Scrivener provides a lot of places to put notes. This is a feature I don’t make full use of.
You can have:
A) Synopsis – each scene/document can have one. You can show this in the outliner, it’s available in the sidebar (Inspector), and it’s what appears on the index cards in index card view.
You can make it pretty long, but you can’t make the synopsis window very big, so a long synopsis means a lot of scrolling. It would also mess up the outline view (though you can hide/show it pretty easily).
There is a synopsis finder, which will search for text in the synopses only.
B) Document notes – this takes up much of the Inspector. Each scene/chapter/folder/file/whatever gets its own document notes.
C) Project notes – this is an interesting concept. These notes apply to the whole project. You can view them in the inspector (instead of the document notes) or in a floating window. In either case you can use tabs to divide your project notes into different pieces.
I don’t use project notes at all. I’m not sure what the point is. It seems easier to create a document for each kind of note – if I want to see it while I’m in some other document, I can either split the screen or open it in a popup via quick view.
Document notes are where I put…notes…about what needs to change in that particular scene, or what I need to write. Things like “make her more suspicious” (fiction) or “more exciting, shorter” (day job). I also use it for notes to refer to later: “moon 1/4 full”. For fiction I use document notes a lot. For work stuff I hardly ever use them.
The synopsis, on the other hand, I use more at work than for fiction. Which seems weird. But it’s a convent place to stick a short list that holds the due date and status (due Mar 16, waiting for content from X). This then shows up in my outline view and helps me get a quick overview of a project.
For fiction, I just give my scenes longish titles. I would like to use the synopsis to hold an outline of the scene–at one point, I was writing very detailed outlines based on Bickham’s scene and sequel structure (which I can’t find my post on to link to). Lately I haven’t been doing that, but it’d still be nice to have a list of what is in the scene, separate from what I need to do to the scene (which is in document notes). I could make a separate document for every scene (maybe a subdocument), but that starts messing up chapter word counts and makes compiling (exporting) the text annoying.
Scrivener users, do you use project notes and the synopsis? If you use another program, does it have various kinds of note fields, and do you find them useful?