I draft most of my blog posts directly in WordPress and use Google docs for almost everything else. I’m sorry, Microsoft Word, but I have no love for you. You ate my manuscript that one time and I will never speak to you again. However, Google Docs is too clunky for fiction manuscripts, at least for my tastes. So, I was really happy to find Novel writing software that wasn’t Scrivener (because Scrivener is too complicated and gives me a headache just looking at it). So I bring you my Novlr review. Enjoy!
What I like about Novlr
- I can use it online or offline
- Clean, distraction-free interface
- More intuitive than Scrivener
- Access from my laptop, desktop, or mobile phone (no extra charge)
- Tracks daily word count and monthly goals
- Easy to stay organized with notes and chapters
- Saves reliably and automatically
- Doesn’t eat or lose manuscripts (*cough, cough* *glares at Word*)
- Easier to organize than Google Docs (no nesting folder headaches)
- Can export in different file forms (.pdf, .docx, .odt or download as epub)
First, we’ll take a look at Novlr’s dashboard, and then I will show you one of my works in progress.
Where to find the dashboard
Novlr’s dashboard menu is located to the right side of the screen when a manuscript is open. Like the rest of the app, it’s simple and easy to navigate. Here’s what the dashboard looks like.
All of the dashboard options like goals, analytics, integrations and publishing (more on those last two in a bit) can be found on the right once you open your dashboard. Your novels and stats are front and center.
My stats are kind of weird because I uploaded some old drafts from Google docs the day I took this screenshot. I’ve had some pretty high wordcount days, but 111k is from the drafts, not my actual word count for the day. 😉
The dashboard is extra helpful if you have multiple works in progress, but it’s also great for a single story. Either way, it makes it easy to pop in and see how your progress looks.
Having all of your novels listed in one place makes it easy to find everything.
Novlr review: the goals page
Having a daily or monthly writing goal is a good idea. It’s measurable, so you can track your progress in a meaningful way. Some people like counting manuscript pages, some people like using word count. I’m all about the word count.
Novlr’s goal page lets you keep track of a daily goal and a monthly goal. It also keeps tabs on how many days in a row you’ve met your goals.
So what does it look like when you are in a manuscript? Like this!
Novlr writing menu
As you can see, the interface is super clean. When you are working on your draft, you can collapse the chapter menu or have it out on the left. The dashboard menu is collapsed on the right in the above screenshot.
Chapter order is easily rearranged if desired. Below the Chapter section of the menu is an area for organizing notes. I like to do a lot of mythology and history research for my fiction, so I love the notes section.
Before I forget! You can also see Grammarly in my screenshots. I should take a minute from my Novlr review to tell you about that.
A note about Grammarly
In some of the above screenshots, you’ll notice that I also use Grammarly (an online editing tool). I’ve circled the Grammarly icons below so you know which ones they are. This is not part of Novlr.
However, Grammarly works great as an extension with Novlr. Below, here’s a screenshot from one of my WIPs that shows what Grammarly looks like in conjunction with Novlr. You can read my full review of Grammarly and why I use it here. (Hint: it makes my job as a writer much easier.)
Using Grammarly with Novlr makes it easy to edit my draft as I work. It also makes cleaning it up for export a snap!
Back to Novlr. . .
Novlr integrations and publishing
If you want to make your work accessible in DropBox or Google Docs, Novlr has you covered! This year, they even have an integration with National Novel Writing Month. So if you love NaNoWriMo, rejoice! You can now use Novlr instead of Google or Word and automatically track your wordcount.
Plus, you can even take a finished manuscript from Novlr and get it ready for publishing in epub format. You simply
- click the Publishing tab from the dashboard
- tell Novlr which manuscript
- add your cover art
- and download the epub file to your computer.
So, Novlr has a lot of features that can make writing a novel much easier. Removing resistance and making your job as easy as possible sets you up for success, right? For everything that it provides, I think it’s pretty impressive that Novlr is only $10 a month!
Try Novlr for free
Now that you’ve read my Novlr review, are you ready to check it out for yourself? Use my link to sign up and you can try Novlr for two weeks for free! If you’re writing every day, two weeks is plenty of time to decide whether Novlr will be a good fit for you.
Enjoy exploring Novlr, and best wishes for all of your writing projects!
Photo credit: Pixabay