How do I enforce categories? So I can use Discourse better as a private self organisation tool

From the topic here it looks like I should be able to require a category on a new post.

My settings are shown on this post

and yet the post itself has no category.

What am I doing wrong?

Remember that staff are immune to these restrictions. Try it as a normal user.


Is there a way to set up un-categorized posts to be private?

Do you mean you want to restrict access to the uncategorized category?

Yes, if no category is set then I want the post to be private.
I put a lot of personal notes in for myself and sometimes I forget to set the category.

That is not possible, for obvious reasons: the uncategorized category is the default/fallback category for all topics. If not all users can write to it, it will lose that function.


What is the uncategorized category ? Is it the category you get when no category is selected?
Why is there a setting to allow uncategrozed topics if it is not possible?
Do you mean “if no users” rather than “if not all users” ?

Yes. Technically, there are no uncategorized topics. They are just in a category called “uncategorized”.

Because you can force users to select a (different) category before they will be allowed to submit their topic.

No, I mean “if not all users”. Putting it differently: if you want to allow your users (and that means: all your users) to create uncategorized posts, that category called “uncategorized” needs to be writable for all users.


So what is the thinking behind having the admin users unaffected by the Enforce Categories setting?
Thus allowing newbie admins to accidentally post publicly.

I want all users to be restricted from uncategorized posts.

Admins are king :wink:

They can do anything anyway, so why restrict them artificially when they create topics?

Thanks, I will create myself a non admin user.
Still even king admins don’t mind being reminded they are about to make something public.
I would have prefered to keep posting as admin rather than having to have 2 logins.

The other workaround would be to create notes to yourself as PMs and then make them public if/when you’re ready.


I figured out how to convert a message to a PM, but that does not really help me because I need to create the message first, and to be in a state of mind where I am thinking about privacy.
I already have a category “Kirsten’s Notes” which is private to me.
Typically I have this open and I pop thoughts and links into it during the day.
If I have the category list view displayed then new topics have the right category.
Every now and then I forget to go into the list view first and the new topic is not set.
If I don’t spot this in time I accidentally post my personal notes publicly.

You can also create groups and assign categories to certain groups. That way only that group can see topics created in that category. However admins and moderators can see everything.

Yes but my problem is that if I forget to assign a category the post is public

Could you explain a little more about what your trying to do? I’m just a little confused.

I want to protect myself from forgetting to select a category, preferably whilst still using a login with admin privilege

There’s no way to do that. Or at least from my knowledge of the system. You just need to make sure that you don’t forget to put a topic in the right category :slight_smile:

Sorry I couldn’t be any more help to you. Have a great rest of your day/night!

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Even if it could warn me I am about to post something publicly it would be a big help. Is the a place in Meta where I could request this?

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I am 95% sure there isn’t a warning system. If you do end up forgetting to assign a category to a topic, then you can always unlist it and re assign it. Then list that topic again.