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Author Topic: Jutoh 3, recently followed by the release of Scrivener 3 Windows from beta  (Read 1126 times)

Dormouse

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I'd missed the fact that Jutohhas been upgraded from 2 to 3, with relatively frequent updates recently. Haven't had a chance to check it out yet, but noticed that it seems to incorporate the storyboard design from Writer's Cafe. In the back of my mind I'm harbouring the question of whether it could be used as a simple converter between a variety of formats that I use, which could save me a tad of aggravation if it does.

I had thought that Writer's Cafe had stopped development but there were updates in 2019. I'd also somehow grown the idea that Harriet Smart (the writer wife of the developer of Jutoh and Writer's Cafe) had stopped writing, but that's not true either. It does look as if Jutoh is being positioned as the primary program though, incorporating some features from WC.

Dormouse

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I don't know what it is with the 3s. Just remembered that AeonTimeline 3 ought to be coming soon, though my promised invitation to the beta has still not arrived. I'm particularly looking forward to trying out the spreadsheet view in that.

I've now had a brief look at Jutoh. I noticed that some of the documentation advice references Amazon practices in 2013 and that the PDF of the guide splits some sentences across lines creating little groups of orphans. Doesn't inspire confidence in a program designed to make tidying and formatting easy. The program itself seems fine and functions clearly explained. 3 can be used with a 2 licence; the extra features can be turned for the session to allow users to try them out. Probably worth the upgrade for people who use it.

Not sure about the creative features added (storyboard etc) that originated in Writer's Cafe. Feels random and incomplete as it stands. Documentation implies that the whole writing process can be contained in Jutoh, but the editor feels insufficient to me. Possibly an indication of a direction of travel; possibly an acceptance that some people prefer to write with editors that have no creative or compiling/formatting features.

I didn't probe the storyboard much, but diverted onto Writer's Cafe which has more of those features (eg pinboard). I'm likely to have closer look at both, since I am one of those who prefer to write with editors that have no visual or creative features and they're something I miss often. I've tried many solutions but always drift away as I rediscover that the overall workflow is too rough.

Dormouse

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I didn't probe the storyboard much, but diverted onto Writer's Cafe which has more of those features (eg pinboard)
The Writer's Cafe Storylines feature isn't exactly the same as the Jutoh storyboard. It looks the same but isn't set up the same. I think I will do a little comparison and review. And add in AeonTimeline 3 if that comes. With the Scrivener Corkboard and spreadsheets and anything else that comes to mind.

I keep sticking on one project. I'd like to give it up, but my brain refuses to leave it alone. 'Creative' features I think is a misnomer: they're as much about organisation and reorganisation as creation. And nothing flows when it needs to be redone. So it will be interesting to see if any of these help. I believe I already know that the Corkboard and spreadsheets approach won't work, but it's worth clarifying why. Not sure whether I should add outlining (specifically playing about with multiple outlines). The big difference between the Scrivener Corkboard and the Jutoh and Writer's Cafe features is that they have a tabular, columns and rows, construction which can be very helpful for organisation, where a freeform Corkboard is easier for creation. It might take me a while to work out how best to use it; there are chapters and scenes, and character arc examples with columns representing the book or time sequence, but I  assume others are possible.

Dormouse

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little comparison and review
Preparing list:

Jutoh Storyboard
Writer's Cafe StoryLines

Writer's Cafe Pinboard
Scrivener Corkboard
Scapple
Write It Now Story Board
Write It Now Storyline Editor

DocxManager+Writage+Word
AeonTimeline 3
Draw.io; Bubbl.us (examples of diagram/mindmap approach)
Plottr (recommended by some, seems too rigid at first glance)
Notezilla
Pen and paper or digital pen and paper
Outlining
Spreadsheet
Mindomo - part done

I'll add others as they occur to me if I think they'll add a new dimension rather than extra detail.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2021, 05:26 PM by Dormouse »

wraith808

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There's also DocXManager (formerly Writing Outliner) - https://docxmanager.com/

Dormouse

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Ha! Yes. Thanks.  It certainly wasn't something that sprang to my mind, and I don't remember ever hearing about it before. Though I might have forgotten.
And it's certainly from a different dimension.

wraith808

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Ha! Yes. Thanks.  It certainly wasn't something that sprang to my mind, and I don't remember ever hearing about it before. Though I might have forgotten.
And it's certainly from a different dimension.

Writing Outliner had been out for a while (and was very useful as with Scrivener and other mediums, I'd have to export and get it in Word format for submission, but being able to just do it in Word was great). He dropped it for a while for a rewrite, had problems but released the new version, then immediately got started on this, which then replaced Writing Outliner. For some reason, this one never took off for me.

Dormouse

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That makes complete sense.
I've always done my best to avoid writing in Word, but sometimes it was just easier to do that than the whole export-import-format thing. And the primitive outlining etc was a thorn in the side then. Though the add-ins I looked at seemed more effort than they were worth.

FWIW I've been playing around with Jutoh's Storyboard. Succession of thoughts going 'Wow' and 'Wow' and 'Wow!'. Very complex and finicky to configure unless you just go with default settings,  but can be saved as a template once done. And now, having developed some understanding of what it can do, I have to think about what use can be made of it.
Supposed to be simpler than the Writer's Cafe Storylines, but also more flexible.

Dormouse

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DocXManager
I've added it to the list. With Writage.
Not a cheap combo at $49 (standard) + $29 + Word, but might suit those familiar with or stuck with Word.

wraith808

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Oh Writage is the one that lets you write in Markdown in Word, right?

Dormouse

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Yes. I added it because markdown might be important for some potential users. And I thought it was worth checking whether it would interfere with DocxManager.

Dormouse

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I'll put up what I have done so far later, and then add to it as I go down the list.

I've just had my invitation to Timeline 3. Impressed on a very brief inspection, and the spreadsheet pane is very helpful. I expect to add it as a core tool to my own workflow. But it is highly complex and unlikely to be worth using for anything simpler.

Also starting to use Mindomo, which is quite complex too, but with good import/export (including xlsx, csv, md, txt). So it seems as if Mindomo, Obsidian and Timeline could be a good combo.
But I'm only just learning how best to use Obsidian in development, and adding another two unfamiliar tools is no way to tackle a current problem so I'll let myself learn slowly and use something simpler for now.

wraith808

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I've just had my invitation to Timeline 3. Impressed on a very brief inspection, and the spreadsheet pane is very helpful. I expect to add it as a core tool to my own workflow. But it is highly complex and unlikely to be worth using for anything simpler.

Thanks for that. I had an invitation earlier, but as my use of Timeline has been limited because of having to use the timeline to set it up and that being a little painful, I'd not taken a look. If they have a new interface to allow you to enter in a different fashion and then just view them along the timeline, it might prove more useful.

Dormouse

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my use of Timeline has been limited because of having to use the timeline to set it up and that being a little painfu
I'd agree with that. v3 looks easier (given I've not tested it at all). I still suspect that you'd only use it for something very detailed unless you like to spend most of your time creating detailed plans. But I've not seen its equal for detailed and complex timelines. For the 0.1% of fiction writers who need them and historians and historical writers.

Dormouse

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I'll put up what I have done so far later, and then add to it as I go down the list.
I've put up a marker in the mini-review section.

Dormouse

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There's also DocXManager (formerly Writing Outliner) - https://docxmanager.com/

I'm afraid I won't be looking at this in detail after all. I downloaded it but found no sign of a dark mode, even though Word is in dark mode on my machine. Nor could I find an easy way to change the colour settings for the various panes.

From what I saw, the corkboard view was very simple and outlining the same as any two pane outliner.