Scrivener is a powerful tool to help you keep all of your thoughts organized while you're writing anything from a novel to a legal brief. It's packed full of features designed by writers for writers, and while that can make it a bit overwhelming at first, the payoff in the end is excellent.
Research oriented: This app is appropriate for all kinds of writing, and it includes different features geared toward each one. But one of its main benefits is the split-screen working mode that lets you view your notes and research on one side while you write on the other. You can enter all of your notes and research into this program, and then bring it up at will, greatly streamlining the organization process.
Tutorials: Because this app does do so much, it can be a bit overwhelming at first. But the developers do make it as easy as possible to find your way around by including various types of tutorials and references. There is an interactive tutorial that thoroughly walks you through each aspect of the program, and there are also dozens of videos describing different features and how to access them. While you may have to go back and reference these resources from time to time, they're clearly accessible and well organized, so you'll know where to find what you need quickly.
Formatting and photos: This app was not designed to allow you to polish finished drafts, and so its formatting features are limited. The developers suggest that you move your document to a more conventional word processing program like Word when you're ready for the final edit, but this may be an inconvenience for some people. That's true especially if you'd like to insert images into your document as you go, an operation that Scrivener does not support.
This app delivers on just about every level. It's packed with features, and each of them really is designed to solve a common problem for writers of various kinds. No matter what type of writing you do, this program is worth testing out to see if it's a good fit. You can try it for free for 30 days, and the full purchase price is $45.
Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of Scrivener for Mac 2.5.0.