The Top 5 Reasons Why Scrivener is My Favorite Writing Software

Hi everybody,

I promised my writer’s group I would do a quick ScreenFlow demonstration to see what all the fuss is about when it comes to writing in Scrivener. So once it was done, I thought I might as well share it. Click on the image below to view video.


  • Roseanne says:

    Marvelous, what a website it is! This web site presents valuable information to us, keep it up.

  • Thank you for posting this video, Karen.

    So many people are stuck using Word, when there are other options available that are much more powerful.

    Also, this is a great insight into what writers need and find important.

    I’m taking a lot of notes, to implement in our own word processor.
    It’s not as developed as Scrivener (yet), but it is also 1. fast, 2. structured, 3. index card-based, 4. and you can have reference/summaries/and manuscript in same view. (Still missing 5. More export options, though)

    Again, great and helpful video review.

    All the best!

  • Liss Thomas says:

    I’m getting it when I get home. I’ve been switching between MS Word and iPad Pages. It would be awesome if Scrivener had an IPad counterpart

  • Tasha says:

    Scrivener is the bomb diggity, nuff said. :P

  • Monica says:

    Hi Karen,
    How does Scrivener deal with Time Machine? Does it make automatic backups there or only in the computer? And how does it organize the amount of information involved in every project once out of Scrivener? In the hard drive and also in folders or mixes everything up?
    I am always afraid of losing all the work done…

    • KarenPrince says:

      Eeep! Monica. I am no kind of an expert on Time Machine. I’m not even an expert on Scrivener. What I use Scrivener for is just a fraction of the power of the program, but even that little bit is awesome. As for Time Machine, I simply back up everything on the whole computer to an external hard drive every so often. I was able to access all of my projects from there when I worked on a friend’s MacBook for a day.

  • Hello Karen,
    I stumbled across your video today by accident and it convinced me in just a few minutes that I had to buy Scrivener. I did so immediately and in good time as it’s on sale this week. I make a living at business writing and marketing consulting, and Scrivener will help me with complex writing projects. But I’m also a lapsed poet and fiction writer re-entering the craft after a long hiatus. While writing requires no more tools than a pencil and paper, your enthusiasm for Scrivener is infectious, and as a tech junkie I can’t resist it. Thank you for this video. I’m also thoroughly intrigued by your Tokoloshe and will be reading “Switch”. Best regards, Karen Newcombe

    • KarenPrince says:

      Oooh! Karen, Lucky you, finding it on sale too. I am sure you are going to love it. What you saw on the video is just the tip of the iceberg of how useful it is. You have chosen a good time to re-enter the writing craft, especially if you are a bit of a techie because publishing has become so accessible. Happy writing and I hope you enjoy “Switch!”

  • Larry Kollar says:

    Reason #6: it creates backups automatically, and doesn’t eat your work when the file gets big!

  • JR Tomlin says:

    I don’t like some app (Scrivener or any other) forcing divisions and structure on my writing. Word just lets me write without any of that nonsense.

    • Lee says:

      I realize this comment is over a year old, but I wanted to respond because it is misleading. Scrivener does not force division or structure on anyone at any time at all. You can use it to help you see the big picture of your work and use any structure you like whenever you like. Or you can open up one document and write away in that one document as long as you like. You don’t have to open up another one if you don’t want to. The whole point about Scrivener, the reason it is such a big deal, is that it allows you to use as much or as little of it as you please, so that you can write any way you please.

      Also, one person’s way of working may not be another’s cup of tea, but that certainly does not make either of those ways nonsense. Work the way that works for you and respect others’ ways of working, too. And that is what Scrivener does best: it just gets out of the way and lets you write.

      Happy writing, y’all! :)

      • KarenPrince says:

        Hello Lee,

        Very eloquently put and that is exactly how Scrivener works. It is also pretty much how I explain it in the video, but people who don’t know the software do tend to think it is a poor clone of Word which was developed with office work in mind instead of the awesome writer’s software that it is.

        Ps. Incase you are interested, I recently started another website just for Scrivener people:

  • Justarius says:

    I’ve been using Scrivener for awhile, but I still picked up several helpful tips from your video. It’s the best introduction to Scrivener I’ve seen so far–well thought out and explained. Thank you!

  • Nelson says:

    Thank you very much for this insightful and clear video!

    What is your advice about storing all of my (six) book-length translation projects as one Scrivener project? Something like using that single Scrivener project as a filing cabinet? Do you see any downside to this? So far, I have found it tremendously helpful.

    My non-manuscript folders and files contain contracts, emails, web clippings, etc.

    At the moment–until someone warns me about any dangers of this approach–I am using one Scrivener project for containing and storing book-length translation files, blog posts (research and writing), article in process, etc.

    Any thoughts or links for me to consider?

    Thanks in advance!

    • KarenPrince says:

      Hi Nelson. I am sure you will have no problem storing your translations all in one project. I have everything you saw on the video; research, character synopses etc. as well as drafts one to five of a hundred thousand word manuscript in one project and I have had no problems yet. If in doubt, revert to Gwen Hernandez at She wrote ‘Scrivener for Dummies” and runs online courses.

  • Brian W. says:

    Thanks for the piece – it is very educational! I am looking to begin dabbling in my lifelong dream of writing (but have been too scared and overwhelmed to begin until now), so while evaluating writing tools I stumbled across your video on YouTube. Your video totally sold me on Scrivener as the tool of choice and I am going to immediately buy a license for the software (they should pay you a referral fee for each sale you generate with your video and blog – lol). Most of all, I am BLOWN AWAY at how you utilize Scrivener to organize your manuscript document, so I am looking to emulate your organizational style. Have you ever considered creating a Scrivener template of your document to sell for others to use? I know you would have one eager customer! :-)

    Again, thank you for taking the time to post this educational video and helping inspire others, such as myself, to take a chance to pursue their dreams of writing.

    • KarenPrince says:

      Brian, I get so excited when I see people finally taking the leap and following their passion. I am glad you have decided to use Scrivener because I think it is amazing. I have deliberately chosen not to become an affiliate and make money off any referrals because then people might think I am singing its praises to profit when I am genuinely trying to get writers to make their lives easier.

      Once you get started on Scrivener you will see that there is no need to have my template, the standard novel template has everything you need.

      To allay some of your fears about writing, I would strongly urge you to follow three websites that were invaluable to me when starting out., and They have all written and published books, and their websites are packed with useful information.

      I hope you have loads of fun and success on your journey

  • Hi Karen,

    Don’t forget Typewriter Scrolling – a boon for medium to long documents. We’ve been asking Microsoft for this to be included into Word since it first appeared, just after the dinosaurs died out, and we are still waiting. It’s so useful and ergonomically more user-friendly.

  • c says:

    Excellent and clear points on the fab of Scrivener, my favorite novel writing software. I immediately shared to my network :-) Karen, have you ever tried to include images into the text of your e-books via Scriv’s compile functions? I would love to include visuals with captions in a nonfiction book I’m writing. I haven’t tried Mobi but other ebook apps make putting in images darn difficult. If Scriv makes this easy, I will kiss your feet :-) Thanks.

  • I really like Scrivener and have been using it for a while now. What I really liked about your video was how you went about using the cork-board.

    I think your character bio work was also very good, way more in depth than I like to go but I like how you went about colouring description you have already used in the story.

    Good coverage for this amazing program.

    • KarenPrince says:

      Yes, Carl. Isn’t Scrivener amazing. I do go into quite a lot of depth for characters because I was warned that by the time you get to book 3 or so in a series you end up scrabbling around for that info. I don’t know if I would be quite so fastidious for a stand alone novel.

  • David Steele says:

    Thanks for the piece. I’m very interested in using Scrivener to help with upcoming books. I’m looking for some help in organizing research and wondered how Scrivener can help categorize and organize quotes and research for my writing. Any help would be very much appreciated!


    • KarenPrince says:

      Hi David. I am not even that much of an expert, I just love the program and wish everyone could have it. Since I write ripping yarns for teenagers, I don’t have much need for organizing quotes, but I have loads of research into wildlife, props, etc. I just open up a file in the binder for each category and then fill it up with sub categories. If you haven’t got Scrivener yet, download a trial version for a month. Check out the Video tutorials in the Help menu and play with it. Or you could go straight to YouTube and see what’s there. I know for sure that the program does a lot more than I have shown on my demo video. Also, here is a link to a Scrivener users forum over at Google+ Good luck with your writing.

  • Julie says:

    Nice presentation.
    Went and bought Scrivener after watching this!
    Love your website, easy to get around on it.

  • Penny says:

    This was great. You sound just like a school teacher. I actually know someone who is writing a book, so I am going to send her the link.

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