[Pending] ‘Boomerang’ draft or ‘hide and return to inbox’ function to stay tidy

I love the email inbox metaphor being used in Drafts!

I work on longer drafts and I frequently want to put the draft down for a few days without thinking about it before I dive back in for a session. In this case I don’t want the draft to crowd my inbox and I don’t want to have to remember to get back to it at a later date by finding it manually (or setting a reminder elsewhere)

As a long time user of boomerang and a current user of simplehuman for my email, one of my favorite things is to be able to clear by inbox by being able to temporarily hide an email from my inbox and designate a time when It will pop back into my inbox

This really helps me (or could help me in the Drafts app) keep my inbox tidy because I can remove the visual clutter of in-progress drafts without it affecting my day to day process for other drafts I may be editing at a different cadence!

My first thought was that this should already be possible.

I started by creating a Workspace with some date filters on it to only include things created up to and including today.

Next I created a quick test action to allow me to set a specific creation date.

Note this is not good practice and you should always have good reason for messing with Drafts’ dates. They used to be read only for good reason.

Then I modified a draft to be created tomorrow.

Unfortunately, my date filter didn’t work.

I don’t use date filters in my workspaces currently, so I may have simply set it up incorrectly. Or, it could be an edge case that isn’t covered in the current logic because it isn’t real world possible to have stuff written in the future.

@agiletortoise any pointers?

I don’t love this idea, setting future dates is flirting with trouble, but what you describe is working here in my quick test. Are you sure you re-applied the workspace after you had all the date ranges setup?

I don’t know about automatically popping those items back into the inbox, but I’d recommend just using a “defer” tag and a workspace setup to so your default workspace has an “!defer” tag filter to omit those items…and another workspace showing only “defer” tagged items to check periodically. Or use a sweep action to loop over the deferred drafts and remove the tag if it’s been more than a certain period of time.

If you want to get fancy, you could combine tags and do something like “defer, 1w” or “defer, 2w” and the sweep action could compare those additional tags to the creation date to determine which to restore to the inbox.

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I thought I did, but I guess that must have been the issue. Just went back and it was working as envisaged.

I’m also not keen on the principle of the future dating drafts creation dates… but it does seem to work, and it does get round the need to trigger an automated sweep, which is what made me consider it as an option in the first place.

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I would solve it with a tag or a text line with a name/content like review 2020 KW42

this could be easily integrated in an action based review. Or even simply with a workspace on the tag.

@Adrian_Head what would you prefer?

I just remembered that this ide is implemented by the Flash Card action group

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@Andreas_Haberle I was thinking the same thing: that the flashcard action would serve as a template for a boomerang of any kind.

Thanks for the quick responses everybody!

This sounds very interesting - are you aware of an existing simple drafts actions which perform a similar kind of sweep action? @agiletortoise? I would love to look at some simple code to try and reverse engineer since my programming skills are pretty non-existant :stuck_out_tongue:

This sounds like a dream – would this be a super complex script?

I’m curious how you would see this functioning more specifically – If i’m understanding the behavior correctly the Create Flashcard action only tags the current date and then the date tag is not editable.

I’m also not able to find an action which will allow me to generate a date tag in the future.

Am I missing something?

The process is quite simple. It is based on the fact that tags are simple strings (words) that could be written and red from the action.

So the modification of a seemingly fixed tag is a

  • read tag from draft (now deemed as old)
  • remove old
  • modify old to new
  • write new to draft

Hence we are in a process anyway this is quite simply done.

only important thing is to keep the tag computer recognisable to make the script not messing with other stuff.

Could you quickly write up your process then we will setup a action script you can work from.


I think it would go something like:

  1. I tag the current draft with the date something like #YYYY-MM-DD in my Working View
  2. I tag for number of days I want it to remind me in (ie: #5 for reminder in 5 days)
  3. Script removes and updates the tag (and it filters out of my working view)
  4. I or a script initiates an action that somehow brings the draft back into my working view

From the flashcards script I understand that my tags might have some modifiers on them which would be totally acceptable!

Let me know if I have conceived of that in a realistic way @Andreas_Haberle – thanks for you help!

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sounds workable and compact

I would prefix both tag types with something like review or a $ to ensure that it is easily identifiable.

Flashcards actions do a similar thing and it might be advisable tokeep it workable in parallel. if you want to review different lines of review we could do that in its own tag. maybe add this complexity right at the start and working with a constant there for now.

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