Allow all users to set topic reminders

My organisation has two Discourse instances: a public facing one to provide community support on which all employees have moderator rights, and an internal instance on which only Discourse administrators have moderator rights as of today.

On the public instance, we are able to set reminders on topics and following-up on them is easy. On the internal instance, we do not have access to the Set Topic Timer… -> User Topic Timers -> Remind Me action and as a workaround typically email ourselves a link to topic and rely on on email snoozing instead.

To me, allowing any user to setup topic reminders natively from the UI seems like a no-brainer. Are there fundamental reasons that would prevent this enhancement from making it into the product? I’m open to any suggestion to make our workflow more efficient.


Any update on this?

  1. Does this request make sense from a functional point of view?
  2. Can this request make it into the issue tracker?
  3. Would you welcome a Pull Request implementing this change proposal? If so, do you foresee any challenges?

This is the “issue” tracker :wink:

Totally :+1:

It depends mostly on your Rails/Ember-fu :wink:

But I don’t think this has to do with public/private instance as we can use this feature in our internal instance as well :wink:


@codinghorror I would like us to start with something very very simple here.

Introduce a keyboard shortcut for “Toggle user timer”. Let’s say *

  • First press of *: user timer set to 1 day on the topic
  • Second press *: user timer set to 7 days on the topic
  • Third press *: user timer set to 30 days on the topic
  • Fourth press *: user timer cleared

Then since we don’t need to fiddle with any UX or post menus and so on it is far far simpler to implement.

Sure it does not expose the feature on mobile to end users quite yet, but it does start unlocking to power desktop users.

Lately I have been setting user timers a bit and I find I struggle through all the clicks needed to set a timer.


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I wonder why bookmarks can’t trigger a reminder to you, e.g. you set up a “naggy” bookmark.

I wonder if a report of all pending bookmarks, kind of the way we do a report of all pending assigned topics (“that you probably forgot about” is the implication here) would be helpful. Or allowing people to set a nag interval on a bookmark, one time or repeating…

I think this fills a different role.

“Forget about this thing completely till next week, follow up once”


“This thing is important to me”

That said I would love to see bookmarks become more useful, personally I simply never use bookmarks (I also don’t use star in GMail), its basically a pointless button in the UX I have I never press.

With the topic reminder I am assigning deliberate work to the computer … activate stop watch … tell me about this again in N minutes. That allows me to dump stuff off my brain stack.

Slack’s take on this is this function it exposes on in the ... menu:


The other reason it matters, the number of bookmarks helps tell you how important a post is, alongside likes, read counter, cumulative read time, etc.

We should strengthen bookmark a lot and make it more useful.

The other weakness of “topic timers” is that they are per topic. Why? Why can’t I get reminded of two different posts in the same topic at different times… or pick the first post if I want a “topic” bookmark reminder. Having this be per post is more logical / flexible and is already how bookmarks work.

I would love bookmark to be improved to be the “remind me about this” feature because it already is, it just never nags you like it should


It think would be useful to have this feature.

I have tried using bookmarks, but never remember to look at them. I can’t even find them on mobile.

Topic level would probably be fine. There are few topics here that are long enough that I’d need multiple reminders. It might also allow people to game the importance of a topic by seeing reminders on all posts.


Same. They are too hard to search, and I just rarely remember to look at them anyway.

Regarding the feature request, I would definitely find this useful. I think for my purposes topic level reminders would be enough. Maybe it would be best to start there and iterate if there’s demand for post level reminders?

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Post reminder shortcuts would save me a LOT of clicks :open_mouth:

Needs to be derived from existing bookmark feature improvements first before we go adding even more random features.

I just don’t know how you would get any fidelity with bookmarks, we would need another bookmark button or some button on the bookmarks page

I guess we could hack this magic into bookmarks with a keyboard shortcut, I am just not sure how this would work

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It is really quite simple, go look at the slack screenshot you posted and imagine that happening on bookmark invoke. Same thing.

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Every time you bookmark?

How often do you bookmark today? Oh wait I will answer for you

So the idea is to improvinate Bookmark into a useful feature that actually does something people need.


On a personal level I would be happy to replace bookmarks with post reminders

They are conceptually very diff, a post reminder is hidden, reminds you once, and then goes away

Bookmarks are there till you make a move and remove

Bookmarkinders, are always visible, require action to remove and remind you

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I violently disagree - bookmarks are conceptually no different at all, they just have infinite duration and no nagging. Same as tying a string around your finger, remember “something” on “someday”.

Either way we need to improvinate bookmarks so they are a feature that actually helps people and gets used.


I think the slack screenshot encapsulates what we should do with bookmarks quite well, except we also want people to be able to annotate the bookmark, as in why did I want to be reminded of this, again?


The status quo is … bad. :point_up_2::reminder_ribbon:

Imagine if the menu above had a “REMIND ME ABOUT THIS: NEVER” option – that’s what we have now. If it seems crappy and useless, that’s because it is!


Has this menu item always been there?

It’s new, but I wouldn’t recommend trying to use it quite yet. @mjrbrennan has been working on some awesome bookmark changes which are almost finished - they will be announced and enabled on meta as soon as they’re ready. Watch this space :eyes: