You can give each record in your database a category field to identify the category. If you need to design specialized layouts for different categories, do so, but perform finds with these layouts that only find the records of the categories appropriate for that layout.
Example, You have two inventory categories: Forklifts and Computers.
Make a category field where you can select either Forklift or Computer from a value list.
When viewing records on the Forklift layout, perform a find where you enter "forklift" in the category field and perform a find. Now no computer records will be visible on your forklft field.