As someone that uses Scrivener purely for non-fiction, as well as journaling, I do get where you are coming from, no fear. I tend to work around it though rather than depending on fixing sort, using the aforementioned trick with folder selection.
Most other contender research notes apps (even Obsidian) do this, but as they don’t otherwise hold a candle to Scrivener (IMNSHO) you’re not likely to have too many deserters on this point.
I use Obsidian as well, for entirely different things though. The design premise of their list is very different from Scrivener’s. For one thing all you can do is sort, there is no freeform ordering, which is one of its downsides for linear writing in my opinion. I understand some do it using transclusion, but that’s as much, if not more, of a hassle as periodically sorting folders in Scrivener.
Scrivener on the other hand, being first and foremost a writing tool meant to produce linear documents of some sort, needs to have a hierarchical, static and canonical ordering that is 100% up to the user. And having one view where that is always what you see no matter what, the binder, is essential. I would not say that is a desire that only fiction writers need. Anyone writing a linear document needs to put their topics into the order the reader will get, and having to work around something that sorts constantly means ugly hacks, like “0023 name of section”.
That capability has more priority than indexing research folders and such, and as a result the internal architecture of the binder is fundamentally opposed to dynamic sorting. It would take a fairly major overhaul to change that—to even make it something dynamic, let alone to make it so parts of the master outline sort but others do not (to resolve the aforementioned awkwardness).
Might as well use the best tool for the job, is how I see it, which is why I split my workflow between software. For flat list notes that need to be in mod order or whatever, where data is constantly flowing in and out, I use Obsidian. The key thing is that one needn’t fork their data as part of that equation. When I say workflow I mean just that, I often work on the same data with two different tools. See this post for details. This incidentally presents some unique opportunities, since the data that I work in with Obsidian can come from all over the binder, meaning I am free to use Scrivener most advantageously, organising these notes more topically (or however) rather than chronologically. I don’t have to, but it’s an option available to me.
And since you do use Obsidian, you probably have more than one toe in the water with Markdown, which makes the folder sync feature spoken of in that thread a lot more powerful since all of such formatting will always sync by nature, whereas rich text users have to worry a lot more about that kind of stuff.
I’ll see if I can wangle a Keyboard Maestro masterly key-stroke to do the sorting.
I think that could work. Some tips:
Documents ▸ Move To submenu also accounts for selection order.
- Another good general tool for automation is the
Edit ▸ Find ▸ Quick Search menu command to reliably load the folder into the main editor with nothing but keystrokes. Just supply the full name, and use Return after that to load it.
- There are menu commands for focusing the main editor in the Navigate menu.
- By right-clicking on the editor header bar with the folder selected you can lock the group view mode to outliner, to remove that potential point of variation.
The trickiest part would be clicking on the column header to sort, but KM’s click function, which can scan the screen for a spot that looks like a screenshot you’ve cropped down to the column header should do the trick. Where that might get dicey is if you tend to have the editor split to two outliners.