Part of a Whole

My name is Nicolas Steenhout.
I speak, train, and consult about inclusion, accessibility and disability.

Using Scrivener for podcasting

Accessibility rules podcast

I’ve been using Scrivener for a while now to organize my writing and other creative projects. The more I use it and learn about it, the more powerful I find it. I am having conversations around web accessibility with people involved, directly or not, with web accessibility and I am podcasting these conversations as the A11y Rules Podcast. I’m relying on Scrivener to organize the podcast. I thought it might be interesting for some of you to learn how I use the app.

Scrivener

I imagine that if you are reading this post, you are likely either interested in Scrivener, or in Podcasting. I won’t go on at length about Scrivener, but a short introduction is in order for those who aren’t familiar with the software. It is described as a “complete writing studio”. You can easily organize content, research, resources, etc. It was created by writers, for writers. There are several modes, including a distraction-free mode which I’ve not used myself but that I heard many people swear by.

Project organization

Screenshot of Scrivener writing app
This is what Scrivener looks like when I work on podcasts.

I organized my podcast project within my “Creative works” Scrivener projects. I prefer to use one over-arching projects because there is (or will be) a lot of overlap between my podcasts, my blog posts, and my conference presentations. Each creative project has a top folder, with second tier folders to organise a bit more. The podcast project has the following folder structure:

  • Podcast
    • Podcast info
    • Guests
      • Past guests
      • Guests in progress
      • Possible guests
    • Questions
    • Patreon

Podcast info

This folder contains information and text for my intro, my outro, details about music, and the standard text I use for my guest notification.

Questions

The Questions folder has only one document, which are a bunch of ideas for questions to be asked.

Patreon

The Patreon folder includes information about my Patreon page: content for the project page itself, details for the introduction video, the reward tiers, that kind of stuff.

Guests

The Guests folder is where the “meat” resides. I’ve created sub-folders below that: Past guests, Guests in progress, and Possible guests. The Past guests folder allows me to keep all the info that I am not working on currently out of sight but easily accessible. The Possible guests folder allows me to jot down ideas of who I should speak to, and include contact details, or referee, or any other information I need about that person.

The Guests in progress has a folder for each guest, labelled with the person’s name. In that folder, I have a document for questions I’m planning to ask the guest; a document with the bits I’m going to say during the podcast (e.g. The intro, welcoming the guest, etc); an editing notes document; and one or two transcripts documents.

Before the podcast

I make sure to review my bank of questions and select those that will be most appropriate for each guest. For instance, I wouldn’t ask what specific accessibility barriers a guest without disabilities has encountered, or I wouldn’t ask a designer about the intersection of security and accessibility.

If I think of a question that isn’t in my bank of question, I add it there as well for future use.

During the podcast

I use the vertical split layout view to have two documents side by side, which allows me to have one pane with the questions I prepared for each specific guest, and another pane with the things I want to say for the intro and outro. This makes it really easy to keep track of what I want to say.

From podcast to blog

For each podcast guest, I prepare a short blog post, using some of the notes and highlights created during the podcast’s editing process. My blog project also “lives” within the same Scrivener project, so I can easily copy/paste the notes from one to another.

Because I don’t use all the highlights and notes I made during the editing stage for the blog, so it’s not as simple as wholesale copy/pasting the notes into a blog post. I use the vertical split layout view to have two documents side by side: One one side the blog post I’m writing, on the other pane the editing notes.