How does Scrivener save note order?

I have a lot of individual notes that are a paragraph or less in length, and I’m very interested in using Scrivener to help me to order them into a cohesive narrative (through re-arranging the notes on the Corkboard/with Scrivenings view).

How does Scrivener save this note order?

My worry is that after making progress I will somehow manage to reset this note order and start again.

In basic terms, Scrivener saves the order of things precisely as you place them in the binder, and that’s the beginning and end of it.

You have at your disposal additional tools for organising things in a way that impacts the binder order, as well as just displaying things differently:

  • If you use the search tool to get a list of items and then change the sort order of the list, obviously that’s going to be different. But that’s just a list of things, right, not the actual order of them.
  • There is a way of manually sorting items in a folder, which can be very useful for organising sections like glossaries, with Edit ▸ Sort, but that will even warn you with a dialogue if you try.
  • The other way is by using the Outliner view mode, which lets you visually sort what you’ve loaded from the binder by any metadata column. That again is just a list—but if you select any number of those sorted items and drag them back into the binder they will be reorganised into the sorted order, which can be very useful.
  • In a similar vein, Collections are a tool that let you deliberately organise things in a different order without impacting the underlying order in the binder. But as with outliner sorting, you can select arrangement of items in the collection list, drag them to the Binder tab in the collection list, hover over it until it switches to showing the contents of the binder, and then drop the arrangement to reorganise the items where you drop.

So those are the main tools you have for organising things. As you can see they are all very deliberate, difficult to do accidentally (the one that is throws a warning), and thus

Ioa listed a number of ways to sort things temporarily. But to answer your question more directly, the order on the Corkboard is committed to the Binder immediately and saved at Scrivener’s next automatic save operation. That is, you should view this order as permanent.

(For this reason, it’s a good idea to make a backup before you embark on extensive restructuring.)