Author of Top Producer.

I spent months testing different software for authors. Most programs were rigid, too structured. They distracted me from the primary mission — writing my first novel — and turned computer sessions into engineering nightmares. The programs emphasized technology and formulaic patterns, thereby defeating their value as tools.

Then I found Scrivener. There’s only a modest learning curve to get started. And the software serves all the core needs of writers. As an outliner, Scrivener organizes your book. It’s easy to track events and descriptions. You will never again lose time flipping between pages to confirm whether a character has blue eyes or brown.

As a filing system, Scrivener enables you to save research in the same file as your narrative. No more bushwhacking through cluttered hard drives to uncover buried articles. It’s easy to flip between your book and research when confirming details.

As a word processor, Scrivener offers easy-to-use tools: text editor, spell checker, and fonts to name a few. I especially like the export function. It’s easy to translate Scrivener files into Microsoft Word — a feature that keeps my publisher happy.

Scrivener is excellent value for the money. Plus, it’s a robust platform. I have never lost files or experienced quirky behavior. Scrivener won’t write your book. But it will make your time at the computer more productive.