Away We Go

Right. So in my most recent writing post, I wrote about how I was needing to solve the dilemma of how to work on my writing seamlessly between two devices running incompatible OS. Windows 10 on a PC (for when I want to sit and plunk out a few serious pages in one long session) and iOS 12 on an iPad (for when I have random inspiration for a short passage and would like to note it down and am away from my workstation).

I bemoaned that I haven’t really found anything that would work the way I wanted it. Turned out, I had the perfect tool all along and I was just failing to use it properly.


I first started using Scrivener back in 2016. It came highly recommended by several writing blogs and articles and I thought I’d try it. At the time, I only worked with devices running Windows OS. Scrivener on Windows doesn’t really look that great (the layout and design look like something from Windows 7), but overall I liked how it let me organise everything about a story into one “desktop” and I could reference notes about character, plot and theme at any given time without having to flip through a folder or notebook.

I continued to use Scrivener for writing off and on on my Surface 3 tablet, but the writing obviously died off after life happened. Then the Surface 3 started crapping out on me (won’t charge properly) and that was annoying. I got an iPad for my last birthday (thank you, Jamie), and I downloaded Scrivener from the Apple App Store in the hopes of continuing my writing on the iPad for convenience.

What I came to find was that I STILL wasn’t getting much writing done. The iPad was full of too many distractions and it was TOO portable. This meant it was too easy for me to just get up and do something else while taking the iPad with me, and then the whole idea of writing something down will soon be forgotten.

So I dug out my large clunky Lenovo gaming laptop, originally purchased in 2011. I don’t recall exactly my reasoning for purchasing such a big machine, but I believe I was probably “into” gaming back then. I like using this large clunky laptop for writing now because it’s huge and inconvenient. Which means that if want to write on it, I am more or less rooted to this workspace for however long. It became part of how I wanted to take writing more seriously.

Then came the trouble of finding something I can write with that would allow me to edit my work from both the PC and the iPad without having to do too much manual uploading and downloading, and that’s what led me to doing another round of researching of other tools because I was convinced that it was not possible with Scrivener.

How wrong I was. After messing around with various other tools and finding them inadequate for what I needed, I decided to have another go with Scrivener. I installed it on the PC and made peace with having to choose using either the PC or the iPad to write with. I made peace with having to just export files entirely from one device, uploading them on google drive/one drive/whatever else, and just having to import them to the second device.

Turns out I never connected Scrivener to dropbox correctly on a PC. I tried it again, and I reconnected Scrivener to dropbox on my iPad, and viola! Everything I edit on either device would update directly on the other device.

And now that I’m finally done tinkering around, there really is no excuse to not write. I have a workspace, I have the tools. I just need to actually do it. 

So away we go.


Now that I have a proper work space set up, I’m trying to find the right tools that would be comfortable for me to write with. Here are the hardware I’m working with:

  • Windows PC laptop (main)
  • Windows Surface 3
  • Apple iPad
  • Apple iPhone

I have used all four of these devices to write over the years, and I haven’t found any tool that I really stuck with that would allow me to seamlessly save and edit files across all platforms. Here are the software I’ve tried over the years:

The issue: I want to use one tool that allows me to access/edit my writing from anywhere. I also want to be able to organize my work. This means my options are limited to a tool that seamlessly saves my work from iPad to Windows PC. So begins my journal to finding something that would work. The last time I really put in any effort researching this was probably four years ago. As I look into this again right now, I’m seeing that there’s been even more tools developed since I last looked.

New tools that I’m planning on trying:

The four tools I’ve listed above all share one thing in common–they are text editors that you can launch in a browser. This means I can launch these on ANY device, but the limitation is that I must have internet access. This can be tricky as I now live in Australia, where internet access is not always guaranteed.

So I begin my trials today. I’ll check back in about a week and let everyone know my thoughts.