I've been using Scrivener for several days and I'm impressed overall. Although it seems to lack Word's auto-correct feature and doesn't highlight sloppy grammar for me, it has demonstrated several advantages.
1. It has yet to freeze or crash.
2. It seems intuitive to me. After a short introductory tutorial, I began using it and have encountered few mis-steps. I'm not using all features fully yet but expand my knowledge and familiarity more each time I use it.
3. Scrivener has an interesting cork bulletin boards feature. Through these, you can add notecards. There are bulletin boards for scenes, research and characters. The character bulletin board is enormously useful. You put small reminders on the notecards but if you click on the notecard, greater information is revealed. This simplifies tracking characters, their descriptions and relationships.
3. Formatting is much improved over Word's efforts. Word tries a broad approach, and the result for me have been erratic. An example: I'll cut and paste text and sometimes the formatting will default to another font size and choice. Moving around text in Scrivener, I've not encountered this issue at all.
4. It shares the universal keystroke shortcuts - Control C (copy), Control V (paste), Control Z, (undo), Control Y (redo), and so on.
5. It saves and archives backups for you without asking, tracking its changes for itself.
Scrivener has other features I've yet to explore, such as templates for character sketches. Now granted, much of my irritation with Word has to do with its evolution. As it's 'become more powerful', it's lost much familiarity as well. Many of the features are re-arranged from the old Word versions I used. Granted, I can learn and do learn but their many, many options in an effort to provide everything for everyone dilutes their usefulness and their ease of use. Beyond that, the bitter taste of frustration and irritation with its crashes and freezes coupled with its poor support drove me to look for other options.
Scrivener might be 'the one'.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com