4 comments on “A Tale of Two Programs: Scrivener vs. Excel

  1. I think I ended up here via a RT from Scrivener. I work with Excel nearly everyday. I’m really curious what you’ve put together and (not so) secretly interested in seeing if I can help make it better–not that you were asking. Interested in sharing that file and not just the screenshots?

    • Ha, you kiddin’? I’d love somebody who actually knows what they’re doing to glance over it, though I’m a little embarrassed at the idea of showing my (likely) hackneyed work around. Shooting you an email now.

      • Excel is much like writing in that everyone has their own voice. If this does what you need, then (potentially) hackneyed or not then all is well. If it helps, I approach everyone’s ‘code’ as if it were the best way to accomplish their goals and that any confusion I have or absurdness I sense stems from my lack of understanding of the code of the intent.

        Thanks for trusting me.

  2. I think the reason you find excel so much more difficult is because it’s so much more open. It might be better to think of Excel more like a programming language and to think of Scrivner as an App. With Scrivener you could probably sit down and list the things it can do fairly quickly. If you sat down and tried to do the same for Excel you’d wind up with an encyclopedia ( as any bookstore guide will show).

    Plus with Excel, you are trying to get this program to do things for you. You want to program excel so that it gets to a point where you can put in the inputs and get your necessary outputs. Whole University courses are devoted to this program because of the innumerable possibilities available by using it.

    You are also faced with the “tyranny of choice”. When people are faced with lots of choices they tend to freeze up and not know what to do. And in this sense you could also view excel as a medium; one that requires practice. The more projects you do in it and the greater the variety of projects the more comfortable people tend to be with this program.

    Unfortunnately, nothing trumps practice when it comes to mastering excel.

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