I find it a bit annoying to find boards here. We have recent posts sidebar as well. I am not implying globally collapse as some may find it useful. But just like in scripts where categories are collapsible for a particular user. May as a mod.
Yeah I know what you mean, the board index can get a bit cluttered with the masonry effect. A sidebar widget listing all categories would be useful. I definitely want to try a more "traditional" forum layout in my next theme design