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Scrivener for Sermons?


Abram K-J
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Can anyone who uses Scrivener speak to its usefulness for sermon prep? Preferably I'm looking for something that would dovetail nicely with my existing sermon workflow, described here.

 

I think there's a free trial--I may just try it out, but was curious what anyone thought. Once I have my verse-by-verse notes (a User Notes file) from the lectionary text, I just go straight into Google Docs and finish it all there, before importing the final manuscript into my Accordance User Tool. The "corkboard" in Scrivener seemed to be useful.

 

Another specific question is about whether Scrivener is good for the outlining process....

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I use it, but my usage is quite limited. Any word processor or even a basic text editor would have done the job.

Sermons are written in a mostly linear process, so the benefits of Scrivener don't really come into play.

For hard copy I paste it into Pages and print it from there, Pages makes it easier to format text.

 

I use Scrivener more for writing my essays for University, it is better for the non-linear writing of longer essays.

 

~Alistair

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Thanks--if your sermon-writing is a linear process, I'd love to know your secret! :)

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I use Scrivener for most of my sermon prep.

 

I have a template set up to make things easy for me. The draft is where I rough out my outline. My Research section comprises the following documents:

  • text (any versions that speak to me & other texts I might use)
  • my thoughts (my Accordance notes on the text I am preaching from)
  • commentary - important sections from commentaries
  • dictionaries - any dictionary articles that are important
  • Word Studies - information that I find on key words in the text
  • illustrations - stories I might use in the sermon

I also have a folder for images and a different folder for websites (Accordance imports both)

 

Once I have done my study in Accordance and copy & pasted into the appropriate part of Scrivener, I will rough out my outline using the dual pane feature to see the text, commentaries, illustrations, etc.

 

Once the outline is roughed out I will export it to Word (I do use Pages on occasion but have to copy and paste into Pages since it won't open any of the files Scrivener exports.

 

I have purchased a license for Scapple as well. I have used it on occasion, but not much yet.

 

I could see Scrivener working for you in a similar fashion - pasting your notes into a document and using the dual pane feature to work on your outline and view your notes at the same time.

 

I would be happy to send you my template if you PM me your email address.

Edited by Timothy Hall
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Thanks, Rev. Tim! This is great. Exactly the kind of feedback I was hoping for. I'll let you know if I end up with Scrivener--that template would be helpful, it sounds like.

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One question: is there easy "cloud" integration with Scrivener? I.e., if I start a file/setup (or whatever it's called in that program) on my MacBook, can I pick right up on my iMac?

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Scrivener will save your project automatically.

You can setup automatic backup either to dropbox or any other cloud storage or to an external hard drive.

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I usually use Word for sermon prep, a remnant of all the work I put into my dissertation, I'm sure.

 

I use its Outline view and paste things into it as I find them or reflect on them. Once they are in that format, it's easy to organize them into a coherent sermon outline. I usually keep unsorted material at the end of the outline. That's where I'll place thoughts I have not immediately related to the section I am working on.

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Alright. Up an running with Scrivener as of this morning. We'll see how it does for my sermon prep. Revtim, I'll PM you.

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Wouldn't that be a great feature for Accordance?

 

Not as a writing tool but as an integrated research tool in which what revtim does could be done within Accordance. Accordance would be use to gather and organize the research (maybe using an enhance notes?). That way everything stayed in an unified software and if there is a need to go back and see thing in contact it would be just a click away.

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Alright. Up an running with Scrivener as of this morning. We'll see how it does for my sermon prep. Revtim, I'll PM you.

 

I'd really like to hear how sermon prep works out for you on Scrivener. I used it heavily when writing papers in my university courses, I loved it. I haven't used it for sermon prep though.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Okay--wow. I can't recommend Scrivener highly enough for sermon prep! I'm sure there's a lot for me to still get to know (and, revtim, I haven't tried your template yet), but here's my current setup/workflow, in a screenshot. Loving it so far.

 

 

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Thanks Abram for sharing that you are digging Scrivener.

 

Although I have not use it for my Bible studies yet (although thought to use it many times) I use it for other type of research work because it is all conveniently in one place, neatly organized.

 

Now that you are using it, I wonder if there is any integration possible and useful between Accordance and Scrivener? That they could be used together in tandem? Maybe integration of notes that can be updated in both places? That the verse quoted in Scrivener when clicked open up in Accordance?

 

Any thoughts?

Edited by davidmedina
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That I haven't been able to look into yet, but would love to hear anyone's ideas/experiences with integrating the two.

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Abram,

 

I like the idea of putting the outline in the project notes. I think I will give that a try.

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I decided to do that partway through because it essentially gives me a third pane!

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Tim (revtim), can you say more about when you move in your workflow from Accordance to Scrivener? Is it just copy-paste?

 

I haven't used BibleWorks notes much (I do note-taking all in Accordance), but I think their user notes are in the form of a .txt file. That could make for some easy, automatic syncing, it seems! Not that copy-pasting from Accordance is that much extra work....

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I think it could be a very powerful integration.

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Here is a couple of great Scrivener Tutorial: http://www.screencastsonline.com/mac/show/0275/ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpAFXQlkQkc (this by someone going his PhD in Biblical Studies.

Edited by davidmedina
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Abram,

 

When go from Accordance to to Scrivener I will do a simple copy-paste or a copy as citation-paste.

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I would love for Accordance to beef up its notes and User Tools. Among other things, formatting, outlining, hyperlinking text, and the ability to link not only Bible verses, but Tool contents would be awesome. That way instead of having to add a map or image into the notes, we just add a link to the resource.

 

I love Scrivener, but I much prefer to have all my notes within Accordance if works like a launch pad for the content.

Edited by davidmedina
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Thanks, Tim. And thanks, David, for the tutorial links--I'll check them out!

 

One reason I'll keep using Accordance for notes is that I can tie them to a specific verse. I don't mind copy-pasting the notes into Scrivener.

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Abram, you probably know this, but I just found out that with the new Accordance Services if I select the verse at Scrivener I can either open it in Accordance from Scrivener or actually have Accordance insert the entire verse or verses into Scrivener. Really cool.

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