When I was looking at trying to get back into creative writing, I looked at Scrivener. It's a nice app, but I already had online services I liked for notes and research, mainly Evernote and Trello, and it didn't seem to have good options for integrating with them.
Turns out, Emacs does all that stuff. All it costs is your sanity an assload of time to learn.
Also, Optimus is kinda-sorta okay. There's a utility called Bumblebee that handles turning the Nvidia chip on and off, and you basically end up running a second X session on the Nvidia with the output piped into the normal session. It's done by launching any app you want to be on the GPU with a wrapper app like Optirun.