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Scrivener Workflow

Handheld LearningI HAVE ALWAYS felt that one if the best things I can do is learn how to work with the same things over and over again. I now feel that way about Scrivener.

Most people buy the package and then bang away with it to produce written material for reading on screens. It is a very handy program for creating iBooks and Kindle products. But as I have discovered, Scrivener can also help produce sophisticated documents, engaging presentations and grant proposals. Part of its secret capabilities lies in the way Scrivener manages its file relationships.

I am just scratching the surface of Scrivener's elegant management of documents shared via Dropbox. It also helps me to surface items on several external drives, giving new life to course materials I have written more than a decade ago.

It will take me another year of regular editing with Scrivener to appreciate the robustness of the program but at this intermediate stage, I am very intrigued at discovering great value achieved by tapping back into the familiar interface that I erroneously assumed was just for writing an occasional chapter in an eBook. Scrivener does more than help me write. Scrivener helps me manage projects better. The program supports label and status tags for everything I create. I can change the colours of the labels as they display on the Scrivener corkboard. Colour-coding helps reduce the time it takes to find similar things. I use a simple two-field categorisation system for my current work. I have the following labels:

-- To Do

-- In Work

-- Completed

-- Stored

I use the following statuses:

-- Needs Submission

-- Needs Recording

-- Needs Follow Up

-- Complete

No system is worth using unless it delivers a result. In my case, that means being able to dip in and out of Scrivener without spending a major amount of administrative time in the program. I've always been able to extract great value with minimum administrative time spent inside Scrivener's workflow.

Bernie Goldbach teaches Scrivener in Limerick Institute of Technology's creative multimedia curriculum.