How and When to Use Templates and Drafts


This article outlines the difference between templates and drafts. It will also cover when to use one over the other, how to share them, collaboration best practices and organization tips for keeping your workflow tidy!

To summarize, in most scenarios, internal communicators create templates to keep layout, styling, and branding consistent. When sending out a newsletter or company update, internal communicators create a one-time email or draft from a selected template and then add the content for the message. Read on for more details!


Templates Drafts
template-icon.png draft-icon.png



Think of templates as layouts for your recurring company emails, like newsletters. Instead of creating brand new emails from scratch each time, you can use existing templates that already include your branded headers, footers, images, and any other consistent components.

Typically, templates will include descriptive or placeholder text like "lorem ipsum" and images that can easily be swapped out.



Sharing Templates


Admins can create template folders for each department or team on the Create > Templates page and share those folders so that everyone is building out branded communications. This way, each team can curate their own set of templates while maintaining a consistent look across the organization. Learn more about group structure here.

You can share as “read only” so that your colleagues cannot make changes to the template or you can share as  “read and write” so that they can edit the template. 


Deactivating Templates


Templates can be deactivated or retired, but cannot be deleted to prevent you from accidentally losing a significant amount of work. Deactivating a template will move a selected template into the Inactive folder, removing them from the standard view.

You can always re-activate templates in the event that you decide to use them again.




Drafts are saved emails that are in progress or are queued to be sent. You can create drafts from scratch or from a template.

You can think of a draft as one-time copy of a template. When editing your draft, your original template won’t be altered.

Drafts will disappear from your sidebar in your email client or working drafts screen on your dashboard once you turn on tracking and send them.

Drafts usually include specific text, images, and links. If you’re working on a draft that was pulled from a template, you’re typically filling in the placeholders with the actual content that needs to be communicated.


Sharing Drafts

As the owner or creator of a draft, you can share it with individuals or groups on the Create > Email Drafts page so that other team members can add content to or send it. You can share as “read only” so that your colleagues cannot make changes to the draft or you can share as “read and write” so that they can edit the draft.



Deleting Drafts

As the owner of a draft, you can delete it on the Create > Email Drafts page. Unlike deactivating templates, deleting drafts removes them permanently and there is no way to retrieve a deleted draft.

Note: There is currently no way to delete drafts from the Bananatag sidebar in the Outlook 2.0 add-in, but you can delete drafts in the O365 and Gmail Bananatag add-ins.



When to Use a Template vs Draft

Templates Drafts
Consistent, recurring content Content for a specific email communication
Placeholder text One-time use images and graphics
Recurring section headings & styling  


Collaboration Best Practices


When collaborating on a project we will want to communicate to other users to avoid working on a template or draft simultaneously, this is to prevent possible data loss which can occur if items or edits are saved out of sequence.

Some users like to rename projects and tag them with the communicator currently working on the project, eg. "Weekly Newsletter - Stacey Editing" then once completed they might rename to "Weekly Newsletter - Pending Review". Using these types of techniques can help keep collaborators in the loop when other means of communication may not be possible.

We will also want to avoid using the Back button when modifying content as this can sometimes cache data incorrectly leading to possible data loss.

Note: We are currently developing alerts to aid collaborators by providing a pop up advising users that a certain communication is being worked on or blocking edits completely while a another user is accessing. 

TIP: When building a new template, include all possible sections or building blocks so that you can simply remove blocks that are not needed when working on a draft from that template in the future. It is faster to delete unneeded sections than to add them.

As you can see, there is a time and a place for using templates versus using drafts! Please reach out to or your dedicated account manager if you have any further questions.
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