Scrivener has changed my life.  Buy it.

Review done.

OK, not really…

For many, many years, I was a faithful adherent of long-hand writing—first drafts only—for a number of reasons. I liked the feeling of pen to paper, I liked the individuality of a hand-written document. Most importantly, writing by hand allowed me to think however I wanted to … usually in a scattershot, nonsensical, certainly non-linear A-B-C-D manner.

Then, came the decline of my own handwriting into a mixture of chicken scratches and nails on chalkboard.

When I realized that I spent more time deciphering my incoherent ramblings, I decided that it was time to make the switch to a completely computer workflow. The problem was that I loathe screenwriting software. Final Draft may be the standard, but it’s an arcane, byzantine program to use for a first draft—especially when you should be free to ramble incoherently and write what comes to you.

When I first discovered Scrivener, it was in a search for “virtual cork boards.” Suddenly, there was the answer. A writing program (I use it for everything from screenplays to business plans) that combined the best attributes of a note-taking program with virtual index cards, a full-screen option for distraction-free writing, scratch pads, and a customizable user interface to adapt to your own working methods.

Scrivener sets a precedent to which all software and technology should aspire: a piece of software that lets you do what you need to do, without forcing you to think like a computer program.

It lets me think like I think—scattershot, nonsensical, and anything but A-B-C-D—without having to decipher the incoherent scribblings of a harried writer.

Then, when it’s time to write with my head through the rewrite process, Scrivener is an invaluable tool for the left-brain analytic switch. Organize research, drafts, all that. And of course, export to Final Draft for the … final draft.

The stunning part—it only cost me 40 bucks to change my writing life.

SCRIVENER from Literature & Latte
$39.95
For Mac OS X Only

5 of 5 Purple Pencils

Do you use Scrivener Sorftware? Is there an software for organizing your work and your thoughts that you prefer? What do PC-users turn to? Please comment below.

For more from Tyler Weaver, read Write On! From Cork Board to Brain and Vice Versa.

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