Handling Small One-off Drafts

What do people do with small one-off drafts that they never want to see again? As far as I can see I have to delete each one separately. Am I missing something? Is there a timeout that cleans out the Inbox periodically, or do I just do a select-all-delete periodically?


I mostly just let them accumulate. A few of my actions, that I’m very sure about, delete the draft after I put it where it needs to go. I intend someday to add an Archive step to the end of the rest. (I don’t do that toll I’m don’t working out the glitches, and of course at that point I want to use it for a while to be sure … then I never get to it…)

Idea: append an unusual, dated string to the end, or put it in frontmatter. (Or maybe a note’s creation date is stored somehow already?) Then periodically run an action that archives or deletes anything created more than X days earlier.

Usually people process an inbox drafts using actions; think of it just like a physical in-tray. The actions can be set to archive (think of this as a filing cabinet) or delete (think of this as your bin/trash). Archived drafts will sit in the archive until returned to the inbox or deleted, much like drafts in the inbox will stay in the inbox until archived or deleted. Deleted drafts are kept for 30 days and then automatically deleted.

If you are on an iPhone or iPad, you can swipe to access trash and archive on the drafts list. There are keyboard shortcuts on the Mac. You can also multi-select to carry out batch operations like this.

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Are you acting on these drafts in any way? Mailing, message, etc.? If you are, set your processing actions to automatically archive or trash the draft after success (related docs) so they just go away.

If you just want to periodically clean up old drafts to cull the inbox, take a look at the Inbox Sweeper example action.

Note that you can act on multiple selected drafts as well. On Mac you can command or shift click to make multiple selections in the draft list, and secondary-click for a context menu with many options (like archiving/trashing). On iOS, use the “Select” button to enter select mode, tap drafts to select them, then use “Operations” to act on all those selected drafts.

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I didn’t know that actions could be set to delete. Thanks, all!

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to extend the inbox sweeper action I shared an action to process you inbox workspace with your own custom actions: process Drafts in INBOX | Drafts Directory

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