Product Review

Learn Scrivener Fast Review: Worth the High Cost?

Brad Smith
February 28, 2020

Writing tools are a great way to improve your productivity and skills as a writer. But very often, the issue is learning how to use the tools themselves.

Scrivener is a comprehensive researching, writing, editing, and organizing tool for any writer. It is packed with features and different ways to make your writing process smoother.

However, it’s also complicated. It’s not as simple as opening up a document and typing. There is a steep learning curve: different layouts, modes, collation tools, and buttons that make no sense when you first open it.

As a writer, it’s hard to know whether it’s worth the time to learn something purpose-built for writers like Scrivener?

The good news is that many people have walked the path before. The writers in our very own content marketing agency have reviewed the tool to save you the trouble.

With a little time invested (and a small fee), you can gain access to all the best hacks, tips, and shortcuts that Scrivener has to offer.

Our Verdict

You can think of Scrivener kind of like video editing software for your writing. And to use it properly you will need a guide. Yes, you can learn in piecemeal portions, and save money. Or you can try out a tool like Learn Scrivener Fast and get an in-depth coaching course from a skilled user.

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Getting The Most From Scrivener

In this article, we will look at the Learn Scrivener Fast course and how it has helped people to learn Scrivener.

With just a few hours, you can overcome the steep learning curve that is part of starting to use Scrivener features and start cranking out some high-quality writing projects.

This review will take a look at the training program in-depth, and help you discover not only how it helps to use Scrivener quickly, but much more effectively. As the host, Joseph Michael says, Scrivener can be your ‘secret weapon to accelerating your writing career’.

Try Scrivener for Free

If you’re considering buying this training, then it’s likely you already own Scrivener.

But if you don’t, you can still access the complete software tool with a free 30-day trial. The best part is that the trial doesn’t run out after 30 calendar days. Instead, Scrivener offers you the chance to use the tool for 30 total days. Meaning if you use the tool one day a week, you could have access for 30 weeks!

The version I chose for training was Scrivener 3 for Mac. The Scrivener tool is also available on Windows for a free 30-day trial. After 30 days, the entire cost of Scrivener is $49 for regular users and $41.65 for an educational license. If you have an older version of Scrivener 2, you can also upgrade for a discounted (or for free) depending upon when you bought it.

What’s Included in the Learn Scrivener Fast Program?

If you are looking at this Learn Scrivener Fast program as a way to shortcut your learning, you’re in the right place. It’s like having a personal Scrivener coach sitting next to you.

The video training in the program is pre-recorded from a webinar, but the videos are still high quality. The visuals are crisp, there is smooth music playing in the background, and the tone of the training is encouraging.

The first thing you will notice is that Joseph is friendly and easy to listen to. It feels little like visiting the Apple store and having an expert personally guide through using Scrivener. The pace is quick, informative, but not overwhelming.

There are four total sessions, each running for about 1-2 hours (60-120 minutes) each. I will explain each section of the training in a little more detail as we go through. Each video has marker points for all the training modules, and it’s very easy to skip back and forth if you miss a detail.

What worked well for me was to have Scrivener open and go back and forth between the tutorials and the Scrivener tools.

Module 1: Customizing (1 Hour, 43 Mins)

The first video is the basics of Scrivener, which is fairly straightforward, but still useful. If you’ve used tools like Microsoft Word or Google Docs, you are likely to be ahead of the curve already when it comes to the basics of using Scrivener’s interface.

However, Scrivener is more than a place for typing. It’s excellent for collecting research, reworking and editing sections, and much more. There is a lot of detail that goes into the organization of a writing piece, and Scrivener has lots of small tools that can help.

The Customizing training in the first session gives you an overview of the ‘Binder,’ which is essentially the central storage hub of all your work in Scrivener. It begins by showing how to use the folders inside of the binder, and how to choose from the different premade templates.

The premade templates that come with Scrivener are valuable, especially if you are hoping to write for a book or novel, or an essay. The different sections, such as the Chapters, Characters, Locations, and Title Information, are incredibly useful for writers, and the training details exactly how to get the most from them.

Another great tip in the early section of the first training video is the ability to import documents in a way that splits the different parts in the correct format. This step can save an incredible amount of time reformatting if you have already created something in Word format earlier.

By watching through the first module, you will have a strong understanding of the different sections of your documents, and how the tools help you organize. You’ll also be better prepared to search for items in your documents when you need them.

The key topics covered in Module 1 are:

  • The Scrivener Interface
  • How Template Elements Work
  • Adding Files and Folders
  • Binder Navigation Tricks
  • Customizing the Toolbar
  • Importing Documents and Splitting into sections
  • Simple Formatting Tips
  • Colors, Fonts, and Backgrounds
  • Corkboard Customizing
  • Custom Icons
  • Custom Metadata & Keywords
  • How Bookmarks Work

Module 2: Organizing (1 Hour, 27 Mins)

The second video training is when you start to use Scrivener as part of your writing process. The first session helped to set everything up for a streamlined experience, and now you are ready to start brainstorming, collecting research, and a lot more.

The feeling of the corkboard starts to come together during the second training as you see the ways you can have a ton of ideas that all connect and integrate.

Another smart idea that is shared in Module 2 is a simple trick to find new sources of inspiration. As writers, we all hit blocks and can’t think of a creative way to continue our story, essay, or blog post. Using Scriveners collecting tools and some free sites like Pexels or Pinterest, you can quickly move past these blocks.

The key topics covered in Module 2 are:

  • Organizing Basics
  • Tips for Brainstorming in Scrivener
  • The Research Folder
  • Importing Web Pages
  • Using Evernote with Scrivener
  • Importing Evernote Notes and Screenshots
  • Screen Capture Tools
  • The Scrivener Scratchpad
  • Split Editors
  • Copyholders
  • Layout Presets
  • Project Bookmarks
  • Tips for Getting Inspiration
  • Importing Entire Scrivener Projects

Module 3: Writing (1 Hour, 16 Mins)

The third video training focuses on writing, editing, and revising your work. Most writing is better when research is completed, and an outline created first, and that is what the first two sessions have covered in detail.

The module also details the ways to stay focused and on track while writing in Scrivener, which is one of the main features of the tool.

The key topics covered in Module 3 are:

  • Customizing the Toolbar for Writing
  • Pre-writing Corkboard Tips
  • Pre-writing Outline View Tips
  • Secrets for Organizing your Binder by color
  • Using Icons to Indicate Progress
  • Quick Reference Window Trick
  • Setting Up Page View
  • Statistics at a Glance
  • Using Project Targets to Hit Your Goals
  • Using Typewriter Scrolling for Less Eye Strain
  • Using Annotations
  • Using Comments
  • Spelling Corrections
  • How to Use The Snapshot Feature
  • Snapshots Vs. Backups
  • Linguistic Focus Writing Tool
  • Using Revision Mode

Module 4: Compiling (1 Hour, 2 Mins)

The fourth and final tutorial covers the process of compiling and exporting your work into other formats. The formats include Microsoft Word, Rich Text, Open Office, Final Draft, ePub 2, ePub 3, and Kindle.

This tutorial is valuable for making sure the work you create matches the publishing format you need and shortens the work required by editors or book formatters if you are paying someone else.

If you are considering publishing your work to platforms like Kindle, the tutorial will help you understand how to preview the work to ensure it looks right before submission.

Learn Scrivener Fast Pros

To say this program is detailed is an understatement. There are so many shortcuts, tips, and tricks that it would take years to learn on your own. Yes, there are tutorials online provided by Scrivener themselves, but they tend to be more general and don’t give a start-to-finish overview like the Learn Scrivener Fast program.

Easy to Use Interface

Once you log in, everything is laid out in sections. Each topic has chapter markers in the video, and there is a PDF version of the complete training that can be downloaded.

Friendly, Encouraging Training

The host, Joseph Michael, is an upbeat, easy to understand trainer. Not only will you feel like you know more after listening to him, but you’ll also feel encouraged to kick start your writing project.

Covers Everything from Beginner to Advanced

Even if you’d just opened up Scrivener for the first time, it won’t feel intimidating once you complete the first session. No matter what kind of writing you are doing, there are tools here that will automate parts of your work and makes your research and writing a lot easier.

Available as both a Video and PDF program

If you have the time to sit through and watch the videos, there is a lot of value. But, if you are short on time or need to reference any section, the PDF instructions are super helpful (especially if you are offline).

Works on Desktop, Mobile, and Tablets

I switched between the desktop and phone versions of the training, and it works flawlessly on both platforms. If you want to review any of the content on your phone, it’s a little harder to see the details, but you can listen through as you do other tasks.

Searchable by Keywords

If you have a specific task that you want to learn first, you can simply search the full training with the search tool at the top of the site. The results will list each section with a link directly to the training you need.

Lifetime Membership Included

Just like the Scrivener tool itself, the license for the Learn Scrivener Fast tool is accessible forever. There is no time limit or download limit on using the training so that you can reference it anytime you need it.

Learn Scrivener Fast Cons

If you are considering the Learn Scrivener Fast program, you are not likely a casual user of Scrivener. You probably already know some tricks and have used it to publish some documents or pieces before. For this reason, some of the training course will feel a bit elementary. There is also the upfront cost, which is a big decision, but it also comes with a 365-day guarantee so you can always ask for a refund if you’re not satisfied.

Course Price is Higher the Scrivener Software

Price was probably the most significant sticking point for me. The cost of Scrivener for a lifetime license is $49, and it offers a 30-days of use trial. The Learn Scrivener Fast Course is $127 for the base ‘student’ course. If you want to get the ‘rockstar’ or ‘ninja’ bonuses, such as access to the private Facebook group, and interviews with other authors, it can range between $197 and $297.

Of course, the training is in-depth and high value, so the decision comes down to whether the investment of time and money works for you. Realistically, if the course cost was closer to the cost of the software, I feel it would have been a no-brainer deal.

Video Course is Long (4+ hours)

Learn Scrivener Fast is an in-depth course, which means every single detail of Scrivener is covered. The recording is from a webinar and was meant to be viewed over four weeks. I went through the whole course over three days, and it was a lot of information to take in. Luckily, the timestamps in the videos and the search functionality mean you can skip ahead if you want to.

Some Sections Feel Redundant

Because it was recorded live for a webinar, some sections of the training feel a little excessive. There is also a Q&A section that is only relevant to those who attended the training live.

The Writing Example Used is Fiction

The training tool is focused on using Scrivener for fiction writing, and there are whole sections devoted to the tools that are part of the template. There are also a lot of examples of adding images and formatting for publishing in the ebook format. While this is great for novel writers, for content and essay writers, it’s not as easy to translate to your own needs.

Do We Recommend Learn Scrivener Fast?

The Learn Scrivener Fast course will help any writer to get better results for their project: fiction or nonfiction books, personal and business blogs, ebooks, screenwriting, essays, etc.

The biggest barrier to using the tool is the upfront cost and the time the course takes. Similar to our MasterClass review, the value you get from using it can be worth the cost.

The fact is that you can access a lot of Scrivener tutorials for free or cheaper Scrivener training via Udemy. Like most things in life, you get what you pay for. The free tutorials feel like software developers wrote them, and the low-cost courses only cover the basics.

If you’re a savvy tech person, you can even learn Scrivener basics yourself by clicking a lot of the buttons and trying to figure it out. But if you want to get in-depth guided training, Learn Scrivener Fast is a great option.

You can think of Scrivener kind of like video editing software for your writing. And to use it properly you will need a guide. Yes, you can learn in piecemeal portions, and save money. Or you can try out a tool like Learn Scrivener Fast and get an in-depth coaching course from a skilled user.