Technical Advances in the Scrivener-iPad Workflow

Last Thursday morning I made a great discovery. The quest was motivated by my desire to use Scrivener as the only place where I keep my .pdf documents for research. The problem is that I like to annotate them in iAnnotate on the iPad. I wanted to know if there was a way to synchronize the .pdf files in Dropbox with the files in iAnnotate. I ultimately discovered how to do this, but made another discovery along the way.

The accidental discovery was Notebooks app for the iPad. It syncs very well with Scrivener, so if I want to write portions of my dissertation on the iPad, I can write it in there and it will automatically appear in Scrivener. That will be very helpful.

The only downside to that app is that I really like to use Evernote. I have decided to use Evernote to capture all my research, write my personal journal, and write my field notes. I will use Notebooks to work on the actual chapters of the thesis, since this syncs directly with Scrivener.

The .pdf sync did not require another app. I knew that Scrivener keeps all the documents within itself, so I knew there had to be a folder somewhere that contained them. I right clicked on the scrivener execute file and a “open package” (or something like that) menu item appeared. I clicked it and it revealed all the documents in my scrivener file. This file is on Dropbox, so when I looked in iAnnotate (which is synced with Dropbox) I saw the document files. Very nice. The only wrinkle in this is that Scrivener changes the name of the file itself to a number so that it can easily index it. I will have to note the numerical name of the .pdf in the comments section in Scrivener so that I know which file to look for in iAnnotate. The really great thing about this is that now, when I annotate in iAnnotate, it automatically appears in Scrivener. I have transferred all my .pdf files into Scrivener now. I’m very pleased with this development.

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