Registered Member
I often get asked is Scrivener a good app for bloggers and freelance or is it better suited for those of us who write fiction? Well, here’s a little secret I’d like to share…it’s for anyone who writes for a living or has to write for their jobs.

I write fiction and non-fiction and use Scrivener 99 percent of the time. The only time I don’t use it is when someone sends me a document to edit using Track Changes in Word.

If you’re sick and tired of bloated applications like Word and even OpenOffice that often freeze and you discover that you’ve lost your work, I invite you to give Scrivener a try. Need some encouragement like an introduction of how a blogger can use it? Here’s your chance.

First, If you don’t have Scrivener downloaded onto your computer, go to You’ll see on the site, you have three options downloading: for the Mac, Windows, and the iPad or iPhone. LitandLat gives you 30 days to try out the application. These are not 30 calendar days, but 30 times you open and use the application.

For the purpose of this tutorial, I’m using the Mac version. Don’t despair Window users, the set up is very similar. Okay, let’s get started.

When you first open Scrivener, you’ll see this window:


On the left-hand side are the various templates for fiction, non-fiction, scriptwriting, poetry, miscellaneous, and blank. I want you to select the blank template for this exercise. Why? Because this will give you the opportunity to organize your writing that suits your style.

Once you’ve selected the Blank template, you’ll see this window. Note at the bottom of the right-hand pane, you’ll see a brief description of the template.


Next, I want you to select “choose” a new window will open:


Save As whatever you want to call it and where you want to save it. I usually save mine in my Dropbox folder. For this example I saved it on my desktop.

When you open your now named project, this is what you’ll see:


The pane on the left-hand side is called the Binder and the wide open space is called the Editor. This is where you will do all your writing. Scrivener provides you with a text file (document) so you can start writing.

Let’s say that you want to start a blog and you rather have all your writing in a Scrivener project rather than writing directly in Blogger or Wordpress. First, you’ll want to create a folder that will include the first three months of 2017. The easiest way to do this is take a look at the bottom of the Binder and you’ll see three icons:


The plus sign is to create a new document, the folder with the plus sign is to create a new folder and the gear wheel is the actions menu that has several sub-menus and actions. For the time being don’t worry about this feature.


So let’s create series of folders. The main folder we’ll label as Writing Blog 2017. Click on the folder with the plus sign and this is what you’ll get:


Double-click where it says new folder and rename it to Writing Blog 2017. Now drag that Untitled document into that folder. Next hit the expansion arrow and this is what you’ll see:


Whenever you select a container (folder) with a document, Scrivener shows how it appears on the Corkboard. But let’s create more folders within that folder and label them January, February and March. Select Writing Blog 2017 and go to the folder icon at the bottom of the binder. Once the folders are created and labeled, select all three by using Shift+Click and drag them into the Writing Blog 2017 folder. Also drag that blank document into the January folder. This is how it should appear:


Next, select that blank document, double-click and title it. You’ll see label on the document icon and in the Editor’s header. Now start writing. This is how it should look:


A couple of things to note: Once you start writing, the document icon in the binder will change it’s appearance to indicate that you’ve written text.
Scrivener saves every two seconds of inactivity. So no worries about losing what you wrote. To close out of the project go to File->Close Project and it will automatically save. If you’re worried about saving, just go to File->Save. Do NOT use Save As and the reasoning is when you use Save As, the tendency is to revise that version and not the original one. When you open the original version, none of the recent work appears.

To get an idea of how I use Scrivener for my blogging (and I use it in a similar manner for all my freelance writing projects), here’s what my Binder looks like:


With this tutorial, you should be able to start a basic project. If you want to get deeper into Scrivener, I offer a 31 Day tutorial with five Skype sessions. Email me for rates at [email protected].


Registered Member
Looks like a really useful app for any writer of blogger. Thanks for the tutorial and the heads up about this program.