My mini-rant against Microsoft Word prompted reader Sasha to suggest looking into Scrivener. Now wouldn’t you know it, Virginia Heffernen has a nice article on cheesey little website about her move away from the Redmond empire. It links to a nice essay by Steven Poole on the same topic.
The upshot of both: the process of creative, synthetic writing is largely divorced from the process of formatting mass-produced documents. Our job as academic scientists is not to write memos, but manuscripts. Why not find software that gently removes the distractions, and lets you, and your words, flow?
So, now with the grant proposal off my desk, its time to clean out my action items and prepare for a short jaunt to Panama. But in the meantime, I’m going to give Scrivener a shot.
Does anybody else find themselves bolting from the confines of MS Word? Any defenders of this software? And while we’re at it, what is your software “writing suite”? For me, it’s
Omni-Outliner to keep lists
Apple’s Pages to write and format documents, and
Endnote for my science bibliography
Note these are listed by order of my affection. I’m especially open to suggestions as to new writing and bibliography software. Have at it.