Free(r) form file index cards

Hello Scriveners

Apologies if this has already been submitted or - worse - been implemented somehow.

My understanding of pinboard mode of Scrivener is purely L to R linear.

An earlier mac program Three by Five (from Writers’ Toolkit software I think, circa System 7.5) allowed users to create and migrate to and from an outline and a corkboard covered in (predictably) 3x5 file cards. You could draft in the outline or the cards but you could move the cards around on the corkboard, just like Scrivener, to change the outline.

The difference was that you could create hierarchical relationships within the card layout on the pinboard. So each scene could have its own file card but all the scenes for a chapter could be grouped in a single column of cards. So reading from L to R gave you the sequence of chapters, reading columns top down told you how each chapter was structured.

That’s a simple model linked to writing, but other uses were possible. Organisational charts - eg people in a company - could be set out and the cards could also contain photos (eg mugshots) or even AV clips.

Granted, most printed text has to be organuised and read in a linear form, but some writing - eg creating a web site - can have a different pattern.


PS: Despite the comments above, can my total enthusiasm for Scrivener be taken as read?javascript:emoticon(’:lol:’)

Hi Tony,

Yes, I am aware of Three by Five (and in fact, have an old copy on my system somewhere). As I understand, though (and please correct me if I’m wrong), the outline structures you could create worked a little differently and were less flexible to the ones in Scrivener. I may very well be wrong, but I seem to remember that they did not allow any number of sublevels.

Whether I am right or wrong about this, the main problem here is that something like you are suggesting would be a major undertaking. That is not to say that I do not like this idea. It has always been at the back of my mind, actually, to do something a little more freeform with the index cards eventually. But this would be way beyond the scope of 1.0, just because of the sheer amount of development time it would take.

All the best,

I’ve been playing with Three by Five on Classic on my old iBook after your post. It is a wonderful program. And I was wrong, it does allow any number of levels. The trouble is that the relationship between the various views is very complicated. In particular, Three by Five only has one corkboard view, where in Scrivener you can have any number (that is, every document can be viewed as a corkboard). In a freeform view, the file format has to remember the co-ordinates of each individual card (as opposed to the current Scrivener setup, where the grid defines where each card goes). With an arbitrary number of corkboards in one project, that is potentially a lot of card positions to remember.

And this is only one complication of many… I do like 3by5, though, as I say. And actually, I would love at some point - given some free time - to develop an OS X version of it. But that is waaay off from now. :slight_smile:

Just thinking aloud.

All the best,

If you want to eyeball what KB and tonyc5000 are talking about, it is at: