There are at least 3 different ways to set up columns: draw out one large text frame and use the text frame options, set them up on the master page, or set them up on the individual page using "Layout". My document is consistent all the way throughout - 4 columns of equal width on each page. Which of these options should I employ?
Master page frames often provides great flexibility. Your viewpoint question can depend on whether you are placing many separate textfiles, like a newsletter, or one long textfile.
if you have one large text stream ( one story in InDesign speak ) that would flow through several pages I can only recommend using the Primary Text Frame when creating a new document. Go to master A then and set the number of columns to 4 of the primary text frame. ( CS6 and above )