Using cork board notecards for research notes

I’m a historian and used to keeping brief research notes on 3X5 cards. I’d like to use the cork board notecards to hold my notes from each source (folder) so I can rearrange them as needed. Ideally I would use the split screen cork board later on to assemble cards from various sources (folders) to build my outline.

What I need is to be able to generate a new notecard while in the cork board view. At the moment when I press “Add” it takes me to a new document, and getting the content onto the card is a real pain.

Is there a way to handle this? Am I pushing Scrivener in a direction it doesn’t want to go?

“when I press “Add” it takes me to a new document and getting the content onto the cards is a real pain”…

If you are in corkboard view, documents are displayed as notecards.
Clicking in an empty area of the corkboard and doing an Add > New Text will create a new document, presenting it as a notecard, with the cursor positioned in the notecard’s top/title line. Type something there in the top/title line, then hit tab and type or paste whatever into the body of the notecard. Repeat as needed for additional notecards.
If you need to revise notecards, drill into them (doubleclick in Windows, don’t know about Mac), click to establish cursor where wish to enter/revise and type.

That should work in any folder in the project, whether within the Manuscript folder system or the Research folder system.

If you switch to scrivenings (i.e. document) view, documents present as documents.
If you switch to outline view, documents present as single line outline entries.

Hope I understood your question and that that helps.

Got it! Thanks!

To provide a little explanation for what was going on, it’s all about where the application is currently “focussed”, a program can have multiple areas of focus within it, and all that means is this is where buttons and hotkeys and even just typing itself will be sent. This is an important concept in general, not just specifically corkboards. If you click on a folder to view its corkboard, and then immediately use Cmd-N (on Windows, Ctrl-N) or the Add button to create a file, you’re doing that in the Binder, not the Corkboard, which will cause the selection to change to the new file, showing you a text editor instead of the corkboard. When you click in the corkboard first note how the selection in the Binder dims? That’s your cue.

There is one exception to this, and that is the Binder “+” buttons along the bottom of it. These always add files and folders in the Binder context. This is why we provide a second set of “+” buttons along the bottom of the corkboard and outliner views.

One trick you might find handy is the Return key from within the corkboard. Return will not only stop editing the card, but make a new one if you aren’t otherwise editing. Thus you can hit Return twice in a row when you have finished keying in the text for one card, to move on to the next. Additionally, the Tab key will move your cursor from the title of the card to the synopsis text area. So Return, type in the title, Tab, type in your notes, Return+Return and now you’re back to typing in a title on a new card.

To answer your final question: yes I think you’re using index cards in a useful fashion and in a way that Scrivener is designed to work. For short notes like this, there are a lot of people who use them the way you are—I’m one of them!