How to create a Timed Topic

(Blake Erickson) #1

If you would like to create a topic that can be published at a later date this guide will show you how. You may also be looking for how to schedule a topic, how to delay a topic posting, or how to create a topic in the future.

These are the basic steps, and then I’ll go through each step in detail:

  1. Create a new topic and publish it to a private category
  2. Click the admin “wrench” icon next to the first post of the topic
  3. Select “Set Topic Timer…”
  4. Choose the publish time and select the category you would like it to appear in

Detailed Steps

Here are some more detailed step by step instructions on how to create a timed topic:

1. Create a new Topic

a) Press the “New Topic” button at the top of your forum just like you normally would:

b) Create the title
c) Select a “Private Category” like “Staff” that you can temporarily publish this topic to. You may even want to create a new private category for this purpose called “Scheduled Topics”.
d) write the content of the topic
e) Press “Create Topic”. Yes this topic will be published at the current time, but that is why we selected a private category so nobody will see it.

2. Click the admin “wrench” icon next to the first post of the topic

Once the topic has been posted to the private category you can select the “wrench” icon to toggle the dropdown list.

3. Select “Set Topic Timer…”

In the dropdown list select “Set Topic Timer…”

After the pop-up opens, select the “Schedule Publishing” dropdown option:

This will change the UI and more options will appear.

4. Choose the publish time and select the category you would like it to appear in

Now you can change the category you would like it to be published to, and set the time when you would like it to be published. For this example we are going to set it to be published Later today at 6:00 PM and we changed the category to be “Discourse” instead of the private “Staff” category.

Once you are finished, press the “Set Timer” button.

5. Review Changes

Now that we have scheduled when our topic will go live a new section at the bottom of the topic will appear:

This way you can verify your changes and make sure it will be published at the correct time and in the correct category.


Will the timestamp of the post be updated?

Yes. When a scheduled post is “posted for real” as scheduled, the timestamp will be updated accordingly.

Timed topic's date posted keeps moving
Create topic in the future
Releasing related topics at the same time
Which Discourse features are most valuable to you as a community manager?
Shared Drafts: Allow staff to collaborate on posts before publishing
Tool for Forum Cleanup?

Woooow!! I did not know there was such an option.
Thank you very much for the tutorial! :thumbsup:

(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #3
  • Let’s add the watch icon to topic list as well, same as we do with Closed topics etc? Wouldn’t hurt to give admins an extra visual cue & reminder that this topic has been scheduled for posting.

  • Quite possibly a lot harder than it sounds, but: Could we accept input like “30m” so that I may type that instead of “0.5” if I want to schedule a post for 30 minutes? Converting units of time to the metric system is hard!

(Net Deamon) #4

Can we also create a topic timer post using POST /posts api?
I checked in discourse docs, but couldnt find it.

(Blake Erickson) #5

Yes you can. I have updated the docs with some info on how to create a timed topic.

(Dave McClure) #6

Who can use this feature? Only admins? Moderators? TLx?

(Joshua Rosenfeld) #7

If I’m not mistaken anyone with access to the admin wrench should have access, so that would be TL4 + staff.

I was mistaken. Topic timers are for staff only/

(Jeff Atwood) #8

Hmm, I think it is staff only. You should verify this if you believe TL4 can do it.

Trust level 4 users cannot set topic timers anymore
(Joshua Rosenfeld) #9

Let me take a look. It shows up in the menu for TL4, but I didn’t actually try to set a timer.

Edit: @codinghorror OK, we’ve got a bug here. TL4 users can set timers, but nothing happens when they trigger. Auto close doesn’t close. Close temporarily closes but doesn’t reopen. Schedule publish doesn’t change the category.

Trust level 4 users cannot set topic timers anymore
(Jeff Atwood) #10

That’s for @tgxworld to look at, but I don’t think this is a priority. For now just say TL4 users don’t have the topic timer feature unless it is very easy to fix.

Trust level 4 users cannot set topic timers anymore
(Joshua Rosenfeld) #12

OK, here’s a PR to only display the topic timer to staff.

(Marco V Morelli) #13

I just found the topic timer today by accident. Very nice. With so many topics to follow, and also the personal need sometimes to schedule out discussions or circle back to topics at a later date, I could see this being a popular feature, for power users especially.

Just adding my vote to making topic timers available to all users, when someone can get around to fixing the bugs.

(Joshua Rosenfeld) #14

@tgxworld, given that user topic timers are now separate from “admin” topic timers, how complicated of a change would it be to give all users access to remind me features.

User Topic Timers for normal users
(Alan Tan) #15

Not difficult IMO. We’ll just need to come up with a way of displaying the option to the user because it is currently placed within the moderator/admin wrench.

(Jeff Atwood) #16

We should defer on this for a while, lots of stuff on our plates at the moment. You can add it to the long term roadmap topic in #releases if you want @jomaxro.

(Rob Meade) #17

Quick question on Topic Timer usage if I may…

Before finding this topic I had simply used the unlisted option so that the topic wouldn’t show, not sure whether I would need to change that back after the topic was “published” etc, so I will go back and change that.

I note that the “Pin Topic” option disappears for an unlisted topic, so, I’ve tried the approach above, but then if I set the topic to be a banner for example, it still appears immediately, rather than only as a banner as the published date?

Any work around for this? End goal is to create the topic privately (happy new year message etc), schedule a time to be publish and have it set as a banner across the whole site.

Any help appreciated :slight_smile:

(Southpaw) #18

I landed here looking for the same thing, I believe.

Ideally, I’d like to write announcements of holiday closings in advance and schedule them to publish, become banner topics, and stop being banner topics, without having to touch them again.

(Blake Erickson) #19

I do like this idea, but doing it with a banner topic is not possible at this time. However you can do it with a globally pinned topic. If the topic is globally pinned to a private category it will not show up on the main topic list for users that don’t have access to that private category. It will then show up when the timed topic has moved it to a public category.

(Southpaw) #20

Thanks for the reply! I’ll pin my hope on “at this time.” :wink:

(Jeremy M) #21

So haven’t seen this asked, but how is the time to post determined by timezone? For instance right now I am in PST and need it posted at 5am on Monday PST. But I will be back in CST on Monday. So if I set it now, do I need to offset the time? How will it know to post PST and not CST?