Software Wars

Evernote vs. Scrivener

The unofficial report…

I’ve been using Evernote for years. It took me a solid six months to figure out what exactly I was supposed to do with it. Once I discovered how to organize files into a living outline, the game was officially changed.

The second year of using the program, I started three new large writing projects. Not only was I able to juggle the different projects and keep progressing, but I was able to easily organize any research or notes related to each one.

The following year, I started really unlocking Evernote’s potential. It has become my go-to organizer. Photos, notes, websites, recipes… Nothing is safe from the vault with the little green elephant icon. Until now.

I started noticing that I was having formatting issues with longer documents. I am not the type of personality that can take time for simple issues with no blatant answer. My ADHD simply will not allow me to just tinker and figure it out. After losing a day to formatting, I started looking into Scrivener.

In my writing forums, there seems to be a very definite split between the Scrivs and the Scriv-nots. I’ve considered trying out this program for a while now, but always got that nagging worry about user-friendliness.

In June, I made the jump. You get a 30-day free trial and it is based on 30 uses, not a time frame. Considering I don’t consistently write daily right now, it was kind of a no-brainer. I became a Scrivener test monkey.

Back in July, I hit my Camp NaNo goal and that meant I got some interesting swag. One of the prizes offered to Camp winners was a 50% off code for Scrivener. During my test period in early summer I got to where I felt comfortable enough with it to put up the small fee for the download.

The program gets a lot of mixed reviews from writers. Most of the seasoned users will tell you that it takes a little bit of a learning curve, but that it’s worth it. A lot of the rest of them will bemoan the day they ever thought they might attempt to conquer that beast. The “it’s worth it” is why I decided to go for the full access program.

Honestly, it’s very much like Evernote — for books. There’s been almost no learning curve for me, but admittedly I haven’t attempted to publish or query yet. Soon enough, I’ll report back on that.

If you’re on the fence and serious about finishing your project, go for it. Actually, if you can wait you should win NaNo or Camp and get the 50% off code. It’s a great program, but saving money is always better.