Advice on implementing email digests and notifications for changes

I want to send an email in response to changes in a table over a period of time, two use cases:

  1. period of time = 1 day+ → for what we normally think of as a “digest email”
  2. period of time ~= 1 minute → for “immediate” notifications of changes to a table with buffering so that we don’t send too many emails in response to rapid sequential edits

The body of the email should show what changed.

It seems like I want to use either a Workflow with a timer mechanism (but I can’t think of how) or a Report to periodically check for changes, each approach seems like it would need some auxilliary data storage to be able to meet the “diff” criteria to be shown.

Reports can only run at most once a day, I wish we could run these hourly.
If there were a field that updated on a timer, that would make this very easy.

I need some advice on how to implement this, or an example…

12 (or 24, or 8, or whatever) daily reports, each scheduled for a different hour of the day.

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