Jutoh VS. Scrivener: Best Writing Program

I’ve been a fan of Scrivener since I started indie publishing. I even posted a piece on formatting (compiling) your book with Scrivener a few years ago (it still works with Scrivener 2).

But when I got a new laptop, I downloaded Scrivener 3…and man, was I disappointed. Much of what I loved about Scrivener for the drafting process is still there, but the compile. What a mess. Seriously.

I’d been hearing indie authors swear by a new (to me) program for a while, and decided to give it a shot:

To a great extent, Jutoh is really similar to Scrivener, especially if you don’t find yourself using all of Scrivener’s fancy cork boards and icons and drafting options. For example, Jutoh includes an area on the left side of the screen with a list of all your chapters (similar to Scrivener’s binder). In this area, it’s possible to drag and drop chapters into a different order (though I’ll confess I find moving chapters in Scrivener to be more fluid / easier). You can use multiple screens in Jutoh during editing (I frequently make use of the split-screen feature in Scrivener). It’s also affordable: $45 for a one-time download (no subscription).

And, maybe most importantly: Jutoh’s compile feature is a breeze (especially compared to Scrivener’s). So easy, in fact, that there’s really not much instruction I can give. Put your chapters together as you’d like them to look in a finished product, then choose your output format, and click “Compile.” Seriously. That’s it.

I absolutely recommend Jutoh for compiling your ebooks (it’s even easier than Scrivener 2). But there’s just something about the drafting process that I find more compatible to Scrivener (though drafting is absolutely possible in Jutoh).

Here’s my current workflow:

Draft in Scrivener – Compile into Word – Import into Jutoh – Complete Global Edits – Compile into OpenDocument – Save as .docx – Import into InDesign – Do Final Edits in Jutoh (for ebooks) and InDesign (for print).

I will say, I’m so, so, so, so, so glad to have found Jutoh. It’s an utter lifesaver in terms of compiling ebooks. Though I’m using both Scrivener and Jutoh right now, if I had to choose only one program, I’d go with Jutoh. I’ll definitely be using nothing else to compile for the foreseeable future!