Over the last several months, I’d fallen off the wagon writing-wise due to very heavy client workloads. I’m finally getting back into it after wrapping up a project. Given the restart, I got to wondering about my writing workflow and which tools I use.
In whatever I do (coding, writing, etc) I’m always concerned with tools and establishing a good workflow and rhythm. For me, that means mobility and cross-platform access to what I’m working on. I want my data stored in the cloud so it isn’t tied to any one physical device or location, and so it’s properly backed up off-premises. This protects my work from accidents (or stupidity) well, and gives me flexibility about when, where and how I do my work. I appreciate that.
After a quick chat with Scott (he’s currently finishing a book on product design), I decided to use Scrivener as the main organizational hub for everything, with all my files stored in Dropbox. In case you’re unfamiliar with Scrivener, it’s a professional-grade writing suite used by many journalists, authors, researchers, et al. Basically, if you’re doing serious writing, Scrivener is a one-stop shop and damn useful. It is also complex.
I’m a huge fan of Scrivener for overall project organization and editing. But I don’t love it for actual writing. The layout is too distracting and its composition mode doesn’t feel focused enough for me. So I pair Scrivener with iA Writer, which is my favorite text editor to actually write in. I do this by using Scrivener’s external sync via Dropbox, and voila! I have a beautiful cross-platform environment to write in. I also like the idea that my writing is safely stored in Dropbox, and I’m able to work on it anywhere, anytime, from any device. (I wrote this paragraph on my phone while waiting in line at the grocery store, and when I got back to my desk I just synced from Scrivener and carried on writing where I left off on my phone.)
I got to wondering: could I somehow easily email ideas into my Scrivener project from wherever I am? I often send myself little notes on the go by emailing them into my Evernote account with one tap using the Captio app, which is probably the most useful $1.99 I’ve spent on software. (For Android, it looks like Mail Myself or Google Keep could be good options for similar use case.)
Idea strikes, fire off email to my Evernote in 5 seconds, move on. It works well.
So, can you quickly email in ideas to a Scrivener project? Absolutely. Here’s how.
Continue reading »