What are the best Scrivener alternatives in 2021?

    Scrivener is described as 'Typewriter. Ring-binder. Scrapbook. Scrivener combines everything you need to craft your first draft, from nascent notion to final full stop' and is a well-known app in the News & Books category. There are more than 50 alternatives to Scrivener for a variety of platforms, including Windows, Mac, Online / Web-based, Linux and iPhone. The best alternative is Manuskript, which is both free and Open Source. Other great apps like Scrivener are bibisco (Freemium, Open Source), yWriter (Freemium), Zettlr (Free, Open Source) and Quoll Writer (Free, Open Source).

    This page was last updated May 10, 2021

    Platforms

    • Windows
    • Mac
    • Online
    • Linux
    • iPhone
    • iPad
    • Android
    • Software as a Service (SaaS)
    • Wine
    • Steam
    • Terminal
    • Haiku
    • Self-Hosted
    • Apple Watch
    • Console
    • Electron / Atom Shell
    • Visual Studio Code
    • Microsoft Office Word
    • Chrome OS
    • Windows S

    Features

    • Writing tool
    • Outliner
    • Word processing
    • Distraction free writing
    • Notetaking
    • Export to PDF
    • Export to Word
    • Screenwriting
    • Support for MarkDown
    • Night mode/Dark Theme
    • Export to ePub
    • Tree structure
    • Web-Based
    • Lightweight
    • Project management
    • Brainstorming
    • Character database
    • Customizable
    • Fullscreen support
    • Novel planning

    License

    • Free
    • Open Source
    • Paid
    All Filters

    • Open-source tool for writers. With outliner, character management, plot development, distraction-free editor, etc. View 93 alternatives to Manuskript
      Most users think Manuskript is a great alternative to Scrivener.
      • FreeOpen Source
      • Mac
      • Windows
      • Linux
      Manuskript vs Scrivener
      pros, cons and recent comments
      A intuitive tool that is not overloaded. A basic wordprocessor and a binder. Feels a lot like pen and paper.
      Top positive comment  11 months ago

      3
      DarkRedman Mostly because it's opensource but also because the interface and features are very similar !
      Top positive comment  almost 2 years ago

      5
      RCLeahcar Manuskript is very much like a free lightweight version of Scrivener; does not have all the whistles and bells but it has a similar interface and workflow. Also has a timeline tracking tool which Scrivener currently does not have
      Positive comment 8 months ago

      0
      LapoMelzi Even if it is in the early stages, it is smarter than Scrivener. The way it handles revisions is simple and amazing; the Timeline is rough yet great -- and something Scrivener doesn't have; the tracking of characters, locations, plots and every other item in the story is easy and effective. Plus, it is still in development and hasn't reached its full potential. I have been using Scrivener for year, but I am enjoy this opensource baby much more.
      Positive comment almost 2 years ago

      4
      redbeardgrey Manuskript organizes a project essentially the same way Scrivener does: Project, Chapters, Scenes. It has all the essentials for a good writing workflow. In fact, it offers a few more tools than does Scrivener.
      Positive comment almost 2 years ago

      0
      There are many similar layout features compared to Scrivener. It also has a few features Scrivener seems to be missing or doesn't define clearly such as an outline process. However, it is very early development and has many bugs to work out.
      Positive comment over 4 years ago

      8
    • bibisco is a novel writing software that helps you to write your story, in a simple way. View 34 alternatives to bibisco
      Most users think bibisco is a great alternative to Scrivener.
      • FreemiumOpen Source
      • Mac
      • Windows
      • Linux
      • Electron / Atom Shell
      • Node.JS
      bibisco vs Scrivener
      pros, cons and recent comments
      callyw It is actually a better alternative to Scrivener because of its clear, organisation features. I wish I would have discovered this before I purchased Scrivener. Bibisco is much easier to use: You don't need lengthy tutorials to read just to get started. Hands down this is better.
      Top positive comment  over 4 years ago

      4
      laurafecco simple and very useful to know your characters!
      Top positive comment  over 4 years ago

      1
      Laughably bad. Scrivener has the good sense to stay out of your way when you know what you're doing bibisco not only got in the way constantly (no, follow OUR tutorial!) it also insisted on doing it in, I kid you not, two inch caps. Is this some kind of joke?
      Top negative comment  over 3 years ago

      5
      LapoMelzi Too strict in his structure and the same time not thorough enough so that the boxing in would by uselful
      Negative comment almost 2 years ago

      5
      thatmasquedgirl I used bibisco briefly a few years ago, and I remember it being packed to the brim with useful features. It's great for fiction writers because it gives them a variety of fields for defining their character. I felt the software was a bit too bulky for what I wanted, though. The best thing about bibisco is that it's 100% free, which is nice if your funds are limited, or if you aren't making a profit from your writing.
      Positive comment over 2 years ago

      -5
      Bibisco is free, has a very good design and structure that help to create a fiction book outline . The text editor is quite simple and working is quite intuitive.
      Positive comment over 4 years ago

      -4


    • yWriter is a writing tool that uses "scenes" as a unit of text and allows you to associate that text with all manner of story elements (characters, locations, items) as well as place it and rearrange it within the context of chapters. View 49 alternatives to yWriter
      Most users think yWriter is a great alternative to Scrivener.
      • FreemiumProprietary
      • Mac
      • Windows
      • Linux
      • Android
      • iPhone
      • Android Tablet
      • iPad
      • Wine
      • Mono
      yWriter vs Scrivener
      pros, cons and recent comments
      isahbellah it's free, it's easy to use and intuitive. The only thing that would make ywriter better is if it had an option to sync to other devices or such. Seriously, this is so much better than scrivener!
      Top positive comment  over 4 years ago

      -2
      In my traipsing about the world of effective writing applications, like many, I blindly downloaded and attempted to utilize Scrivener. As noted, this was an attempt and, to better, expound, it was a failed attempt as Scrivener lacks a WYSIWYG approach. yWriter, however, is an absolute gem providing all of the necessary development tools broken down in a logical format that follows the lifecycle of story development from inception to completion.
      Top positive comment  over 2 years ago

      -4
      I hated it. It kept trying to force me to follow its workflow (invented by the author, I think), and I use a different one. Scrivener suits my workflow, and yWriter does not. It is still on my hard drive, however, just in case.
      Top negative comment  7 months ago

      -1
      robyellow95 For some reason, this reminds me of my high school notebooks: Flipping through pages trying to find crap.
      Positive comment 4 months ago

      0
      Written and maintained by a novellist/software developer, yWriter is free to use, has a no-frills UI, supports cloud saving/device sync via Dropbox and Google Drive, takes automatic backups, and has an Android app (my main dealbreaker with Scrivener).
      Positive comment 8 months ago

      0
      Free, reliable, logical layout. It also has a phone app that can sync with the desktop app if you use a cloud drive. Lots of other great features.
      Positive comment 11 months ago

      0
      have not the same versatility
      Negative comment over 3 years ago

      0
    • Zettlr is a supercharged markdown editor that combines many writing editor features and collect them in one application. View 92 alternatives to Zettlr
      Most users think Zettlr is a great alternative to Scrivener.
      • FreeOpen Source
      • Mac
      • Windows
      • Linux
      Zettlr vs Scrivener
      pros, cons and recent comments
      Zettlr is a fantastic alternative to Scrivener - give it a go. It's brilliant.
      Positive comment 10 months ago

      -2
    • Focus on your words not the interface. Quoll Writer is a writing application that helps you focus on your words. Clean and uncluttered. Feature rich. Features are where you would expect them to be. View 46 alternatives to Quoll Writer
      Most users think Quoll Writer is a great alternative to Scrivener.
      • FreeOpen Source
      • Windows
      Quoll Writer vs Scrivener
      pros, cons and recent comments
      Shares many features, but little of the clutter.
      Top positive comment  almost 5 years ago

      1
      - free -clean, uncluttered interface - easy and intuitive to use
      Top positive comment  over 3 years ago

      2
      shall No cost. Really solid features for writing novels or short stories. It's what I consider a Scrivener-like program without having the (sometimes obtuse and sometimes odd) interface that plagues Scrivener. Cards (corkboard), character/item tracking, notes, full-screen minimal mode, nice editing features, and no format lock-in make this a must-try. I will say it's not a pretty as Scrivener.
      Positive comment 9 months ago

      0
      Clean interface. No non-sense kind of software that has some of the same features of Scrivener. One particular feature I like is the software's ability to automatically link items, characters, places etc. to scenes, chapters, ideas, etc. so you know where every character, item, and place is. Great for keeping track of things in your novel. Has a few bugs here and there, but the developer is friendly, helpful, and responds back in a timely fashion.
      Positive comment about 2 years ago

      4
      RemovedUser Free; solid; several features; customizable; new versions released quickly and with new features; developer very receptive; great for writing novels.
      Positive comment over 3 years ago

      1


    • As easy to use as a word document or bulleted list, and as powerful for finding, collecting, and connecting related ideas as a graph database. View 79 alternatives to Roam Research
    • LyX is a document processor that encourages an approach to writing based on the structure of your documents (WYSIWYM) and not simply their appearance (WYSIWYG). LyX combines the power and flexibility of TeX/LaTeX with the ease of use of a GUI. View 46 alternatives to LyX
      Most users think LyX is a great alternative to Scrivener.
      • FreeOpen Source
      • Mac
      • Windows
      • Linux
      • BSD
      • Haiku
      LyX vs Scrivener
      pros, cons and recent comments
      Scrivener is a structured editor, but it does not insist on the user using its structure. (Lyx does; you cannot deviate from its chosen structure. You cannot put extra lines in your writing. You cannot have more than 6 levels of outline; that's a no-no; you're "not structuring your outline correctly" if you have more htan that. In some ways, LyX is more user-condescending than Microsoft ever thot about being.)
      Negative comment 12 months ago

      -1
      Lyx is a Wysiwyg TeX editor. Scrivener is a text editor with lots of bells and whistles. They are radically different. LyX is quite useful if you're editing TeX documents or preparing academic papers for publication. It does outlining better than Scrivener, but it's got its own issues.
      Negative comment 7 months ago

      0
    • SmartEdit Writer (formerly Atomic Scribbler) is a project management and writing environment for novelists and short story writers working on Windows PCs. View 34 alternatives to SmartEdit Writer
      Almost everyone thinks SmartEdit Writer is a great alternative to Scrivener.
      • FreeProprietary
      • Windows
      SmartEdit Writer vs Scrivener
      pros, cons and recent comments
      It has a tree structure like Scrivener. It's also free. Can keep tabs of documents open and tabs of notes. What makes this stand out above scrivener is the editing functions with fantastic reports you can run. It does lack some of the tools of scrivener, however, but depending on what tools you find necessary, this may be perfect.
      Positive comment 7 months ago

      0
      Simple and clean interface. Flexible structure of the novel that you prefer. Have nice sections for research and bits of text that you might someday use. Simply enough functions to just... start... writing!
      Positive comment over 2 years ago

      0
      (1) It's free. (2) No nonsense book compile. (3) User-friendly. (4) Less visual clutter. (5) Did I mention it's FREE?
      Positive comment almost 2 years ago

      1
      A Scrivener wannabe with a lot less clutter.
      Positive comment over 2 years ago

      1
    • Dendron is an open-source, local-first, markdown-based, note-taking tool built on top of VSCode. It supports all the usual features you would expect like tagging, backlinks, a graph view, split panes, and so forth. View 181 alternatives to Dendron
    • Writing a novel is a large undertaking. True Novelist was created to make the process as easy as possible for authors. View 89 alternatives to True Novelist
      Most users think True Novelist is a great alternative to Scrivener.
      • FreeProprietary
      • Online
      True Novelist vs Scrivener
      pros, cons and recent comments
      It can divide your book into scenes, sub-scenes, and sub-subscenes.... the process goes on. It's the same as offering 'parts' 'chapters' and scenes.
      Top positive comment  almost 3 years ago

      1
      Much easier to operate, very organised, attractive and minimalistic.
      Top positive comment  over 1 year ago

      1
      This little page is pretty slick, and has what I consider to be Scrivener's main functionality and is hosted online and completely free. The only drawback is that development appears DOA and the creator of the site hasn't made a peep since early 2016.
      Positive comment almost 3 years ago

      0
      It works so well and it is free. You have no limits and you can really do whatever you want with it. It has a dark mode, works on any device with an internet connection, unlimited scenes, and is designed to be almost the same as Scrivener.
      Positive comment almost 3 years ago

      -2
      True Novelist works just like and looks almost identical to Scrivener (making it so there is no learning curb to using it), is purely online so there is no software to download, it is free, gives stats for chapter, entire document, and daily, allows for the setting of daily writing goals, saves automatically and also has snapshots, it has a distraction-free mode, and a night time setting dark theme. True Novelist is truly amazing.
      Positive comment about 4 years ago

      0
    Showing 10 of 87 alternatives