How to share and collaborate on drafts
Sharing drafts in Front allows teammates to collaborate and get feedback on a message prior to sending. Instead of writing a draft on your own or needing to forward a copy of the draft for feedback, shared drafts enable you to edit a draft together and consolidate feedback in a clean, collaborative way. You can even use comments to have a discussion about the draft as you're collaborating.
How to share a draft
Compose a new message or reply in an existing thread, then type up your draft. At this point, the draft is only visible to you.
You will see a gray banner above your draft explaining whether anyone will see your message after sending it, depending on what From channel you're composing with and whether participants are already in your conversation.
Share the draft by clicking the Share draft button on the right of the gray banner.
If no teammates are participating in the conversation yet, you will be asked to invite teammates. If they are already in the conversation, the draft will be automatically shared with the participants. In both cases, the conversation will appear in their Shared with me section for review. On your end, you will see the blue bar above your draft to let you know it has been shared.
Once shared, you can also @mention a teammate in the conversation to direct their attention to the draft, which also makes them a participant. Any teammates with access to the inbox will be able to see the draft, even if you did not explicitly invite them or mention them for the draft.
How to edit the draft
When another teammate is editing a shared draft, the blue border will show who is editing and when they last made changes to the draft.
To take over the draft, click the Edit button at the top right of the blue shared draft bar. You will see a confirmation screen asking whether you want to proceed with editing the draft. Only one teammate can edit a draft at a time.
Make your edits to the draft, and your teammates will be able to see the edits in real-time on their screens as you're typing.
To pass the draft back, simply @mention your teammate and let them know you're done editing. They can then click Edit button on their screen and take the draft over.
Who can see the draft?
Once you share the draft, it is visible to anyone who has access to the inbox you are sending from. Additionally, whomever you explicitly invite to the draft or are already participants in the conversation will see the draft.
How do signatures work with drafts?
When working on a draft, the conversation automatically switches to the signature of the person who is currently editing the draft. This allows for another person to send an email to someone even if they did not originally compose the message.
Where are my drafts?
You will find both your personal drafts and any shared drafts in your Drafts folder, differentiated in your drafts list by the labels Draft or Shared draft. The Shared drafts will be any drafts that were specifically shared with you, rather than drafts shared within a general team inbox that all teammates with access are able to view.
OK... But it's a unfinished feature as is... and an unfinished article! So this feature seems useless to me.
1st) The tutorial : ok, I share it... and then??? where does it appear to my team? Do they get notified that there is a draft on which I need comments? It is not told in the tutorial, neither anywhere else... so now, I am not at the office, I have to send a mail to tell my team to look into somewhere to find my share draft... duh?
2nd) The feature itself : are you REALLY saying that ALL of my team is going to see my shared draft? So this a kibbutz feature. We are ALL on the same level, and we share everything all together... But hell no! As the CEO, I want to share private stuff to my assistant and not to share it with my consultants/developers/support!
The conversation system is great on emails, assignments also, but this 'shared drafts' is promising but truly disappointing. I won't use it until it gets right... Result : I will send my draft in an email, like I did 20 years ago.
Front is great though and changed the way I interact via email, but some functionalities still need some improvement (like this one or Sequences). But you're on the right path.
Jerome Chouraqui Thanks for sharing your feedback regarding shared drafts. Let me clarify a few points for you.
1. Once you share a draft from a team channel, you will also want to @mention the teammate that you want to see this draft. If you don't @mention your teammate, they will only see the draft if they happen to come across the email. They will not receive a notification about it.
2. If you share a draft from your individual channel, no one will see it unless you @mention them on it, or if you've given them access to your inbox, they can come across it as well. As a CEO, you can share your draft, and then @mention your assistant so that they can access it.
We agree there could be improvements here. I will share these comments with our product team. Thank you very much.
Cori Morris I will again complain over this feature. When you share a draft, you can comment it and the person who is targeted will be able to edit the draft... ok. That cool. But a fantastic splash screen tells the new writer that the sender WILL NOT BE ABLE TO EDIT IT LATER... and that's TRUE!!! WTF??!!
So the promise of "gathering feedback before replying" is not true at all if I can't re-edit it once it is edited by someone else! Either, there is something I am missing in this feature, either the claim is false. Whatever that is :
- your tutorial is -still- incomplete and not well explained
- the feature is unfinished or the claim false OR I did not understand (and leads us to the fact that the tutorial is not clear)
Jerome Chouraqui Sorry if we weren't explicit enough here. So, there is no specific button to "give the draft back". Once a draft is in shared stated it means that both the person sharing it and the one that it is being shared to can access it. The process relies heavily on the commenting function. Once you are done editing your draft the person who originally shared it should see your updated version. They can then go into the 3 dots (top right corner of the message) and there you will see the option edit draft. You can then add your own changes and notify the team member you are working with to have a look. The changes will populate in real time and the team member can then do the same. That way you can have a constant loop of improvements to one drat (share draft > edit by team member > comment > edit draft > comment etc.) I understand that this process may not be very clear at present so thank you for your feedback on that.
The sharing functionality is by far not intuitive enough.
I just shared a tweet draft with a colleague. The colleague saw the "edit" link in the blue bar - I did not. It took me quite a while to find out that I could still edit my shared draft simply by typing in the content area.
Another thing: links in my shared tweet draft appeared as regular text (black) to me, while they were formatted in blue when the colleague looked at them. I would expect the draft to look the same for all involved.
Helge Klein Hi there! Thank you so much for this feedback. I've shared it with the team.
Regarding the link, I wasn't able to replicate this behavior. Both myself and the colleague I've shared the draft with are seeing it as regular text. Could you send us an email with your example so we can further investigate?
Is there a setting to share drafts by default in a shared inbox or with those already on a conversation? I know the app shows "John has started a draft" but it would be nice to be able to toggle an option to have the draft shown by default and then maybe the individual user can choose not to share that draft if they want.