I’ve got nothing but good things to say about Scrivener. They all add up to: Scrivener is the best app out there for writers. All kinds of writers. Screenwriters, novelists, short story writers, playwrights, songwriters, copywriters, technical writers, college students…
One thing most writers have in common is the need to engage in research. Gallons and miles and tons of research. And Scrivener loves research. Web pages, images, snippets of text, Scrivener loves it all.
But this is where we, like the proctologist, must reluctantly arrive at a ‘but’.
Scrivener doesn’t always quite fill the bill when it comes to grabbing those lovely bits of research material from the web — or from our microphones, cameras or handwritten notes.
It might, one day. But not today.
All is not lost, however, because you can introduce Scrivener to its new best research-obsessed pal: Evernote.
Evernote, which you can get — oddly enough — at http://www.evernote.com is a cloud-based service that will help you to, in their own words, “Remember Everything.”
And they do mean everything.
Text, audio, photographs both clipped from the web and taken with your very own camera, snippets of web pages, full web pages; anything you can find online, capture with your phone or tablet, or enter via keyboard goes into “notebooks” you create according to your own notational needs and preferences.
Related notebooks can be organized into “stacks” — I’ll give you an example: I have a “Writing Business” stack which contains a notebook for each of my active spec projects. Each project notebook contains separate notes for separate areas of research.
All well and good, you may be thinking, but how does that relate to Scrivener? I’ll be honest: I’m not a Windows user anymore, so I couldn’t tell you how it works in Windows XP, Vista or 7. From all I hear about Windows 8, however, I can easily believe that moving notes from Evernote to Scrivener would work on Windows 8 the same way it does on the Mac:
Drag and drop. Just that easy.
So let’s say you’re writing a scene set in Paris in 1944. You need to research Paris circa 1944. You want a map, photographs, descriptions, reminiscences from people who were there.
Download the free Evernote app for Windows or Mac. Create a notebook in Evernote. Get the Evernote Web Clipper for your browser of choice. Sign into your Evernote account (accounts are what they call “freemium” — while basic service is free, a minimal $45 per year or $5 per month subscription unlocks more storage and other features). Once you’ve signed in on the Web Clipper, just clip all the content that meets your research needs.
Then drag and drop the content you want to use from Evernote into your Scrivener project’s research section. Easy as pie.
So that’s a look at how Scrivener and Evernote can be used together as an easy and robust solution for getting all the research your writing needs right where you need it.
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