I have no Affiliate links or business relationship with Scrivener, and this post is in no way sponsored by Literature and Latte or Apple, so I won’t be getting any kind of payment or free perk from my review. I just want to be able to share with you guys an amazing program that I feel will help you as a writer!
Today’s post is something I’ve been so excited to write, pretty much for the last year since it was announced on the developing website… We’re talking about the mobile Scrivener app!
If you guys haven’t heard of it, Scrivener is pretty much a writer’s dream come true, and I’ve even already reviewed the desktop version here on the blog before. The program has so many incredible features, including but not limited to outlining tools, different formats and layouts depending on what kind of manuscript/poetry/nonfiction you’re writing, and some awe-worthy compiling tools to make the transition from finished first draft to submitting file a whole lot easier. The only drawback on the program was that the developers had yet to come up with a mobile app to go along with it and the only ways to sync it to work on mobile were through apps like Simplenote, which only allowed for simple text editing and writing, taking away so many of the great features it normally speaks for. Especially in the digital age we’re in now, so many people work entirely off mobile devices rather than computers (now including myself, since my computer died), so runner-up programs like Ulysses and Storyist were beginning to take customers by storm.
At the end of July, Literature and Latte (the Scrivener team) finally released the mobile iOS Scrivener app, bringing joy into the hearts of writers everywhere! As I mentioned, it came at the perfect time for me, since my computer died around the first week of this month, so I had just enough time to sync all of my stuff to the app to use on my iPad and phone!
So without further ado, here is my full review of the Scrivener app, including my favorite features, and what I’d like to see added for the future!
When you first open the app, it has you begin the process of syncing through Dropbox, and you can select an entire folder so that you can have multiple projects in the app at once. After selecting the project you want to open, you’re greeted with a page that looks like a minimalist view of the binder setting from the desktop version.
From there, you can open your research, any recent documents and files you’ve accessed, or go straight into the manuscript folder to start writing. Much like the Outline layout on desktop, everything is separated into the folders you’ve already established, or you can add new folders and documents and label them as you need.
Once you go into a specific folder, you’ve got your documents and you can even change your settings to view labels and tints for certain documents. For instance, there are a few romance-specific scenes within my book, so I’ve labeled them with the dark blue tint just to keep track of the feel I want to have for those certain scenes.
In the actual text-editor view, you have a toolbar at the bottom that can pull up into your recent documents, the ability to bookmark or share through other apps, see what desktop users recognize as the “inspector” (scene card title and descriptions, labels, statuses, notes, and icons), and you can add a new document and synopsis right from the manuscript. You can also spread your fingers like you would on Google Maps to zoom and make the text larger, or use the up and down arrows to slide quickly between documents and folders.
When clicking on the text, you can also swipe through options to select text, moving text carets or forward deleting, quickly add punctuation like quotes, apostrophes, and question marks, add inlinks, footnotes, comments images, or annotations, highlight, and of course, add in regular formatting like bold and italics.
But, the best feature for me definitely has to be the easy ability to sync between devices and desktop. In the new desktop version (free to download for anyone who has already purchased Scrivener), there’s a new button at the top to sync with mobile/Dropbox. After you click that once, you can open up your app and sync it from there, and bam, you’ve got yourself an updated document.
How incredible is that??
Related: WHY I LOVE SCRIVENER
For the past few years, I’ve been so used to having to take an extra five (or sometimes ten) minutes to sync through Simplenote using the “keyword” feature, and even then, I lost all the classic Scrivener features after moving to my device for writing on the go. But now, I can have everything with me updated 24/7, which has been a huge motivator when it comes to my every-day writing habits.
One of the only drawbacks for right now is that there hasn’t been a release for an Android version yet. However, with the dedication that I’ve already seen by the developers to get this iOS app up and running, I doubt it’s going to take too long, especially once they see just how helpful it is to writers and users everywhere.
As of right now, the Scrivener app is on sale for $19.99, but if you buy it once, you can download it on all your mobile devices and like other apps, if you change devices, you won’t lose access. It seems a bit pricy up front, but for those of us who have been using the $40-$45 Scrivener desktop program for years, it’s certainly worth the charge. As I’m working completely off of my iPad and iPhone now, I’ll be using the program pretty much nonstop, especially for NaNoWriMo in a few months!