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Introducing Findable Drafts - a better way to start, pause, and resume your work

By popular demand, @Sam Ugulava hosted an AMA about the Findable Drafts feature. The recording is here for you to view:


Today, drafts are hard to find. When a draft is started in Confluence, many creators are unsure if drafts even get saved and new users are fuzzy on what’s available for drafting. Admins often get called in to find lost drafts, showing that they are hidden under Recents in the global navigation.

9f64ca97-e851-428f-92ed-c709216dab08.png                                                                 Before

We see a lot of creators avoid our draft state by publishing right away, while suffering the unintended consequences such as notifying everyone in the space.


Findable Drafts

We’ve made drafts easy to find in all of the places you do your work. As creators and collaborators, you will see drafts under Recents in the global navigation as well as in the page tree, blog tree, page cards, Home, and across all spaces.

Drafts in Page Tree
If you want to pause work on a draft, you can close it and come back to it in the page tree.

dd86b6cd-8f8f-4172-90cc-bef8749aabbd.png

Drafts in Blog Tree
You can see blog drafts in the context of the blog tree.

3c78f2be-f6df-4a59-8311-e8235736417a.png

See drafts on page cards
Drafts are indexed and visible on page cards, including its filters.

00c0ea71-d544-405b-aaa2-1dd11532babd.png

See drafts in Home
Drafts show up in the “Pick up where you left off” section of Home, as well as under Recents and the Drafts tab.

6e3324cd-40a7-4535-a10b-eeb7d6a21bb1.png

See drafts from all spaces
If you were used to going to the Recent menu to find your drafts, you can still go there to find your drafts across all the spaces.

d8582f8c-2a48-4d60-ab3e-c94eb0bd962d.png

 


FAQ

Who can see my drafts?

Only you! No one can find or view your drafts unless you take specific actions to collaborate with them.

Here’s how it works:

:check_mark: If you create a draft, only you will be able to find and edit the draft you created.

:check_mark: If you explicitly share a draft (invite via notification) AND the collaborator clicks on the link to open it in the editor, the collaborator will be able to find and view your draft.

:check_mark: If you implicitly share a draft with others (via share the link or browser URL) AND the collaborator clicks on the link to open it in the editor, the collaborator will be able to find and view your draft.

:cross_mark: If you add a collaborator as an editor to a restricted draft (via perms), the collaborator will not be able to find and view your draft.

1a4bbfee-86a7-49b0-852a-cebc080def9b.png

Why do I have so many abandoned drafts in my page tree?

Before rollout, we took significant steps to help declutter blank drafts in the page tree (and everywhere else) while being extremely cautious to not cause any data loss. While that helped, it still left a large number of “abandoned” drafts.

Abandoned drafts technically have content (usually a title or a few sentences) and generally are more than a week old. In this case, we decided to err on the side of caution and did not remove these drafts because the risk of data loss was too high. Instead, we made it easier for creators to delete unwanted drafts.

Here’s how you can delete your unwanted drafts:

Option 1: Quick action in the page tree.

Option 2: Open the draft in the editor and select “delete unpublished page” from the overflow menu.

5e5df303-6946-47c3-a280-2803fdf4941c.png

After you delete the draft, you will either remain or be taken back to the space overview.

 


Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Aug 31st - RSVP HERE

Have questions on Findable Drafts? Please drop your questions or feedback in the comments below, and @Sam Ugulava and @Matt Reiner _K15t_ will address them live during our AMA. They'll also take a few questions live from the audience. The AMA will be recorded for those unable to attend live. 

Register for the AMA on Aug 31st at 8am PDT

 


Findable Drafts is currently rolling out so if you don’t have it today, you will soon.

46 comments

Srinatha T Atlassian Team Jul 08, 2022

@Sam Ugulava Thanks for sharing this. 

Like Sam Ugulava likes this

In my previous company, we've built an internal guide about draft pages. That helped a lot of users to get more sense on how draft pages work and where to find them. IMO, this might help a lot of 'basic' Confluence users to find and manipulate with those draft pages.

Also, this option to drag&drop draft page via page tree can surely save some time due to accidental page creation location.

Overall, really nice feature :)

Like Sam Ugulava likes this

Abandoned drafts? I’ve never left a page behind! 😏

This is a great improvement that will really help a lot of us understand the lifecycle of a page and what happens to unpublished pages.

I wish I would have had this when we made our video about publishing a page in Confluence! We made a joke about lost drafts and everything.

Also, the logic for determining collaborator’s visibility of drafts is spot on!

Admins rejoice! Users can help declutter their own unnecessary drafts!

Great work @Sam Ugulava and team!

Like # people like this
Matt Reiner _K15t_ Marketplace Partner Jul 11, 2022

What about a page that’s already been published that has unpublished changes?

Will it show up as a “Draft” or “Unpublished Changes” as well? This would be wonderful!

Like # people like this

As @Matt Reiner mentioned.

It is really important to have a overview of Draft pages but also Unpublished changes.

To become digital hygiene on the confluence site, it should be great that a confluence admin (or perhaps also the space admin) could get a overview of draft and unpublished changes from other users.

Like # people like this

Is this cloud only?

Like Todd Thomas likes this

I was blown away by how many 'untitled' draft pages that I had. Then I found these were almost exclusively in the old editor. Perhaps it was more aggressive about saving pages that had no content, or perhaps younger me was just quicker to hit "Create" then I am now. 

Nevertheless, having to open each and having to make three mouse clicks to delete quickly grew wearisome. Have a mass/multiple page delete mechanism would great.

Like # people like this

This is a useful feature, as I just had to walk a teammate thru how to find these via previous methods.  Thanks for sharing this!

FYI, I learned about this feature via a pop-up within Confluence, but that pop-up sent me to a bad link instead of this article (which I found by searching your blog).  You should investigate to make sure the announcement is not getting lost with other users as well.

Like # people like this
Reni Carlson Atlassian Team Jul 27, 2022

Glad you find it helpful @mmcgarity Thanks for flagging bad link - our team is investigating :) 

Like # people like this

I have drafts In my tree I want to keep but I don't want to look at them every single day.  I get how it is useful for some people but it isn't for me.  I use recents to work on my current drafts.  How do you turn this feature off for an individual user that doesn't want to see these in the tree?  

Like # people like this

@Sam Ugulava how do I turn off this feature?

Like # people like this

I love this new feature. 

When onboarding our users in confluence cloud, they were very confused what was happening when they closed a pages. They landed on their home page, but wanted to stay on the tree they are working on.

So by this feature this problem is solved.

Great enhancement ! Great work !!!


Now i'm waiting for the next feature 😏

it should be great that a confluence admin (or perhaps also the space admin) could get a overview of draft and unpublished changes from other users.


Like # people like this

Please tell us how we can turn this off.  I don't really have time to go through things and have to clean them up manually.

Like # people like this

Awesome. I love this feature. Makes loads more sense than before.

Like Andy Gladstone likes this

Does Atlassian ever user test this stuff?

3 clicks and several seconds delay per draft page is an awful user experience if you have a lot of unwanted pages. 

After having this forced enabled on our account the tree view on every space is littered with drafts.  At the very least give me the option to mass remove them in some way.

Like # people like this

Hi Guy's,

I read a lot of negative reactions about this feature.

Beside the performance, wich is very important for a toolset, Confluence is a great tool to work with.

I appreciate the improvements of the Atlassian team very much.

And of course, there are some things for everyone wich don't have added value, but they will be there for other users who asked for it.

So let's approach things positively.

If you really don't like the Atlassian tools, just look for other initiatives.

Cheers,

Like Marion Gordon likes this

@Erik Mathijs I spent over an hour this morning cleaning up the mess of drafts in my tree view because Atlassian cares more about pushing new features than UX.

My reaction wouldn't be so negative if there was a way that allowed me to remove redundant drafts in bulk rather than click each one 3 times and wait several seconds for the tree view to re-render.

Shiny new features sell software, but as a customer of many years, I would rather Atlassian dedicate development time to fixing broken stuff and actually improving the ever-degrading user experience.

So Let's approach things honestly.

If you really don't like honest feedback, look for another online community.

Cheers,

Like # people like this

Hi @Eliot Martin

No hard feelings, I really like honest feedback.

I am not a Atlassian reseller but also a Atlassian user (just like you ?).

Feedback is always valuable,  however she would also be constructive.

Let's not make it a fight. I suppose that the Atlassians have the intention to make valuable software to use.

Cheers,

@Erik Mathijs - I think the frustration you are seeing is not necessarily this particular feature but years of frustration with how Atlassian rolls out changes.  This particular feature could be a nightmare for people who do lots of work in confluence.  There doesn't seem to be a way to disable it.    

A recent feature created personal spaces for all users whether they wanted them or not.  I saw very few instances of positive feedback and lots of negative feedback from admins.  The feature wasn't needed or wanted.  It will cause lots of work for admins to do clean up but Atlassian went forward with the feature anyway.  The list goes on and on especially with the Jira software. 

Like # people like this

I agree with @Eliot Martin bulk actions would really help.

Having said that I think this new feature will prevent the problem of "draft build up" happening from here on in. I'd still like bulk actions, but I can see the need for it will be less now that drafts are more visible.

Like # people like this
Sam Ugulava Atlassian Team Aug 03, 2022

Hi everyone!

I’m the Product Manager who worked on bringing this feature to life. Findable Drafts has been a highly requested feature and our team is so happy to see that many of you have found our MVP to be useful.

I’ve reviewed and catalogued all of your comments, and there are a few specific questions that I want to answer:

  • Is this only for cloud?
    • Yes, findable drafts is a Confluence Cloud feature.
  • What about a page that’s already been published and has unpublished changes?
    • We define drafts as a never-published page. Drafts will appear in the page tree and the other places you work in Confluence, but unpublished changes will not show up in a special state in the page tree. I’d love to learn more about your experience with “unpublished changes” to see if there are opportunities to improve.
  • Why can’t we bulk delete drafts to help speed up clean up for abandoned drafts?
    • I understand it’s frustrating to have to delete drafts one at a time from the page tree. We took significant steps to clean up 30M+ blank drafts before launch, but we know there are some customers who have had to deal with a number of abandoned drafts in their page trees. To give you all the full picture, we made the tradeoff to ship this feature without bulk-delete functionality so that we could get the MVP into customers' hands faster. I understand that may not be a satisfying answer for many of you, but I do genuinely care about your experience and want to find the best path forward. Please reach out to me directly: sugulava@atlassian.com. I would like to better understand your experience and work together to find the best way to help solve this declutter problem for you.

As a PM, I constantly use drafts to work on early versions of my content. I want you to know that our our long-term goal is to make Confluence drafts and content creation a more powerful, transparent, and easy-to-use experience. 

Thanks,

Sam

Like # people like this

@Sam Ugulava - My question still persists.  Why does Atlassian keep shipping features without the ability to disable?  I'm assuming there is no ability to disable this view because that question has been ignored.  This needs to be publicly addressed because it has happened multiple times with Confluence and Jira.  Jira is worse by far because it is a more critical system where changes can and have caused direct impact to productivity.   

Like # people like this

@Mark Thompson that's sort of the nature of cloud products eh. The ability to disable features adds loads of ongoing support complexities that compound with time. I suspect the mindset of the PMs is delivery MVP value, don't create ongoing feature debt with loads of options, delivery for the customer community as a whole.

It's always hard when something get's in your way, but personally I think product evolution is better than the alternative. 

Like # people like this

@Sam Ugulava a new shiny feature gets some criticism and suddenly it's a Minimal Viable Product.  Not once was this referred to as an MVP in the original fanfare of this feature announcement.

You dedicated resources to cleaning up 30M+ blank pages across your entire user base prior to launch but couldn't dedicate any development time to include a filter toggle in the tree view to hide drafts.  You could have given that story to a junior dev to knock out in a day!

Like # people like this

@Glen Young I've been in the industry for 26 years now.  Lots of engineering projects.  Even in general cloud products it is possible to add user controls on a feature.  See the very next comment after yours from @Eliot Martin which basically sums up my feeling on this feature.  Atlassian has been doing this for a while.  They constantly roll out features with little to no control on a regular basis.  Changes should help users.  This feature is not as bad.  It has some value. 

Other features had zero value for lots of users, had inadequate controls, and caused environment problems.  Look around in the forums and you'll see people indicating what they had to do because of poor roll out procedures.  

One more thing:  No company I've ever worked for did not fix an issue with 1000 customer requests.  

Like S_ Francoeur likes this

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