I started using Scrivener during the late stages of my MA. If I would have known of it sooner, then believe me I would have used it throughout my BA and MA.
What is Scrivener?
It’s a writing application. A thumping good writing application.
But I have Word for that.
I thought Word was a writing application too, until I downloaded Scrivener’s free trial and gave it a spin. Word is great for word processing (i.e. formatting things, playing with fonts and tables and tables of content), it is a very poor writing app.
Why? Because it tempts you to play with the font and the paragraph formatting, and fiddle with footnotes and endnotes, etc. Scrivener is keyed towards the writing process itself.
To see what I mean, download Scrivener from here, and open a blank project (there are other great project formats there, but for now a blank project is all you need), create a new text file under “Draft”, and just start writing. If you are a distraction prone writer (who isn’t?), press on the full composition mode button on top (I dare you to have trouble finding it), and enjoy an all encompassing writing experience.
Notice the lack of font-and-margin-and-style buttons on top? That’s because Scrivener wants you to finish all of your writing (and your veggies), and play with formatting only during the compile phase, which happens after the text is finished.
You can do all your writing in a app that respects your writing process, and then chuck the whole thing easily to Word for formatting, or do the formatting during the compile phase and create Word documents or ebooks directly from Scrivener itself.
Try using a writing app for once – I’ll bet you’ll like it.