About a year ago I bought the first version of Scrivener, a Mac writing app that falls somewhere between a structuring/outlining application and a proper word processor/screenwriting application. It's an intriguing proposition, with virtual notecards, a nice full-screen writing mode, and plenty of other bells and whistles. Since adding it to my dock, however, I haven't found myself using it that often -- though I'm not sure if it's through any fault of the software or just because I tend to outline the old-fashioned way (with pen and paper). Still, there's a new version that's just been released after a long development cycle, and it's worth checking out if you're a screenwriter or any other kind of long-form writer.
In the developer's words:
Most word processors approach composing a long-form text the same as typing a letter or flyer - they expect you to start on page one and keep typing until you reach the end. Scrivener lets you work in any order you want and gives you tools for planning and restructuring your writing. In Scrivener, you can enter a synopsis for each document on a virtual index card and then stack and shuffle the cards in the corkboard until you find the most effective sequence.
This is the main reason I bought it in the first place -- I find Microsoft Word and other word processing programs to be bereft of good structuring tools, and I liked the idea of Scrivener's focus on outlining. Here's a look at Scrivener's abilities in action (there's a 20% off coupon at the end of the screencast); you can also head on over to the site and download a free trial.
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DthBJhBrYs
Any Scrivener users out there? What about other outlining/writing programs?