📆 Written: 2024-05-03

Use Application. Make Words

Trigger warning: Pointless Ramble ahead.

Scrivener is great, it has made me able to organise my writing and is flexible enough to house everything, from short stories to omnibuses. I have tried a lot of other stuff and Scrivener is the things which works for me, almost perfectly for writing. Granted, FadeIn-Pro works way better for scripts, but I write novels, so, I use Scrivener (mostly.)

One of the things I have always enjoyed doing has been trying different applications. This leads to the incorrect perception that I switch my workflow often. The reality is that I have only ever switched between Scrivener, and Word for my writing (save for my first novel, which was written in Vim, and I hated it for writing prose.) This is less true for my non-novel workflow, while I have also tried a lot of applications, I have also app-hopped, when it comes to task-managers (Todo lists, not application manager) and calendars. Thought I have settled now on Apple calendar and Things 3 for those tasks.

The most difficult challenge has been notes applications. I honestly don’t think there is a notes application which ticks all the boxes for me, so I continue to be willing to move. For now, I’m using UpNotes for ‘important’ stuff and GoodNotes on my iPad for handwritten-style notes. This has all been, in part, made easier by the fact that I did settle on a journal app (Diarium, which, btw, is amazing!)

One of the things which I have noticed over the past six months is that since returning to Scrivener full-time, my productivity has gone up, while my interest in other applications has gone down. I realised this morning when mulling over some hardware thoughts that my desire to try ‘stuff’ is borne out of a desire for a better ‘thing.’ Which sounds obvious, I know.

I realised, at some point, that the only way I would get a more perfect Scrivener would be to wait for Keith Scrivener (who is the fictionalised Scrivener developer who exists in my dreams) to make one because no better software exists. Sure, there are things that come close, and there are better-lookingg applications out there, but nothing else has nailed workflow for me like ol’ Scriv’s.

This has become true in other sectors of computing for me too. Things 3, is so perfect at task management, that I stopped being interested enough to try alternatives (save for a recent poke of Agenda-app because it promised to combine notes and tasks.)

This has resulted in more mental cycles on stuff being done and less on exploring options. I did, for a brief time think that this whole ‘thing’ came from being in my forties. After some reflection, I now think it’s down to the fact that for many years, software was shite. It’s only in recent years that ‘good enough’ really has meant that something is ‘good enough.’

Now I’m almost supernaturally familiar with Scrivener, and I know my way around MacOS (and associated hardware) that when I write, I am writing in away which leave the tools (hard and soft) transparent and no feature of tooling ever stands in my way as a distraction.

This is something which as only been possible since finding the right tools and while I have had a long trek around options because I have a blog, and a YouTube channel, it’s nice to feel free of the innate desire to screw with things.

I suppose It’s where I had reached with Linux when I realised that just using Debian was right for me. Or, when I realised that keyboard enthusiasm had an endgame of a laptop’s built in board. Maybe it’s like when Picard returned to the Enterprise D in season 3 of ‘Picard’ and realised that it was, after all, the best ship.

My overall point is, find the right tool, even if you have to try all the tools. When you do, you will know and that loop of thought will be closed in your brain and you can get on with writing. ❤️


This Was written by HexDSL, if this was liked by you, you can email him at Hexdsl@gmail.com or use this link to join Discord