A problem with my Scrivener-based writing workflow

Update: Thanks to Brandon Jones for pointing out that the only thing to do is put a file in the sync folder on Dropbox and Scrivener will handle it. I gave it a try and it worked. Because of my folder structure and the way that Scrivener works internally I had to do some rearranging but it worked. In the Drafts folder if you create a folder of your own it really isn’t a folder, it’s a new file like any other. It just shows a folder icon in the Scrivener binder view and acts like a folder in that it “collects” documents below it in the hierarchy but it’s still a text document.

Original Post:

One of my goals for this year was to consolidate the tools I use for writing (actually in general but that’s another post). I decided to stick with Scrivener on the Mac when I’m writing there and Editorial on the iPad for when I’m out and about and want to work on something. Thinking there was some automation available in Scrivener I didn’t put much thought into the workflow. From the Mac it’s easy as it automatically syncs with a folder I’ve got stored in Dropbox. It also lets you choose the file format it uses when syncing so getting plain text out into Dropbox is simple. But what am I supposed to do if I think of an idea on the go and want to write?

I thought I would be able to automate the import of a new file into my Scrivener project that holds all of my writing. Unfortunately there is no AppleScript support in Scrivener so easy automation on the Mac isn’t possible. Scrivener also uses a package format file with a programmatic structure internally that I don’t understand so getting a file into Scrivener on a sync with Dropbox isn’t just a matter of placing a file inside of that package structure.

The only option I can think of is a manual import from my Dropbox inbox folder to my Scrivener project. That really isn’t a very appealing option. Does anyone have any ideas on how to automate this procedure?

2 thoughts on “A problem with my Scrivener-based writing workflow

  1. Syncing with an external folder should work without issue. Just make sure it’s one that Editorial sees. On the scrivener side then whenever you open back up it will automatically update the project with any changes made.

    On the editorial side, the folder will look messy because of how scrivener does the folder sync but it works (I did it for quite some time between my mac & iPhone).


    1. Thanks for the reply Brandon. Are you saying I can just pop a new file in the sync folder that Scrivener uses and it will pop the new file into whatever organization it uses?


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