There are a few options which spring to mind (other than a plugin to alias the folder name):
- Expand the file explorer
- Switch around the name and dates
- Use a shorter date format
- Use frontmatter, not the folder name
Let me expand on each of those a little.
Expand the file explorer
The simplest solution, if you got the monitor real estate (aka a large monitor), would be to simply expand the file explore panel to allow for wider/longer file names to be shown.
On a smaller monitor, this would possible need to be combined with using a hotkey to trigger the Toggle right sidebar command to show/hide the side panel.
Switch around the name and dates
So you basically are using a
sentDate (estimatedDate) recipient as your folder name, if I understand you correctly. Doing
recipient sentDate estimatedDate would change your sorting, but maybe doing
sentDate recipient (estimatedDate) could be an option.
Then you’d see the emails related to when it was actually sent, but you’ll still get the hint related to when you estimated when it should have been sent (although it’ll now most likely will be cut off in the file explorer for some cases).
Use a shorter date format
I’m all in for using a date format, like the ISO 8601, to have readable dates (and readily available for sorting and Dataview and so on). But one argue for deviating from this in cases like this, if you truly insist on packing most information into a file/folder name.
So what are you options then?
- “YYYY-MM-DD” – This is the recommended format, and is recognised as the ISO 8601 date format
- “YYYYMMDD” – Not a unique format, since days and month can be switched around, but it’s still alphabetical
- “YYMMDD” – Even more possibilities for screwing up and making unrecognisable dates. Will have a sorting issue related to years pre 2000, as it kind of assumes you’re in the
- custom formats - At one point, and I’m still using it, I devised a four letter combination for a full date:
- 0-9A-Z – For the year after 2000, aka year after 2000 in base 36
- 1-9A-C – For the month in base 13
- 00-31 – For the day of month, in plain decimal. (This could also have been made base 36, but it reads a lot easier when I just kept it with two figures)
- Some example of the last custom format, today 2023-03-28, would then be
N328, and the last day of last year, 2022-12-31, would be
So using a custom format for the date could reduce one date from 10 characters to 4 (or even 3), while still keep the sorting ability of the date. Any format changes does however potentially introduce some confusion, so it kind of depend on your preferences.
Use frontmatter, not the folder name
Another option would be to utilise frontmatter for parts or all of the metadata for the folder. This would then require some queries to get to the various folders (or a folder note), and to allow sorting of the various emails.
Imagining frontmatter like the following:
topic: "some topic"
Not sure what the best folder name would be in such a scheme, maybe the main topic of the emails? But in any case, if you put such a frontmatter in the “folder note”, it could have a query listing all the other files within that folder to see all the drafts, attachments, and so on.
And you could have broader query in another file listing the various folder note, without depending on the file explorer to show all of your metadata.
Such a scheme would also allow for various other queries, like emails to somebody particular, on various subjects, or date range, and a lot more.
On a side note, when I’m using my custom date format for my daily notes which enable neat file listings, I’m also adding the
date: into the frontmatter to keep a fully readable date for those not accustomed to reading my date format (and for myself to easily see which letters corresponds to earlier years)). This also allows for dataview to get the proper date for its queries.
In summary, I think you either need to widen your file explore pane, or potentially change the date format or order of the element in your folder names. Or even better, from my point of view, switch to move to metadata into the frontmatter, and build queries to view the information instead of a fixed file explorer view.