For a lot of PhD students it is difficult to keep an overview on all the texts they are writing for their thesis or articles. You have many different versions of your text, comments, in between versions, draft versions, documents with notes and remarks, summaries, references… In short: enough to get a lot of stress. And that is of course not what you want.
Luckily there is a solution, a kind of super word processing program that solves your problems. It is a program that I already promote for quit a while to people who follow my writing courses. It is called Scrivener. Not too long ago, I received enthusiastic responses via Facebook and Twitter from people who actually use the program, so I thought to share it with you as well. I hope you will be as enthusiastic about it as I am and they are: I think the program is of great value for a very decent amount of money (about $45,-).

What is Scrivener?
In short: it is a very handy word processor, with a lot of extra possibilities compared to for instance Word.
It comes in a windows version: Buy Scrivener for Windows (Education Licence)

And in a version for Mac: Buy Scrivener 2 for Mac OS X (Regular Licence)

Both versions have the same possibilities, and it is a lot of them. The easiest way to find out is to watch this video with all the possibilities. You have to take your time, because this video is 35 minutes. But I can assure you it is worthwhile. If you want a shorter video, just search for Scrivener on YouTube, and you will find a lot of information.

(or click here for the video)

Also good to know: Scrivener can be combined with for instance Endnote. And thanks to YouTube, a video about that as well.

(or click here for the video)

They have a good offer for a free trial: you can use Scrivener for 30 days. And that means: actually 30 days. If you use Scrivener one day, you still have 29 days to go, even if that takes days or weeks before you use it again.

Mmmh, sounds like a commercial… 😉


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  1. This is the first time I heard about Scrivener. You have just added knowledge to the coffers of my brain. Thank you for that. This word processor will greatly impact PhD students considering that they likely conduct a lot of research works. Added to that are the videos you included here to demonstrate how it works.

  2. Scrivener is a great program! I did not use it for my dissertation – it only ran on Mac at the time. But I have since used it for fun and love it. So much better than Word when organizing large projects. I actually just blogged about Scrivener last week (sorry just saw your piece today).


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