To take notes in Scrivener, click on the icon that looks like a little notebook in the Inspector.
While “notes” is actually pretty self-explanatory, there are a few sneaky little things to pay attention to here.
The top half of your notes is dedicated to a synopsis of whatever section of your story you happen to be working on. You will notice that the chapter names match:
The synopsis comes in handy when you’re working in the cork board or outline view (more to come on those), but for now it’s worth noting that you can autofill that synopsis space. Go to Documents -> Auto-Fill -> Set Synopsis From Main Text. This will pull the first words of the section or chapter to fill the synopsis. As a side note, you can do this for every chapter all at once by selecting all of your chapters in the Binder first (in Mac, use command click).
Alternately, you can highlight text from anywhere in the chapter and choose Documents -> Auto-Fill -> Set Synopsis from Selection like I did here.
Or, you know, you could actually write a synopsis of what happens in that scene. If you’re into that kind of thing.
If you’re more of a visual person, you can click here:
and then just drag and drop an image. Or do both and toggle back and forth from written synopsis to image by clicking that same icon.
The space labeled Notes is just that – a place to jot ideas as you need to.
It is worth noting that I am working in version 3.0 here. Version 2.0 had a version of notes that I found very confusing. There were global notes in the same space as document notes… I wasn’t sorry to see it go. THAT SAID, if you are still working in 2.0 check out this post from the ScrivenerVirgin on how the different notes work in the that version of the software.
Janelle E says
Hi April. I’m working in Scrivener 3 and was wondering if you know of a way to export all notes. I use Notes for each text file in my manuscript for things to change within the text file—however, some of these affect other scenes/chapters. Is there a way I can export the Notes into another file and create a checklist of to-dos for myself? Or do you know of a way to do this within Scrivener? Thank you.
Hi, Janelle, I’m afraid I’ve never thought of doing that. It’s a great idea. Wish I could help. If you’re still stuck, reach out to the support center at Literature & Late. I’ve always found them to be super helpful. Cheers and good luck!
Just picked up this thread.
I am working in Scrivener 3. I have a notes column in my outline (for each chapter, but also an Inspector notes section for each of the chapters.
Seems a little confusing having two notes sections. Is there any way, that you know of, to show the Inspector notes in the outline?
Hi Austen. There are a lot of places for notes and it can be a little confusing, but I think you just have to go with what works for you. I don’t know any way to show inspector notes in the outline. Let me know if you find one.
Livia Quinn says
Hi, April. Really enjoying your Scrivener posts. I’m always looking for something another writer does in Scrivener that I don’t. BTW I was one of those writers who used Project Notes. Most of the time it was a list or a full story synopsis of main points I needed to make sure I covered visible wherever I was in the story. And I could add to as a brainstorm hit. It’s not gone, though it’s a little more complicated to use. You have to create a file with that information and then append the file as a bookmark to the inspector section. Still it serves the purpose I needed. And I’ve found that bookmarking feature handy for other files like research.
Interesting, Livia. Thanks for sharing. I’ve never used Project Notes, but I find it really interesting how we, as writers, find all these little ways to organize the chaos in our minds and try to put it all into a story.