Writing partners: Macbook Air and Scrivener

Posted: July 9, 2011 in software
Tags: , , , ,

Every morning I cuddle up in bed with my two best friends and write. No, don’t run away. It’s not a threesome like you imagine.  I’m talking about Scrivener and my Macbook Air.

The Air, which I’ve owned for six months (hence this post), is as thin as a slice of bacon and as light as a beautiful Northumbrian evening. I couldn’t live without it and it has progressed my writing beyond what might be expected of a piece of equipment. It’s just so easy to pull towards me and open single-handedly. It’s never off, I just let it sleep between sessions. It’s what Macs do best.

The Macbook Air

Scrivener, on the other hand, has been with me for a few years, transferring from machine to machine – yes, all of them Macs. This piece of software has revolutionised the ease with which I can get back into writing after pulling up the Air’s lid. It doesn’t have a teamaker on the menu but I wouldn’t be surprised to find it there. It has everything else – chapters/sections/units in one folder, research in another, trash (not yet permanently discarded) in another, and all contained in the one project binder.

Scrivener also has the ability to have two bits open at once, and/or a floating window to refer to. Notes are kept with each part of the text in a side panel, tags and labels mean I can search and find only the bits (for instance) where a particular character or item occurs in the story, and – get this! – I can line up whichever sections I want and view them joined as one document, even though they’re gathered from various mini files within the folder. Then I put them back where they were. They never moved in fact. How could anything be easier?

That’s only a fragment of what Scrivener has, or what it does for me. You’ll need to try and see for yourself. But hundreds of published writers use it. It just works. Which, I believe, is what Steve Jobs always says about Macs. And they do.

So I thought I’d tell you in case you’re about to upgrade your working environment in any way.

The Macbook Air is here.

And Scrivener is here.


  1. Marinos says:

    A beautiful testimonial. These two are truly excellent writing partners.

    I’m curious to know whether you use an 11″ or a 13″ model. I am planning to replace my ageing MacBook with an Air, and I wonder which one is best, from a writer’s standpoint.

    Thanks! 🙂


    • I sold my 2007 Macbook to finance the Air because the Macbook is just so heavy, it bothered my knees! I got the cheapest 11″, partly for money’s sake but also because the 64GB plus small screen is just fine for writing – text files are not huge and you don’t need much on screen at any one time. Besides, at this size it eliminates the need to have an iPad and is also a proper computer. It slips in my bag unnoticed for when I am away from my desktop iMac and my writing goes with me. Hope this helps. Thanks for stopping by!


    • JMK says:

      If you’re thinking of buy a new MacBook Air, wait until July 21st when they roll out the new line with SandyBridge CPUs and backlit keyboards & lots of super-fast flash memory (not to mention pre-installed with OS X Lion.


  2. Marinos says:

    Thanks for your response, Eleanor. I was a tad worried about the size of the screen and the keyboard that comes with the 11″ version, but, after reading your comment, I presume it’s not much of an issue. Thanks again and I look forward to your future posts.


  3. Jim Sieyes says:

    Good Post Eleanor. Thanks. I’m divided: 11″ or 13″.nAfter reading, I’m leaning towards 11″. I might add extra memory.

    Love Scrivener.




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