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I think it would be useful to add an "Answer Later" tab that would be similar to the "Favorites" tab so you could mark questions to answer at a later time. There are so many times I see a question which I would like to answer but don't have time, then I have a hard time finding it again later. Right now I mark it as favorite, go back and answer it, then unmark it as favorite (unless I really like the question). Do you think other people might find this useful? Do you do this some other way?

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I can see the benefit in this. –  ChrisF Jul 13 '09 at 13:17
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i like it - but i already do this with a cool feature of IE called 'favorites' - try it sometime ;-) –  Steven A. Lowe Jul 13 '09 at 15:27
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I don't want to clutter my Browser favourites with SO favourites. I think this is a great idea. –  Omar Kooheji Jul 13 '09 at 16:17
    
check my answer on this dupe question –  Knu May 23 '11 at 21:46
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i think this would server better than the favorite tag in SO ... the only reason i can think of that the admins and guys running this are not implementing it is caz this is not getting highlighted enough. –  nsd Jun 10 '13 at 4:20
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On one hand, this sounds like something that an organized browser bookmark layout could handle. On the other hand, the feature would allow me to track favorites from home, work, and the mobile apps, which would be handy. –  ChrisForrence Feb 13 at 13:22

10 Answers 10

I think that favorites sorted by newest (as you probably do) should serve this purpose well enough.

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Yeah, that is how I currently do it, sort by newest. –  SwDevMan81 Jul 13 '09 at 13:19
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I think a new feature would be great. Create lists to organize questions of interest. –  BrunoLM Sep 25 '10 at 1:55

Most people end up using their Favorites tab as a set of bookmarks anyway. If you just sorted your favorites by newest you could see all your most recent ones and go back to them. It sounds a lot like you are wanting to add in something that we already use something else for in the most cases.

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The problem with using "favorites" is that I think it's used to help calculate the the rep someone gets or at least it shows up in their stats as how many people favorite'd the question. I like the idea of an "answer later" button since I most often check SO while at work where I normally can't spend time answering questions. –  KyleFarris Jul 13 '09 at 13:34
    
Exactly, that way we can put in the extra time to give a good answer or work out any examples or code needed before just putting something out there that might not work or is not a good answer –  SwDevMan81 Jul 13 '09 at 13:41
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Favorites have absolutely no value when it comes to rep calculation. The only value favorites have is for a few badges, and I personally don't agree too much with those badges when a large percentage of the site uses favorites like bookmarks and not as a way of saying "Hey this is awesome" –  TheTXI Jul 13 '09 at 13:45

I think this relates to better favourites organisation, for which there is another thread. You could post this idea there as I see a benefit in being able to say why you favourited something, e.g. Answer later.

Better favourites organisation

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I think this'd best be solved by drafts, kinda like how you do in email. (Start a draft fully intending to finish it "later"...)

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"Answer later", or more precisely, "save for later" is conceptually orthogonal from "favorite". If I don't have too many favorites I can glance through them to find the "answer later" ones, like OP does. However if I have hundreds of favorites (I'm getting there), it's impossible to quickly find the "answer later" ones.

A draft answer per @bobobobo would be even better, since it's quite likely that I get interrupted when writing a non trivial answer (for example, boss behind back). It's almost like a deleted answer that you can always undelete, so if the code/schema is flexible enough, maybe "Save as Draft" won't be too hard to implement.

Another alternative could be to save questions with notes and tags. The tags are different from SO topic tags and would include e.g. favorite, later, hilarious, St. Skeet, etc.

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You might be suggesting a user lists system. If that is so I can see a lot of advantages having that.

You could create lists like Answer later, Complex SQL Queries, CSS Hacks, Brainfuck puzzles from hell and so on.

I would like to see this feature. If it's not going to be implemented then I will definitely create an addon for that!

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Agreed, user lists would fill a hole in StackExchange. favorites serve their purpose very well, but they have their limitations. –  orftz May 29 '11 at 4:53

Use your browser's bookmarks.

I have roughly 20 folders to categorize various SE posts... but it probably helps that Opera and Chrome let me search through them from the address bar. ;)

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A drawback of user-side marking (without the stack): the opening poster and other contributors will have no idea that contributions are pending. I could apply the same comment to the more recent answer that suggests using a tab within the user's browser. –  Graham Perrin Jul 31 '11 at 14:25
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Also, for those of us who use multiple computers (work, home, laptop, etc), having it server side would be much easier to work with. –  lnafziger Aug 3 '13 at 14:54

In Firefox, just open the question in a new tab, and keep it open, until you have time to answer it.

Don't forget to refresh the page - it might already been answered. :)

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With the new mobile app, a similar feature is even more important. I usually find questions I can and want to answer using the Android app during my train commute, but I'd like to answer them later from a device with a physical keyboard. Therefore a way to save questions for later server side is essential.

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You can use comments for this, too, if "fave" seems too strong for what is essentially bookmarking.

  • comment on the question, perhaps "you can use x for this"
  • when you have a keyboard, go to your profile
  • click activity and then comments
  • use the link to get to the question
  • answer it
  • remove the comment

It's possible someone will take your comment as a hint and write a good answer in the meantime. That could have happened without your comment of course: you just delete the comment. Just don't make the comment "I will answer this tonight" because that might get removed as chatty or non constructive. Comments are ephemeral and the one drawback of this approach is possible comment removal, but I think that only happens on active questions, so chances are there would be an answer anyway.

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