Didn’t we invent computers to make life easier for ourselves? So why is it that IT stuff sometimes seems so complicated? Perhaps one reason is that while many apps and platforms are initially designed to solve one simple issue, success means the ‘snowball effect’ tends to kick in. As their revenue and user base grow, so does their range of features as they look to satisfy the needs and wants of an ever-larger customer base.
Jira is no exception – 20 years after its initial release as a bug-tracking app, it has developed into a highly complex, highly customizable, and widely used platform. But customizable doesn’t just mean you have loads of options – you also have the opportunity to focus on the features that will help you most. So just how much customization are you doing in Jira? And to what extent have you explored its potential? Read on to find out ten (plus one) ways to streamline your Jira experience and boost your productivity!
For many new users, Jira is a bit like a large menu in a great restaurant: there are so many options it’s easy to get carried away or overwhelmed. This is why your first step should be to find a way to access all your favorite items effortlessly. We have to admit, however, that Jira’s actual menu isn’t all that flexible – there is no option to drag and drop items, for example. And while project admins are able to insert project and navigation links to Jira project menus, general users are not. We recommend adding your most important Jira pages to your browser bookmarks so you can locate the most important features in double-quick time.
Another option to quickly find something in the platform is to use your browser’s search engine functionality within Jira. In most newer versions of the platform, this option is available automatically. If not, you can do it manually by adding a new search engine in your browser's Manage search engines menu.
There are two advantages to using keyboard shortcuts. For example, it’s physically faster to press “/” instead of moving your cursor to the search bar. And two, if you build up a series of regularly used shortcuts, you will soon find that you are thinking a little quicker too. To find the list of keyboard shortcuts in Jira, select it from the drop-down list in the Help menu (server) or the bottom left-hand sidebar (in the cloud).
The bigger your team, the more critical it is to keep things uniform. If, for example, you create 108 custom fields and your two colleagues create another 334, and all of you have your unique names for every type of project, things will get pretty complicated. We recommend opening a Confluence page, for example, and establishing a set of simple rules and conventions – a little work now will save a lot of confusion later on.
Firstly, we know that Jira admins have special permissions that enable them to do things that general users cannot, and they also tend to have greater knowledge of the platform. So it’s only natural that they must dedicate time to assisting others. In addition, admins can offer the free Jira documentation and the Atlassian Community as alternative channels for user support. We will only add one thing: as the old saying goes, “Give a man a fish, and he will be hungry again tomorrow. Teach a man to catch a fish, and you will feed him for a lifetime.” Or, adapted to the present day, “Teach a man to use Jira properly and give him the relevant permissions today, and he won’t hassle you with time-consuming requests for a lifetime.”
If you are already confident with Jira's basics, it’s probably time to exploit its potential. If you’re still a relatively newbie, project templates are a great way to explore Jira’s extended range of features. A wide array is available, from Scrum, Kanban, and DevOps to Go-to-market, Customer service management, and New employee onboarding. Naturally, they can all be fully customized to your requirements.
Of course, communication with the outside world is essential to most businesses. Though there are some email options within Jira, we highly recommend installing a Jira email app for greater flexibility. The best ones will provide you with additional options, such as forwarding issues within Jira via email, sending auto-reply messages, and providing editable email templates.
Not everyone has access to Jira, and not everything is best viewed in Jira. Though you export content to Excel or CSV within Jira itself, the options are unfortunately quite limited. We definitely recommend identifying a Jira app to help you export across a wider range of formats, such as Word, HTML, and PDF. Ideally, the app should also enable you to customize your content properly.
All Atlassian products are designed for integration, Jira in particular – you can connect it with anything from other Atlassian platforms such as Trello and Confluence to external tools such as GitHub, OAuth, and Slack. If you’re a less experienced Jira user, we would advise you to start with a limited number before gradually building up your range of options.
It's also worth bearing in mind that there are more than 1,000 apps for Jira on Atlassian’s unique Marketplace, all carefully designed to help add value to the Jira platform. Project documentation apps, for instance, are a great way to help automate your documentation tasks for internal and external audits and increase your Jira productivity.
In our opinion, your first step with a complicated, multifaceted platform like Jira should be simply shaping it to your own wants and needs. But there’s no rush – the important thing is to identify the features that will best help you and your team work as smoothly as possible. After all, there is plenty of time to explore further options later!
We stick to what we are experts at: Atlassian. We are a Platinum Solution Enterprise Partner and Platinum Marketplace Partner, and we live by the motto of "Eat, Sleep, Atlassian". Our market-leading productivity apps, Email This Issue for Jira, Glass Project Documentation for Jira, and Content Exporter for Confluence empower millions of Atlassian users worldwide. Check out our Jira productivity apps here.
As a Jira administrator, you must comply with audit obligations which can take up to 40 (!) hours per project to write the required documentation. The following post introduces Glass Project Documentation for Jira as a potential solution for the issues of Jira (project) administrators.
In this article, we examine the benefits and challenges of cloud migration in Jira, before assessing the specific difficulties of migrating Jira to the cloud and how a unique app, Glass Documentation for Jira, can help you enjoy a smooth transition.
Whenever you spend money on something, you should consider if its worth it or not. Especially when you spend your company’s money, this questions comes up regularly from your manager, or your manager’s manager. Why should you buy an extra App? Whats the Return Of Investment? Let’s walk through popular use cases, and calculate the price with and without Glass installed.