Update: Check the comments for an update on Scrivener for the iPad. Woohooo!
One of the tools I love for longer writing is Scrivener (AppStore). There is simply no other application that allows the freedom in organizing ideas in to chapters. I have found no other application that allows the easy organizing of research. Scrivener even has an awesome fullscreen mode for distraction free writing.
Where Scrivener Falls
The place that Scrivener falls down for me is when I don’t have access to my laptop. Currently I’m writing on my iPad in iAWriter (AppStore). I do lots of my writing on my iPad, but working with files started in Scrivener is simply a pain.
Sure you can sync text files with a folder, but it’s ugly and confusing. When I did it the first time it felt like a new world. That world was only new and interesting for a week though, then it just felt like a bad hack to make something barely work.
Scrivener – The Beginning
In the beginning there were few real tools to write long form content with. Sure you could work in MS Word or WordPerfect or some other word processor, but they simply didn’t allow you to move your ideas around. They didn’t deal with research well, or at all.
Scrivener filled an awesome hole in the market when it launched. Scrivener 2 took that next step and made an application that was awesome, more awesome. But now it’s easy to tell that Scrivener was written in a pre-iPad (pre secondary tablet) world.
What I Want
I’m sure I’m not the first to say this, but I want a version of Scrivener for the iPad. It doesn’t need all the same fancy features we see on the desktop version. It needs to let you interact with the native .scriv files and deal with your research a bit.
Until I can write where I want with Scrivener, it’s always going to feel like a great app, that’s limited by the time it was developed.
Now don’t take this the wrong way, I still put all my long form writing in Scrivener and I love it on my Mac. I wouldn’t trade it for any other Mac application I’ve seen, it’s just not working with how I write anymore. I want to take my Scrivener with me as I move to writing more on devices that are not a traditional desktop or laptop.
And don’t forget there is some light at the end of the tunnel for Scrivener on the iPad. It just seems like a much longer tunnel now than when I started down it.
If you have a Mac app that’s similar to Scrivener that does a decent job on the iPad I want to hear about it.
2 responses to “I Love Scrivener…but”
Thank you very much for your Scrivener related blog post! I simply wanted to cast some of that tunnel light on a recent screenshot of Scrivener for iOS running on an iPad mini http://www.literatureandlatte.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=20796#p139800. We’re working hard for a currently planned release in Q1 2013.
All the best, David
Scrivener, Literature & Latte