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Review: Scrivener for Travelers
Where do these precious minutes go, the rich details of your travel life that warm your soul and nourish the fire for your next trip? When a fistful of napkins won’t cut it, most of us turn to Microsoft Word or our good friend, Gmail. But no longer is Word the forerunner in the writing game.
The newest kid on the block is Scrivener.
Scrivener is a writer’s program and advanced word processor that makes writing a breeze. Will it make you the next Hemingway? Probably not, but will it keep all your pieces of brilliance organized and at the ready? Absolutely. Think of it as Photoshop for your words.
How does Scrivener work – and what makes it so special?
You can start by importing text documents you have already written. In most word processing programs, when you have a document, it is one piece of work – essentially a piece of paper. In Scrivener, however, you are able to take that piece of paper and break it down into topics of interest, creating sub folders within your paper.
Imagine you just spent a month in Thailand and kept a running journal entry. Instead of a single document called “Thailand” you are able to break your writing into smaller sections: Bangkok- Thailand, Chiang Mai- Thailand, Koh Samui- Thailand. It’s visually separated for efficient editing and ease of use, but when it comes time to export the file, Scrivener still treats it as one piece of paper.
Scrivener also has a “corkboard” option, and it’s just like it sounds. A virtual corkboard that is broken down using the same sub-folders as index cards. Say you want to lay out your entire vacation, view in corkboard, and move the index cards around as you wish. It’s as simple as a drag and drop, like placing real pins on cork. This changes the order of the text, and your main draft will be reorganized to reflect the modifications. A simple way to shuffle ideas, and get a view of your writing in one glance.
Clicking between browser and word processor is time-consuming, distracting, and usually counter productive. Scrivener has nipped this in the bud with the “split-screen” option. You can have a favorite travel photo showing in the left hand side, and write your heart out on the right hand side of the page. Alternatively you can split the screen from bottom to top depending on your preferences. Not having to flip back and forth will make you a more efficient, descriptive writer and the fact you are “trapped” in Scrivener will keep distractions away, making you more productive as well. So far, so good?
Let’s say you’ve taken your personal journaling as far as you can, and you’re ready to break out and share your travels with the world. How can Scrivener help you become a better travel blogger?
Scrivener for Travel Bloggers
Whether you dream of dominating the world wide travel web, or have visions of everyone reading your e-book on their Kindle, Scrivener brings your writing dreams that much closer.
Scrivener is the king. No doubt you have piles of work waiting to be imported, and after organizing and categorizing your work,you may find that you’ve got an e-book already awaiting publication. With the touch of a button the chapters of your draft are instantly compiled into a mobi file. You can’t afford to not own Scrivener when ebooks are the bread and butter of the online publishing business.
There is a research section into which you are able to drop URLs and photographs, copy and paste text as well as import documents and files from your hard drive. The nice thing about the research section is that when you compile your draft, be it for printing, ebook, or pdf, the research folder is omitted and no one has to know about the weird stuff you were looking at.
Distraction Free Writing
For those who are as easily tempted by the internet while writing as I am, the full screen feature can’t be beat. Simply click “full screen” and the screen becomes just your words. No Skype notifications, no little red signs from Facebook telling you that people are still on the internet, just you and the words.
Do your best ideas come while writing? You will love the scratch pad feature, an electronic notepad within Scrivener that keeps all the brilliant ideas that pop into your head while writing. Jot them down, and keep writing. No excuses, no need to leave your cozy writing room. Just you, the words, and hopefully a best-selling-book.
The convenience and efficiency of writing with Scrivener can’t be beat, and hasn’t been matched by any other writing program I’ve come across. Tempted to try it? Scrivener offers a free 30 (non-consecutive) day trial for both Windows and Mac. What are you waiting for? Give Scrivener a try now.