1. Xoic

    Xoic Member

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    Looking for free story organizing software for Mac

    Discussion in 'Software' started by Xoic, Feb 4, 2020.

    I mean software that helps you organize all your notes and ideas and drafts so they're not just all jammed in folders or written in different programs. Anybody know of any or got good leads?

    I've been going through the software listed in this section of the boards, haven't found anything very promising yet. I have just downloaded Hiveword, but that's web-based. I'm not real keen on keeping all my story ideas somewhere on the web, I'd much rather download some software that lets me work offline (plus some days I don't have a decent connection).
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2020
  2. Martin Beerbom

    Martin Beerbom Senior Member

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    Unless I completely misunderstand you, you want Scrivener.
     
  3. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    except he wants free - and scriv is only free on linux
     
  4. Martin Beerbom

    Martin Beerbom Senior Member

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    Oops, completely missed this...
     
  5. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I know you said free, I know, but I'm gonna' be that pushy salesman and still proffer Scrivener. You can download and use the trial version, which is fully functional, no greyed out areas, and can be used for 30 functional days, not calendar days.

    You download and use it today, that's day one. Don't open it again until sometime next week, that's day two.

    It's originally and unapologetically a Mac application, so it looks, feels, walks, and talks like a Mac app.

    "But the learning curve!"

    Look, I am certainly no CERN candidate and I was up and running in minutes. Mind you, back when I was still on a Windows machine I had cut my teeth on a similar application called Liquid Story Binder. LSB was a very good idea and I loved it, but after using Scrivener, I realized how loosely strung LSB was.

    It exports to every file type known to man that remotely addresses text, to include perfectly formatted, Schunn style manuscripts in .doc or .docx.

    It's not cloud-based, and the software creators are disdainful of subscription plans. Last I checked it was $40.00-ish USD, but you can find discount codes everywhere and anywhere by googling.

    Honestly, I cannot imagine using anything other.
     
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  6. Xoic

    Xoic Member

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    I DO want Scrivener!! You guys are all right (Martin you only missed the FREE part, but I think you read my underlying need for the real thing, which is Scrivener). I looked up some videos on it last night and the interface reminds me very favorably of Evernote, which is amazing. Scrivener looks like it's built around something very similar, but with much more functionality.

    I'll definitely buy it when I can afford to. Wreybies, thanks for the heads up! I'll only open it every week or so, use it as much as I can for a full day, and snap it shut for a week or so again. Looking at this web-based free Hiveword monstrosity, it looks like a kid's game and all it does apparently is keep track of a few parameters of character and story outline and setting. I want something that does it all, or damn near.

    Ok, I think you guys answered my question perfectly. The only other question would be is there a decent free alternative, but I suspect I already know that one.
     
  7. Lili.A.Pemberton

    Lili.A.Pemberton Member

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    I've never used Scrivener because I, too, do not have the money but I tried Bibisco and while I doubt it's anywhere near Scrivener levels, it does have some useful features and it's free for mac. I also just downloaded Manuskript and while I haven't delved too deep, it looks interesting.
     
  8. Xoic

    Xoic Member

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    Interesting, thanks Lili. It looks like Bibisco is for Windows & Linux only, but I might download it for my laptop, which is a Windows machine. Yesterday I downloaded yWriter for it, but haven't had time to mess with it yet. Might be cool to compare the 2, see how it goes. I'll look into Manuskript too, thanks for the heads up. I do like to write on the laptop sometimes, but generally the big Mac (desktop) is my main choice for that. Who knows though, if I find the right software for it, the laptop might become the authorial device of choice.

    Ok, Manuskript has a Mac version and it also seems to use the Evernote-style layout, which makes me think it might be excellent (I'm biased because I love Evernote). In fact I've been using Evernote for my notes and outline ideas etc, but it just lacks certain features that would let me organize them all into useful units I could consult quickly—instead I need to do searches or scroll down the sidebar looking for particular notes. I suspect the novel-organizing software will allow exactly what I want.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2020
  9. Lili.A.Pemberton

    Lili.A.Pemberton Member

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    Are you sure? I just checked their website and it says it's available for Mac, Windows, and Linux. I can see the mac download link as well.
     
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  10. Xoic

    Xoic Member

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    Wow, I must have looked at an old page about it or something. Thanks for the heads up!

    Edit—yep, the page I saw was from 2016. Got the website open now.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2020
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  11. Xoic

    Xoic Member

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    Oh man, I was just about ready to download Manuskript when I noticed it's still in Beta testing. The latest release includes a bug fix that caused it to lose data. Whoah! Don't think I want to trust my story ideas to something that can do that! Or who knows what else? I like the look of it better than Bibisco. I'm starting to see there seem to be basically 2 different types of story organizing software. The Scrivener-style ones seem to be built at least partially on Evernote-style architecture, which at least from the screenshots I've seen, looks powerful and serious. The other type I've seen is like Hiveword, and Bibisco seems to be of this type to me, from just the little I've seen. Somehow it looks kind of silly, as if designed to be a children's flash-card game or something. I'll give it a shot anyway, maybe it works better than the appearance makes me suspect.
     
  12. Amontillado

    Amontillado Member

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    There are other ways to skin the cat, too. I really like the company behind Scrivener, and keep an active license. My tastes drift, I may go back to it.

    I've found I prefer staying in my word processor of choice. Using headings provides a table of contents and I can drag-and-drop reorder chapters and scenes. It's a little like the Scrivener binder.

    OneNote is free, and side-by-side with your manuscript in a word processing file, it's sort of a Scrivener replacement.

    Or, a mind map like Freemind to store your notes, alongside manuscripts in traditional word processing files.
     
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  13. Xoic

    Xoic Member

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    Much appreciated.
     

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