The Save the Cat method uses a grid not unlike the corkboard, with 3 (well, really 4) Acts top to bottom, scenes (or chapters) left to right:
Act 1: Scene 1, Scene 2… Scene n.
Act 2a: Scene 1, Scene 2… Scene n.
Act 2b: Scene 1, Scene 2… Scene n.
Act 3: Scene 1, Scene 2… Scene n.
One advantage of this over the Outline View is that most people’s screens are letterbox shaped.
It’ not quite possible to do this in Corkboard. You can use “flat list”, but not add or reorder. You can have any freeform grid you want, but only if your actual document structure is flat (I’m tinkering with this solution), And you can have two acts open in different Editor panes, but not four.
So what I’d love to see is a way of working with several folders as rows of notecards.
I may not be following exactly what you want here, but I think you might get close with a combination of smart collection and maybe the corkboard’s swimlane view.
First, you can organize your binder hierarchically just as you please, but suppose each of your scene docs is given a label corresponding to the act it is in (Act-1-Scene, Act-2a-Scene,…). Now, you could create a smart collection (saved search) which picked out all the scene docs (search on ‘Act Scene’).
When you call up a smart collection you get it as a flat list in the collections mode of the binder. Selecting these would enable you to go full freeform corkboard with those — without flattening your actual hierarchy in the binder. Maybe that already does what you want. If you have labels set to tint binder icons and put color bands on index cards you can see at a glance the difference between acts.
Since we imagined that each of the scenes in an act got a different act-specific label assigned, the swimlane view of the corkboard will now sort those cards into rows by act. To get them to line up like you want, you might need to sort the collections binder alphabetically (non-destructive) — if your scenes are numbered, all the scene ones will sort up top and show up leftish in their respective swim lanes.
Fair warning: I am working this all out in my mind, b/c far from my Mac. But thought it was worth throwing some ideas out there.
I’ve done this for years with stacked corkboards. See Mac manual section 8.2.8.
Hope this helps!
EDIT: I see that you’re a Windows user. In that case, stacked corkboards may not be available to you. I would expect them to be in the Beta, but what do I know? In any event, this feature works quite well for the purpose on Mac, and would be the thing to check if it exists on Windows, and to request if not.
This is possible in the current beta, which I feel is pretty close to release (maybe a month… don’t quote me!).
In the binder, select the Act folders, and then switch the editor to cork board mode. To change how the lanes are arranged, use the buttons in the lower right of the editor. The only downside is that you don’t see the container in each of the rows, but you could put a placeholder document in each act folder as the first one, and un-check the “include in compile” checkbox in the general metadata pane of the inspector.
This is better in my opinion than using Labels and swim-lanes (again, a version 3 feature), because you don’t see the cards in each lane side-by-side, so you’d have to do a lot of scrolling to see how Act I compares to Act II.