Thursday, 8 November 2012

Scrivener as a #chartership portfolio tool

I mentioned in a previous post that I am using Scrivener as a tool for Chartership.  I thought a post about how I'm doing this might be useful for others considering it.

What is Scrivener?
Designed by an author, this tool is ideal for drafting and redrafting ideas.  It's available from the Literature and Latte website and a 30 non-consecutive days trial version can be downloaded if you want to try it out.  I heard earlier in the year that some of our postgrads have found it useful, thought I should try it out and immediately adopted it for my dissertation.

What do I like about it?
Break large documents into manageable chunks: this makes it easier to see how the portfolio will be structured and to jump from one section to another, rather than doing lots of scrolling in Word or working with multiple different documents.

Corkboard view: This allows you to see index cards for each section of a particular folder. You can then drag and drop to reorder the content - one of our grads does this at sentence level! - and label sections so you can clearly see how finished they are or what areas of development they apply to.

Scrivenings view: You can select different sections of the document to see how they would flow in a continuous document without actually reordering them.

Store resources in Scrivener: I've imported useful documents such as the Chartership handbook into the folder itself, which means that I can easily get at any relevant information without having to click out of the programme.

Side by side view: I can have the Chartership criteria or handbook in one pane while working on my portfolio in another.

Word target: You can specify that you're aiming for a particular section to be a certain length. Useful for the evaluative statement?

I'm a convert! I'm really still exploring it though so I'd love if others could chip in with questions or suggestions in the comments below.  All I need now is for them to develop an iPad version of it... and maybe integrate Zotero properly...

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