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How to manage labels in Jira [Instruction and Best practices + Bonus]

Jira Labels are a dynamic way to add tags or keywords to your issues to let you categorize and track them more flexibly than by assigning version numbers or components.

In this article, we’ll explore how to use labels in your jira projects. You’ll also get recommendations for good practices and tips that will make this feature a real asset for your team.

 

Use case

Labels can be created by any user and they are particularly useful when there's a need to track certain aspects of issues that don't fit into a single component. 

We’ll take the example of software development company ABC, which designs mobile apps. Their app development project can have different components, for example frontend , backend and data objects. These components create clear divisions within your project , but the project team might require further classification especially in the form of tagging to identify issues relating to a specific feature or isolate tickets in a support queue referring to a particular customer. This is where labels come in. 

How to add new Jira label

  • Simply go to the Label field and begin typing and then click return or select a suggested item – and you’re done!

 Add label screenshot.png

Note

Your labels cannot contain spaces. In order to create multiple-word labels, you should use hyphens or underscores, example (User_Acceptance_Test) See below , we have some tips for you !

 

How to search for issues with a specific label

You can use Label field from search or simply click a label to jump to the Issue Navigator and see a list of all issues with the label.

What if we need to filter issues that have only one specific and no other labels? See below , we have some tips for you !

 search label screenshot.png

How to remove Jira Labels

To remove a label, click on the x next to the label.

 Add label screenshot.png

To delete a label to be completely removed from a project in JIRA, the label must be removed from all the issues in that project. To do that you need to perform a bulk change to remove the label you no longer need.

Bulk change label screenshot.png

See below how to remove Jira Label in a simply way !

Example – Possible risks

Like any other tool, labels can indeed be misused. Any authorized user can add labels to an issue as long as the label field is available on the issue. Consequently, it’s easy to end up with a very large number of labels. The danger here is that the project can end up with numerous capitalization and spelling variations, e.g., login vs. Login, user vs. User, ready_for_UAT vs. ready_for_uat, etc. This can, in turn, render searching via labels inefficient and prone to error. Below, we’ll share some best practices for avoiding this situation.

How to Take advantage of the benefits of labels and minimize potential pitfalls

 

Good practices

To best take advantage of the benefits of labels and minimize potential pitfalls, here are some recommendations you can share with your team:

  • Only add a label if the connection you’re trying to establish doesn’t already exist. (For example, don’t use a label to indicate that an issue belongs to a particular epic.)
  • Always check to see whether a label already exists before creating it; remember, too, that it might simply be a question of spelling or case variation.
  • Avoid using abbreviations unless they are widely understood, added in the description field and accepted by your team. This will, in turn, help avoid synonyms.

Colored Label Manager allow you to visualize and manage your Jira labels with at-a-glance quickness to save time and avoid mistakes by giving you integrated ease-to-use tools that improve your experience using labels and help you get the job done.

colored label media2v2.png

Now you know how to use labels in Jira the right way. This will undoubtedly help you create simple but powerful classification and search tools for your projects.

Using labels in Jira the right way never was this easy! Get a free 30-day trial

5 comments

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Yatish Madhav
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March 3, 2024

Thanks @karim -Atlassway- this is a nice article. I wonder why Labels is not in the issue fields list ... i think it would also be nice to have a central Labels management screen where we can see all the possible labels add on the entire instance and preferably with an indication of the projects the label is used in. Thank you

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Yatish Madhav
Rising Star
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Rising Stars are recognized for providing high-quality answers to other users. Rising Stars receive a certificate of achievement and are on the path to becoming Community Leaders.
March 3, 2024

Lol whoops, now I see the 'Manage your labels globally or per-project' item on the Colored Label Manager addon ... Would've preferred it natively.

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karim -Atlassway-
Marketplace Partner
Marketplace Partners provide apps and integrations available on the Atlassian Marketplace that extend the power of Atlassian products.
March 4, 2024

Hi @Yatish Madhav, thanks for taking the time to leave a review.

If you ever have more feedback or insights about our product or support, please let me know - we’re all ears! 

🙌  Please like, and share this article with new beginners

 

Jacob Andersen March 8, 2024

Thanks @karim -Atlassway-  - but what if you are in Product Discovery and want to remove a label. How is this done? there is no x shown next to label.

karim -Atlassway-
Marketplace Partner
Marketplace Partners provide apps and integrations available on the Atlassian Marketplace that extend the power of Atlassian products.
March 8, 2024

Hello @Jacob Andersen ,

Just click on your label field and the X will be shown :) (see sreenshot)

 

label shown.png

Cheers

Karim

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