Scrivener is a remarkably useful Mac-only project management and writing application. I started using it a few months ago, and it’s quickly become a must-have.
First off: if you mostly write memos or simple documents that require strict formatting, then you should stick with Word. But if you’re a Mac user looking for something to help you manage complex writing projects — a novel, a screenplay, a book, or simply a long article — then you should take a look at this application.
For me, Scrivener’s best features, as I go about assembling my writing projects, are: 1) the ability to import and reference multiple documents and Web pages from within the main window; and 2) the split screen feature that allows me to consult two documents at once within that window.
No more toggling between multiple drafts in separate Word documents. No more consulting various Web sites and PDFs and then returning to Word. Everything now lives in one place, and all of my drafts and other materials are organized by folder.
I also really like Scrivener’s look and feel. It’s an OS X application designed and developed by a writer. And the community of users is also lively and passionate.
It’s free to download and use for a trial period; 35 smackers and it’s yours for life.