Organization is one of the most challenging parts of the book writing process. When I teach classes or work with people in individual coaching, I always hear about the difficulties of managing multiple file folders, sticky notes, binders, and electronic files of information. Not only is it hard to manage all those notes and bits of information, it is also difficult to move writing around in your manuscript or combine all your chapters into one final document for your published.
For years, I struggled with this same challenge myself. I tried to keep electronic files for each chapter, creating elaborate spreadsheets to keep track of all the key points of information for each book, and even using a three ring binder to store research material.
When I found myself with a scissors cutting up transcribed material and gluing onto index cards, I knew I had to find a better way to manage all the ‘stuff’ of writing.
I started researching what novelists and other authors did and stumbled on Scrivener, a very inexpensive piece of writing software that is a dream come true for authors.
PLEASE NOTE: I am not an affiliate of Scrivener. I don’t get any money from recommending this software, although I do have the permission of its creators to write about it. I just find it incredibly helpful and want to share it with you.
Scrivener is a computer program which you use for your manuscript instead of Microsoft Word or similar program on a Mac. Because Scrivener is designed with writers in mind, it has all sorts of nifty features like a cork board that creates electronic index cards, folders where you can store photos and links to websites and other research materials, robust outlining tools, and the ability to move sections or even entire chapters of writing to a new place in your manuscript with one click of the mouse. Editing in Scrivener is much easier than in MS Word. You can even format books for Kindle almost instantly.
It’s even possible to work on multiple books at one time in Scrivener. I’ve got a cookbook and two non-fiction books going on my right now.
I did an audio interview with Scrivener expert Instruction Gwen Hernandez. You can click here to access that 20 minute interview and learn more about Scrivener
The only drawback to Scrivener is that is it a little tricky to master as it is not at all like writing in MS Word. I tried to figure it out on my own but decided to take a course from Gwen so that I could master it more quickly. That was a wise decision.
Scrivener is available for MAC and PC users and is affordably priced at around 40 dollars. Surprisingly, you can download a trial version and play with it thirty times before you decide to buy. You can learn more at http://www.literatureandlatte.com/
Scrivener has helped me immensely. Try it and let me know how it works for you!