Scrivener: The Gold Standard Writing App for Brainstorming, Outlining and Writing

by Pascale Potvin


Writer: do you commonly work between 1 Word Doc, 2 spiral notebooks, 4 Post-it notes here, 5 Post-it notes there, and 12 open tabs?

Do you balance outlining your novel and grant writing while also catching up the last episode of Cake Boss, so when you look down from the TV you’re not sure which doc you’re working on or at what point you are in your work?

Are you a screenwriter manually formatting your work instead of taking advantage of script writing software and making your life easier?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the previous questions, this is your official intervention. You’re ready for Scrivener: the gold standard in writing apps, which will quickly and easily get you organized, focused, and prepared for getting serious with your writing, once and for all!

If you’ve been following along in our writing app review journey where we’ve reviewed the 6 Best Apps for Organizing Your Writing, you’ll now see how Scrivener will change the way you work- forever.

Writing App Scrivener for One Lit Place at

Scrivener: The Gold Standard in Writing Apps

Scrivener is a program that makes it easy to brainstorm, outline, and create your projects all in one perfectly organized place. No longer will you have to jump back and forth between different programs or hand-written notes. No more papering your walls with sticky notes. No more *hoping* you formatted your work properly before submitting it for publication or to a literary agent.

Scrivener handles all of that and more.

Keep Everything in One Place

This all-in-one writing app allows you to move with ease between chapters, notes, and all of other references.

“Other references” refers to the fact that one can import nearly all types of files into the program: pdfs, word docs, images, videos, sound files, web pages, and more. You can even view up to 4 files at once on-screen—so, if you’re using a photo for inspiration or for research, you can have it sitting pretty right there while you type.

Your notes and your ideas can be digitally linked to the manuscript itself, so that you much more rarely forget what you meant in that note you jotted down right before bed. But if you do have an idea that don’t you know where exactly to fit, Scrivener can make special room for that, too.

stack old books for writers on books that have made them writers for at One Lit Place

Your manuscript can be split into sections of any size, and you can choose to edit those segments by themselves or within the bigger picture.

Being slightly tech-averse, I’ve only learned enough to skim around on the surface, but what I use has already improved my writing process to the point I can never go back. My research, character sheets, and plot points can be kept in one organized document, instead of the haphazard pile of notes I used to carry around (and had nightmares about losing). It’s so easy to find an earlier scene within a few clicks, rather than the endless scrolling I used to do, and Scrivener auto-formats short stories or novels so they’re ready for submission. There are also a ton of tutorials or video walk-throughs to help writers learn how to navigate the program. Though I probably only use a fraction of Scrivener’s capabilities, and it isn’t free, it was a game-changer for my organization and efficiency. I highly recommend it.

–Writer, Michelle Tang

Distraction-Free Writing

You can also opt for full-screen writing to keep yourself from going back to your e-mail or to Facebook. The look of the ‘composition mode’ is customizable, too: from an old-school green-text-on-black look to a soothing landscape backdrop. Whatever gets your creativity going!

Adaptable Formats

Scrivener is also always very quick and flexible when it comes to formatting: export your work to standard manuscript format, or to screenplay format, or to an academic format with one click. Then, save to virtually any file type, or print directly!

All in all, if you’re feeling scattered, weary of the visual clutter, and are yearning for one compact way to keep all of your writing drafts, notes, reference materials, quick brainstorms, and more in one place, writing app Scrivener is a fabulous tool.

Disclaimer: We are in no way affiliated with or sponsored by Scrivener and cannot guarantee a 100% accurate portrayal of the software.

If ever you feel like talking through your writing ideas, getting help with accountability or your writing process, or need another set of eyes on your projects, please reach out– we are always here to support you in your writing goals!


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