Apple makes great computer hardware. But without great software, a Macintosh computer is simply a hunk of metal, silicon, and plastic. What makes any computing platform great is software. Period.

There are a handful of really great, unique-to-the-Mac applications that I think really define the Mac experience, particularly for anyone who likes to write. One such app is Scrivener.

I consider Scrivener to be a premium tool for writing anything longer than a standard blog post (magazine article, short story, book, etc.).

I first heard about Scrivener on an early episode of Mac Power Users, a podcast by David Sparks and Katie Floyd. Later, MPU dedicated an entire episode to Scrivener.

So it was fitting that I learned from David’s own blog, Macsparky, that Scrivener 2.0 is coming.

As David notes, it’s very refreshing that Scrivener’s developer is making an effort to avoid feature bloat in 2.0.

In the full update at, “What You Won’t Find in Scrivener 2.0,” the developer, Keith Blount, provides a thorough explanation of the features that won’t be in Scrivener 2.0 and why. If you’re a fan of Scrivener, I encourage you to read that full post.

But if you’re in a hurry, here is a very brief summary with a few of my own thoughts interspersed:

Features that won’t be in Scrivener 2.0

  • Timeline. Keith believes timelines are antithetical to Scrivener’s structure. I agree.
  • Mindmap. Like timelines, mind maps just don’t fit well with Scrivener’s file and folder system.
  • Character and tension tracking features. Keith notes that Scrivener isn’t solely a tool for fiction writers, and they don’t want to add features that would make it favor the fiction writer over others.
  • A proper style system. Keith cites technical challenges unique to Scrivener. Personally, I try to keep my hands off styling as much as possible when in Scrivener. I think it can waste a ton of time.
  • Track changes. Keith indicates that implementing change tracking would require many more resources than are currently available to the Scrivener team.
  • iWork Pages integration. Creating an importer/exporter that consistently handles Apple’s proprietary .pages format is unreasonable and too prone to break if Apple changes the format in the future.
  • An iPad version of Scrivener. While there won’t be an iPad version released concurrently with 2.0, the Scrivener team is looking at the possibility of an iPad version down the road.

I think these are all good decisions. None of these features would make Scrivener better at what it helps you do best: write small chunks of text, then amalgamate them into something greater.

Features that will be in Scrivener 2.0

While the focus of the update was on features that won’t be in version 2.0, Keith did note these additions:

  • Increased integration of corkboard, outliner, and editor
  • Simplenote sync (yay!)
  • Dropbox sync

These last two are really great.

Scrivener 2.0 will feature the ability to sync documents to Simplenote and Dropbox, so you will be able to edit and create notes for your Scrivener project on an iPad using, for instance, the Simplenote app or Hog Bay Software’s upcoming PlainText app. I imagine that for a great many users, these new features will supplant the need for a dedicated app altogether…

I’m definitely looking forward to Scrivener 2.0. It sounds a like a lot of thought and time went into this update. Keith did not give a release date for 2.0, but it sounds like it is coming soon.

Again, you can read the full update here.