In GMAIL you can list all your boss-tell-off and wife-cuss-out emails by clicking Drafts

I'd like to see my started-but-never-finished responses, possibly between x Answers and y Votes in /<<user>>/Stats/?


5 Answers 5


There is only a single draft per site, which will show in the answer text input below each question you look at?

  • 4
    well technically there are two drafts per user per site, one for questions and one for answers. But yes. Dec 24, 2010 at 6:54
  • 6
    +0. Although this explains why listing drafts wouldn't be possible right now, this answer doesn't list my drafts.
    – bobobobo
    Jan 3, 2011 at 3:50
  • @Jeff, are you @ SO considering implementing this compelling feature? Feb 10, 2011 at 3:25
  • @bobobobo, what I was trying to say: your drafts are "listed" whenever you are shown the "Your Answer" box, or whenever you start a new question. (But: there is no cross-site overview.)
    – Arjan
    Feb 10, 2011 at 7:47
  • 3
    There is only a single draft per site That only works for questions because there is a single point of entry for asking a question (/questions/ask), but is useless for the answer draft. What happens if you start typing a response to someone, have to stop for some reason, then try to go back later on and finish it but cannot remember which question it was? I’m in that situation right now; I started answering a question on SU on Saturday night but can’t remember which one it was. Now I can’t answer anything to avoid wiping out the the draft!
    – Synetech
    May 27, 2013 at 19:08
  • Hmmm, @Synetech, true, but I guess that would be another feature request?
    – Arjan
    May 27, 2013 at 19:50
  • 3
    @Synetech, too bad Draft feature expanded to multiple drafts was closed as a duplicate of this very question.
    – Arjan
    May 27, 2013 at 19:53
  • @Jeff - I have a draft answer saved from my iPad. Now, if I go to this question from my computer, as the same user, what is supposed to happen ? Jan 9, 2015 at 9:15

An easy way to do this is to replace delete with hide and put a (draft) flag beside each question when you're writing, just like the "community wiki" box.


A draft is synonymous with hidden, and hidden means what delete used to mean, only with one change:

  • A draft doesn't appear on the site to any user but you or 10k users (so you can revise/edit it, or choose to re-display it).

In the question and answer lists below D means draft. You can choose to list your drafts. When you edit a draft you can choose to remove Draft status so it appears on the site.


"Deletion" would have its old meaning (no one can see it except >10k).

  • Is this possible??? I don't understand whether this is fiction or reality! If this is possible, can you please explain why you included the link to "replace delete with hide" and where is my "dis be a draft son" checkbox??
    – Pup
    Mar 15, 2014 at 20:33
  • @Pup this is the OP's suggestion how this can work. It's common to give such suggestions in feature requests, to help the team in case they decide to implement it at some point. Nothing in this post exists yet. Mar 15, 2014 at 21:32
  • So, there's a "feature-request" tag... Welcome to meta stackoverflow. Thanks, Shadow Wizard.
    – Pup
    Mar 16, 2014 at 0:40

Ideally, this would be added as a new tab to our network profile: (private of course, others viewing our profile won't see it.)

mockup of network profile tabs with drafts

(this will make is consistent with other cross-network stats, like favorites.)


I like to slowly write a question while I am exploring a problem. This tends to produce decent questions, and it can personally be very helpful as Stack Overflow makes an excellent duck. However, sometimes I may not have time to entirely work through a problem in a single session and would like to come back to it later.

Similarly, Stack Overflow is supposed to serve much the same purpose as a personal programming blog. The blog post Encyclopedia Stack Exchange, introducing the improved self-answering feature, even suggests that existing bloggers may want to use Stack Exchange instead:

[...] but we have a bold goal for this new feature: we’re trying to move even more of the world’s long-tail, detailed knowledge into Stack Exchange. It works for all 83 sites (and their metas), you get to keep the reputation you earn, and you’ll get a lot more eyeballs than you can get on your blog (no offense… even my blog doesn’t get 24,300,000 monthly uniques).

Yet bloggers often do not write entire posts in a single session; they may have many drafts in progress at a given time. This is a very natural and common way to approach this sort of writing.

Treating Stack Exchange questions with the same care as you would treat a post on your own blog is very desirable behavior, but the software currently does little to encourage or facilitate this. Even the limited functionality provided by the current drafts feature is less likely to be used because the automatic almost-invisible behavior makes drafts feel very ephemeral. Even though I know they're saved on the server, I don't feel safe trusting it to save my unfinished posts.

I can and sometimes do use an external editor to work on my posts, but this is an inferior experience. Most bloggers use their software's draft feature for a reason. I don't believe there are any editor that implement exactly the same flavor of Markdown as Stack Exchange, nor would there be any which provide the same style and layout so that you know precisely what your post is going to look like when it's actually published.

This doesn't need to clutter the interface or experience very much. An explicit "save draft" button next to a drop-down list of saved drafts would not take up very much space in the Ask Question interface. It should not be very confusing to users; drafts are a concept that they will already be familiar with.

A more fleshed-out drafts feature would help encourage more thoughtful, developed posts, and would reinforce the blog-alternative-ness of Stack Exchange. It may encourage users in this direction even more than the immediate self-answer feature did. These benefits seem clear. I don't understand what downsides would make this feature undesirable.

  • I'm arguing primarily for improved Question drafts, and am only thinking about Answers in the form of self-answers. Improved Answer drafts might be nice, but they are not my main concern.
    – Jeremy
    Nov 9, 2012 at 17:56
  • Stack Overflow is supposed to partially serve as a replacement for a blog for non-bloggers False. And since this is a premise of which the rest is based on, the rest doesn't follow.
    – Servy
    Nov 9, 2012 at 17:58
  • @Servy Getting programmers to actually write/publish content here instead of starting their own blog has been a recurring theme since the site launched. It has been most directly addressed in the podcasts. Unfortunately I don't have time to search for an appropriate transcript, but look at the blog post for the self-answering feature for a weaker example: "we’re trying to move even more of the world’s long-tail, detailed knowledge into Stack Exchange[...] and you’ll get a lot more eyeballs than you can get on your blog".
    – Jeremy
    Nov 9, 2012 at 18:41
  • Yes, as that blog post indicates there are a few aspects of blogs that tie into SE, and SE is designed to be a repository of knowledge, but the format must still be different. When using SE the content still needs to be in a Q/A format, which is substantially different than (most) blogs. While certain, specific, blog posts may make sense on SE, many won't, so it can't replace blogs in the general sense. SE posts are also designed to be fairly narrowly scoped. The very large "tutorials" you seem to be describing really don't belong on SO.
    – Servy
    Nov 9, 2012 at 18:57
  • @Servy I am not talking about a general replacement for blogging, and I did not use the word "tutorials". I am talking about further encouraging already-encouraged behavior. I am not suggesting a chance in scope of the site.
    – Jeremy
    Nov 9, 2012 at 19:31
  • And I'm refuting that the behavior you're referring to is already encouraged.
    – Servy
    Nov 9, 2012 at 19:33
  • 1
    @JeremyBanks well I have to say I'm the only upvoter you've got and would love to upvote more because that's exactly how I feel about SE. I can not even begin to recall how many times I've started asking a question (and the average question I ask would take me more than an hour, even considerably longer in some cases, as I work through solutions a 3rd and 4th time), and as I'm doing so, arrive at an answer myself. I don't usually tick the "answer your own question" checkbox. But I often have more than one question too. +1 for multiple draft questions, I would LOVE this feature.
    – Madivad
    Apr 3, 2016 at 10:57

I originally commented to one of the answers above, then started commenting on the question itself but have now decided to write my own answer because I WOULD LOVE to see this incorporated into the SE sites! And personally feel that it should be.

But in the absence of such functionality, I have come up with a workaround that isn't perfect, but it's the closest thing I've come to having an elegant solution to an age old problem.

I use SimpleNote and within it exists a feature called "Markdown Formatted" which enables you to format your note in the same format as used by SE. It's not perfect, but does for the most basic of needs.

Markdown Formatted

For example, with the Markdown Format enabled you get an
edit | preview selection which turns this:

enter image description here

into this:

enter image description here

As I mentioned, it's not perfect, but at least you can save your work somewhere and bring it into SE later to ask it once it's finished.

I for one, would personally LOVE to see this feature (the ability to have multiple draft questions and possibly answers and an area with which to manage them) and feel that it is needed. That's just my personal opinion, It may not be yours, and I respect yours and trust any commenters will offer me the same courtesy. But in the meantime, there is this solution, I hope it works for you.


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