Scrivener…To Do or Not To Do??

What is Scrivener? Short answer, project management software: outline, edit, and writing. I’ve been considering this and watched a webinar/mini boot camp about it recently, presented by Lisa Alzo, hosted by Thomas MacEntee.

Pros:

* A great place to get your writing done, being able to import your information from other spots and have it handy.  Great tool for editing.
* 30-day free trial period is not consecutive days. If you use it one day and then let it sit dormant a few days, the next time you use it will be your second trial day and so forth.
* Relatively inexpensive. For Windows, $40 license.

Cons: Learning curve, big learning curve. It can seem a bit overwhelming at times with different screens, corkboards, the binder, files, folders, etc.

Along with the boot camp webinar, I’m also checking out some of the YouTube demos.

One of the reasons I’m considering this is to possibly be able to transcribe oral interviews for personal historians (more info here). I’d like to join their association and possibly offer my services to those who need interviews transcribed. Still in an embryonic stage, though!

Fast forward a couple months…

I took the plunge and started my free trial.

I’m beginning to write up the findings of the research I’ve done for my friend. She wanted to know more about her 2nd-great-GM, so I’ve been working on tracing that lady back. I have the info in RootsMagic7, which will give me a dandy narrative report of this lady’s ancestors. I’m going to use that as the outline and add what I can from newspaper articles and social history of the time/place that that particular ancestor lived in. I’m going to use Scrivener to create that.

The first part of the report will be about this lady and her life, Then her parents and their parents, as far back as I can document with certainty. Right now, I’ve taken this lady’s life and broken it down into different sections using the corkboard and notecards. I think I’m going to do a direct-line narrative, focusing on my friend’s direct ancestors, but will add what vital statistics I can find on the collateral relatives. What I think I’m going to like is being able to add the supporting documents to the report for my friend to have, instead of saying I found this info on a marriage license in this county, now you go get a copy of the original. I’ll put the citation, of course, but I’ll procure a copy of the document and add it to the report. This excites me! Basically, I’m doing this work pro bono for my friend to 1) gain the experience and 2) use in my BCG portfolio. It looks like I’m going to have to travel to 2 counties here in Indiana and possibly 2-3 counties in Ohio for documents.

So, I’ve committed to this. I hope to get a good amount done during the free trial and finish this up before summer ends. Lofty goals!

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