Library & Groups in Inspire: better file management and organization

When you open Inspire, you can see 3 columns from left to right: Library & Groups, Sheet list, and the Editor.

3 columns from left to right: Library & Groups, Sheet list, and the Editor in Inspire the writing app.
3 columns from left to right: Library & Groups, Sheet list, and the Editor.

Being the first column on the left, Library & Groups is like the manager of all your work written in Inspire: it’s on top of everything and it keeps things all under control.

How so? Let’s move on, and you’ll see how Inspire is the ideal tool for you to write in a distraction-free environment.

Library: holds everything you write

All your work is in the Library, including the deleted ones. You can see it as the Windows folder that has access to all your text.

That said, if you erase files manually, you won’t see them here.

In the Library section, you can see 3 groups, All, Favorites, and Trash.

  • All your current work is in the All group.
  • When you add your sheets to favorites, you’ll see them in the Favorites group. This comes in handy when you want to have quick access to some sheets. If you don’t see the Favorites group in your library, it’s because you haven’t favored your sheets yet.
  • Your deleted sheets and groups will go to the Trash folder. You can restore or erase files here if you like. But please be note that the erased files and groups will be removed from your computer completely and it cannot be undone.

On My Computer: categorize your work into groups, subgroups, etc.

In the On My Computer section, you’ll see 2 universal groups: Inbox and Introduction.

Inbox and Introduction groups in the Library.
Inbox and Introduction groups in the Library.
  • Inbox holds all the .IS files you receive and open with Inspire.
  • Introduction is where you find basic information about markdown and how to use Inspire.
  • The other folders. As per your own needs, you can add as many groups on your computer as you like. Simply by right-clicking Inbox and click New Group….
Create a new group in Inspire.
Create a new group.

When you select a group, you’ll get an overview of all its subgroups and sheets.

External Folders: edit .md files from other platforms

External folders allow you to see and edit your .md files from other platforms (such as Mac). In this way, you can transfer your documents to Inspire for further editing.

That is to say, Inspire provides you with a way out for cross-platform writing and editing. Go to this post to see how to edit your .md files from other platforms with Inspire.

Sheet list: organize your projects and texts

When you open Inspire, you can see 3 columns from left to right: Library & Groups, Sheet list, and the Editor.

Sheet list is the column in the middle. It contains a bunch of “classic documents”, except that they don’t require a “title” or a “filename” or anything as such.

Sheet list in Inspire.
Sheet list in Inspire.

In other words, you don’t need to scratch your head to come up with a title before you write. This is how Inspire fastens your writing workflow. On the improving writing efficiency front, every step counts.

Here are what you can do in the sheet list to improve your writing efficiency:

Change sort order: for better sheet organization

Here, you can change the sort order of your sheets in a group.

To do so, just select the group you want to sort, and hover your mouse over to the top-right corner of the group, and select one of the options you see here:

Change your sheets sort order in Inspire.
Change your sheets sort order.

Searching for keywords: locate your sheet faster

Search for keyword
Search for keywords

You can also filter your sheets by typing in the keyword in the Search field, so you’ll only see sheets with the searched keyword listed.

Display dates in the sheet list: keep track of the last update

In Inspire, you can show the dates of a sheet in the sheet list. To do so, you can go to View > Sheet Preview, then make sure that you’ve ticked Dates .

View the updated dates of your sheets in Inspire.
View the updated dates of your sheets.

By default, you can see the updated date above each sheet:

An example of the updated date on a sheet.
An example of the updated date on a sheet.

Add to Favorites: direct access to your favored sheets

By adding your sheets to favorites, you’ll see them in the Favorites group in the Library, so you don’t have to spend your time searching for them in the group hierarchy. Such direct access leads to a smoother workflow.

Add a sheet to your Favorite group.
Add a sheet to your Favorite group.

Duplicate: copy your current sheet

Just as the name entails, by duplicating the selected sheet, you’ll get an identical copied sheet in the same group. So you can move it around to other groups if you need, without having to manually copy and paste the entire sheet to a new one.

Split Sheet…: split a sheet by heading and/or divider

If you want to split your long document into shorter, handy chunks, like when you’re working on large projects such as novels, it’s done almost immediately on Inspire.

To split your sheet, you can right-click the sheet and click Split Sheet…. Then choose how you like the sheet to be divided, and click OK.

Split your work with long content by headings and/or divider
Split your work with long content by headings and/or divider

There, you now have a group of sheets stored in a new group.

Merge sheets: join multiple sheets into one

Inspire aims to let you write whole books, and you’ll probably need more than one single sheet of content for these. So, merging multiple sheets into a master one for later use is of great help. Here is how you can do it:

Press the Ctrl key and select the sheets you want to merge. Right-click the sheets highlighted and click Merge Sheets.

Merge multiple sheets into one
Merge multiple sheets into one

There, you have your master sheet created.

Preview…: see how your work will look like

Right-click your sheet and select Preview…, you’ll see how your sheet will look like when it’s published to the website.

You can also Preview multiple selected sheets to see how are the sheets doing when merged.

Export…: export to a host of standard formats, publish to WordPress or Medium

When you finish your writing, how do you want the world to see it? Inspire allows you to export your work to numerous standard formats (Text, HTML, DOCX, PDF, etc.). You can also publish it directly from within the app to your WordPress website or a Medium account.

You can either 1) click the export button on the editor, or 2) right-click the sheet and select Export… to invoke the export option.

How to export your work from Inspire
How to export your work from Inspire

This is what the export panel looks like

From left to right are what you can do in the export panel: you can change export formats, you can directly export, or see draft, you can change the export settings
What you can do in the export panel

From left to right, up to down:

  • You can choose what format you want your work to be export as,Text, HTML, PDF, DOCX, or InspireSheet. You can also publish your work to WordPress or Medium as well.
  • Copy to clipboard
  • Preview… allows you to see what your exported sheet will look like
  • Open in… lets you open your sheet in available applications
  • Save to… opens and saves your sheet to your local folder
  • Publish… allows you to publish to WordPress and Medium
  • Cancel if you have second thought about exporting

Export multiple sheets

You can also export multiple sheets all at once.

When you selected the sheets, all of them will be “stitched together”, like a large chunk of content. You then can decide what format you want the merged sheet to be in, just like a regular sheet.

Move to Trash: move unwanted sheets from the sheet list

When you move your sheets to the Trash group, they’ll stay there, until you erase them manually. But please be aware that manual erased sheets can’t be retrieved, so please do so with extra discreet.

Other features for the sheet list

  • Add a new sheet: shortcut keys Ctrl + N
  • Previous sheet: shortcut keys Ctrl + Up
  • Next sheet: shortcut keys Ctrl + Down