great way to manage numerous reviews.

Screenshot: Book Review Template

Screenshot: Book Review Template

Imagine reviewing lots of books but being confused as to what you’ve done already. With Scrivener you could easily track them and schedule your reviews. What an improvement over individual files if you used a single project for each year.

Well that gave me another idea for a template – reviews. It works much like those for newsletters or blogs but I’ve added some specifics that I imagine serious reviewers might need. I’ve include a rudimentary binder organization and a calendar of schedules as well as tracking. Again, it’s free to download. Feel free to make your own suggestions and I’ll be happy to update and share a newer version.

What other ways can you think of using Scrivener? 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 from Microsoft Office.

Also, in no way do I represent Scrivener or sell the product. All questions about the product, its sales, support and licensing for your own computing needs should be referred to the company.

Splitsville: Using Scrivener to Split Content

Scrivener is a powerful writing tool. I write about it weekly with tips and usage ideas. To read more of my posts click the Scrivener tag or category at the end of the page.

Scrivener LogoFor some reason Thursdays are becoming Scrivener question days that translate into a Friday blog post. However, that’s fine with me, I can re-arrange my schedule and go with the pitch. I received a question via Twitter asking how to split one chapter into two within Scrivener. It’s a good question so I thought I’d share it today.

First of all, as with all major changes to your manuscript, I advise making a snapshot so you can rollback easily. It’s a small detail but it can really save you some stress if you make a mistake.

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Scrivener basically recognizes individual folders as a chapter and the sub-documents as scenes. So there can be several ways to organize a chapter. You may have one chapter’s content in a single document. You may also have several documents within your chapter-folder representing several scenes.

In the first scenario you can use this procedure to split the chapter. Click to the location in the content where you want to split the chapter so that the cursor is blinking – presumably at the beginning of a paragraph. Next, click Documents slide down the menu to Split and choose “at Selection” off the fly-out menu. This will give you a new document with the content split.

Scriv Split

At this point, if you want the new document to be a folder that’s easily done. Just click Documents again, slide to Convert and choose Convert to Folder from the fly-out menu. The folder will be at the same level as the original document so make sure to move it to the left in the Binder (right-click on the folder, got to Move on the context-menu and choose Left).

Scriv Convert

In the second scenario where you have several scenes, you basically want to re-arrange your manuscript some. Create a new folder at the same level in the Binder as your other chapter folders and name it accordingly. Then just drag individual scene-documents into the new folder. If you need to split a scene-document use the same procedure as the first scenario to do so. However, don’t convert this split scene into a new folder, just drag it into the new chapter-folder you’ve created.

If you make a mistake – and assuming you’ve made your snapshot – just rollback to the original and start over. Remember, the Binder is your basic organizational tool in Scrivener and it’s what makes this software so incredible – you can make structural changes like these very easily.

CouldBook Cover Green Top & Bottom Cover - Copy the Split command be the answer to a major change in your manuscript? What tips do you have to re-structure in Scrivener? 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.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

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