I finally got around to trying artboards. I wish I'd tried them when they came out 2 years ago - they're awesome!
Anyway, I like how you can drag a rectangle over a set of paths with the direct selection tool to select all of the paths that fall inside that rectangle. Similarly, you can use the move tool to drag a rectangle around a bunch of raster layers to select them.
Is there something comparable with artboards? I can't find any way to select lots of artboards in one go (other than using shift-click on the layer panel if they happen to be all in a row)
I can think of some workarounds, such as naming them all in such a way that you can easily isolate them on the layer panel, but I'm looking for a direct way to select a group on-the-fly on the canvas.
Thanks for the reply, but the "at once" in my question title is the crux of the matter. Shift-clicking is what I do currently, but I have 70+ artboards per document, so this ends up being highly inefficient.