We Are Our Narrative
Making Easily Shared ePubs

Simple Scrivener Notes

SimplenoteBernie Goldbach in Cashel | Logo from Simplenote

THANKS TO SIMPLE note-taking that syncs Scrivener to Simple Note on my laptop, iPod Touch (something I use more than my laptop) and Nokia Lumia, I have doubled my daily writing output.

David Sparks on Macworld suggested that might happen and he is right. It's largely because Simplenote (Scrivener's erstwhile companion) moves ideas onto my screens faster and more efficiently than anything I have ever used before. I use Simplenote on iOS and Simple Paper by Li Xu @devlix42 on Windows Phone alongside Syncpad in my Chrome browser to tie things together with tags and filters.

Scrivener is particularly good if you already have an organized workflow. For example, you could take the outlines and mindmaps built in other apps and import them into Scrivener. Scrivener then creates a hierarchical set of binder items matching each outline or map, making it easy to jump from the planning to the writing stage. This is a lot mor horsepower than I need for run-of-the-mill blogging but I use Scrivener binders and the related meta data to set up the pedagogy in academic modules.

The biggest productivity boost to my writing emerged thanks to the mobility of Simplenote on iOS and Simple Paper on Windows Phone. Notes written in one will sync into another. When I write on the iPad, I used this synchronicity to keep an entire academic year worth of readings synced to Dropbox. This means I can take work on the road merely by carrying the iPad and a little 3G pebble for connectivity. I can truly compose, edit and proofread from anywhere.

Apps like Simplenote and programs like Scrivener have changed the way I write, stripping away the power of a traditional word processor and bringing the narrative into sharp focus. Then when I want to compile the final product I either copy into the iOS Typepad app for a blog post or I use Scrivener to compile as Word, RTF, HTML, OpenOffice, Final Draft, or ePub.

This is a very liberating experience for me and if you write on the road, I strongly recommend seeing if this cloud-friendly synchronicity might work for you too.

Bernie Goldbach curates notes on writing. He published this short piece by using Simplenote and Typepad's iOS app.