When we first started putting together The Big List of what Scrivener 3.0 was going to be about, high upon it was the nebulous goal of making the overall experience more cohesive and streamlined. We may spend a little time going over some of the many finer points of that project in a future article, but for now I wish to focus on one aspect of that, something that some might consider to be a smaller adjustment, but one that has changed how I organise work inside of my projects—and reintroduced me to a feature that I had let languish in my own daily use of Scrivener.
If you’ve never come across Project Notes before, they are akin to a basic scratch pad for your project; a place that is always within arm’s reach, no matter what you’re working on at the time. You could either open them up in a separate window, or switch to the “notes” tab in the inspector and keep them right alongside your work.
It’s a great idea, but it had a few drawbacks: they didn’t come up in searches along with your other notes and written material, you couldn’t link to them like you could other files in the binder, nor could you include them in the compiled output for proofing drafts, copy them from one project to another—or even export them at all for that matter.
Clearly we had some problems to address, and the first reaction was to pile on a bunch of new capabilities. The solution, as it turned out, was to simplify Scrivener by merging three distinctly different but ultimately compatible features together into one new concept. To illustrate, let’s examine a before and after look at the inspector (I’ve collapsed the Synopsis and General metadata panes on the left for clarity):