Question for Scrivener users

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by jojoba, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    #1
    So, I'm thinking of making a switch from Word to Scrivener for my academic writing, and was wondering if anyone could share experiences on the following:

    - What is it like to work with EndNote in conjunction with Scrivener? I will not be switching to Sente or other ref managers, because EndNote is the only one that is institutionally supported.

    - What is it like to write research articles collaboratively with colleagues who use Word rather than Scrivener?

    Thanks :)
     
  2. Rusty33 macrumors 6502

    Rusty33

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    #2
    Hi jojoba,

    I used Scrivener to write my PhD and was absolutely amazed by its functionality, and its relatively straightforward Endnote integration (manual fields codes only though - no Cite while you write functionality). I found the program to be highly responsive, and it's project management features to be useful and wonderfully integrated. It truly was the best $35 I spent over the course of my PhD. I have recommend it other students, and those writing large solo pieces.

    However, since graduating, I have found myself using Scrivener less and less. I have been writing a number of collaborative pieces, and have found the compile/import to MS Word/open/insert page numbers/format bibliography/save/email workflow to be a hassle when done frequently....and reintegrating changes made by colleagues (particularly those who are not computer savvy) back into scrivener can be a nightmare - especially when there are tables involved.

    In sum: I have found that writing in Scrivener is a dream come true, but its functionality as a collaborative tool is very limited. I will be using scrivener to write my book, but I will be writing all of my journal articles in Word from here on in.

    If you do end up going down the scrivener track, I can confirm that endnote and scrivener work pretty well together - much better that Sente or Papers.

    Hope that helps!
     
  3. jojoba thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    #3
    Thanks, Rusty, really appreciated!

    I do mostly write articles and do lots of co-authoring so from that perspective the
    isn't too encouraging for me :( which is a real shame because my impression was otherwise what you describe in terms of it facilitating non-linear work processes much better than Word. Very limited use of tables for me, though.

    Hmm, I feel a bit undecided now :confused:
     
  4. exegete77 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    #4
    Well, since there is now a Windows version, and a beta for Linux, everyone could buy a copy (it is very inexpensive). Then exchanging files would be so much easier. Check out on the Scrivener forums about using Dropbox for synching files.

    I use Scrivener quite a bit, but do not have to collaborate; once I finish editing all magazine articles, I export to .rtf and our layout person puts that into InDesign.
     
  5. Rusty33 macrumors 6502

    Rusty33

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    #5
    Thanks exegate - these are definitely some up and coming features that are worthy of note. I do believe that over time (i.e. next few years) the program will become more intergchangable with MS Word, Pages etc etc.

    However, at this point, the options available (e.g. exchanging your scrivener file or syncing to dropbox) do not work flawlessly (at least for me) when collaborating. With a 114MB scrivener file, the former option isn't really an option, and re: dropbox - I have found many senior academics to be very averse to knew technologies. In my experience, many refuse to upgrade from Office 2003 (or even XP), Eudora for mail, Endnote V9 (if they are willing to use endnote at all), and of course...Windows XP. Getting them to install and learn to use dropbox may be a bit of a tall order!

    Working with younger academics is a completely different story, and the sync function can work well. But, as I found out the hard way, you only need one collaborator to not have dropbox to throw a major spanner in the works!
     
  6. exegete77 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    #6
    :D I am president of our seminary as well as a pastor of a congregation. I have been using technology for 22 years. Most of the men in our seminary who are less than half my age (some are only a few years older than my grandchildren!)are techno-phobes... although they won’t admit it. I have to teach them how to use style sheets in each program...

    So, I understand the dilemma.
     
  7. jojoba thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    #7
    Yes, my experience is definitely like Rusty's. The people I work with don't even use EndNote, and there's no way I'll get them to actually consider and use either Scrivener or Dropbox. So I need to base my strategy on having to email them Word versions of my work...

    ETA: I'm just starting to set out Scrivener now to rework my literature review for an article. I'm liking it so far.
     
  8. MathRulz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2011
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #8
    One option is to work in Scrivener up to the point you need to collaborate. Then export to Word and do the work in Word from that point.

    Agree with another poster--Scrivener is the best software $$ spent in a long time.
     
  9. nastebu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    #9
    google docs

    I've written several articles collaboratively, and the inability to use Scrivener together is a serious pain in the ass. I'm not even sure if it would work if you could share the Scrivener source file since the very value of Scrivener is the ability to mess around with things at a very high level of brainstorming. I'm not sure it would be a good idea to have two people doing this kind of mucking around.

    Instead, what I tend to do is outline in Scriv and compile detailed outlines to share with my collaborator. That way we can brainstorm together about how the argument is going to flow. Then when we're good with the organization it's easy enough to compile a full version which then needs smoothing and articulation.

    For collaboration, nothing beats Google docs. What it lacks in formatting power, it makes up for in bullet proof sync and real time collaboration. My colleague and I often skype together and write into the same google docs document. It's remarkably efficient.
     
  10. jojoba thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    #10
    I think this is what I'll try out with my next article. I might even just try to circulate the doc for comments in Word and then incorporating edits and comments in the Scrivener version. I'll be the first author on the article so I'll be doing most of the actual writing.

    I really love how the app makes project management easier. I'm just starting to see the potential in having everything in one place, not have to deal with multiple 'earlier versions' of a Word document, and so on.

    Yes, I see what you mean about two people mucking about in that kind of set up... Unfortunately I don't think any of my colleagues use Google docs - but I might try to introduce it to the youngest of them and see what happens :D It really would be better than tons of different Word docs going back and forth via email.

    How exactly do you set up collaboration with Google docs? Is there a specific 'space' for collaboration/ shared docs?
     
  11. nastebu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    #11
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    In google docs the file is on Google's server, so you need to be online to edit it. But this also means there is no question of various versions floating around. It also means everyone can login to the document and edit simultaneously, so if we are working on a difficult bit you see and discuss the edits in real time, exactly like face to face.

    Setting up collaboration is easy once everyone has an account. You just extend an invitation. If your collaborators use gmail, they do nothing beyond clicking on a link in their gmail set up. If they don't use gmail it's a bit more involved since they have to link their email accounts. I have found it easier just to tell people to register with goggle.

    More generally, Scrivner has a lot of weird quirks in formatting, tables, etc. So at some point you need to export and move to a dedicated word processor. I don't see that as a disadvantage any more than switching from a saw to a hammer. They do quite different things.
     
  12. jojoba thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
  13. MathRulz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2011
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #13
  14. jojoba thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    #14
    Interesting, thanks for that. I really like the idea of the edits being incorporated straight into Scrivener. Is this something you have tried out yourself?

    On a different note, I just tried the google doc collaboration and that worked really well. It's great to be able to edit together simultaneously/ in real time.
     
  15. MathRulz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2011
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #15
    I have not tried Hewson's approach; I just ran into it today and, recalling this thread, thought that it was something you might want to try.

    I have used Google Docs live collaboration, and it did seem to work ok. One instance was with judges for a website competition. We adjusted spreadsheets of ratings against a specialized rubric while on a conference call to determine the winners. The judges were in three different time zones.
     
  16. jojoba thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    #16
    I've just discovered the hard way that google docs removes EndNote formatting... :mad:
     

Share This Page