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Demo Den Ep. 3: How to create custom fields in Jira Cloud (Classic vs. next-gen)

Lewis Haidt Atlassian Team Mar 27, 2019


Check out Demo Den Episode 3, the latest in our monthly series where a Jira PM demonstrates top features in Jira. Jira Product Manager, Nathan Sturgess, takes us on a tour of how to work with Jira Custom Fields in both next-gen and classic. 

Watch and find out his answer to this top spicy question: Are you making Jira more like Trello?

Leave your question for Nathan below, starting now!


sub taaaasks! ;-) very important, believe me.

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Thanks @Thomas Holenstein we actually address sub tasks in the first Demo Den video, if you want to know the scoop. :)

hey thanks @Claire Drumond. Sorry my bad. I assume, that sub tasks will work now on new generation Projects?

@Thomas Holenstein sub tasks haven't launched in next-gen projects yet. You can still use them in classic projects. You can follow this page for updates so you can get notified when sub tasks are live in next-gen.

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@Thomas Holenstein we know these are a must have for our users and they are oh so close, hang in there just a little bit longer.

Like Claire Drumond likes this

Also, custom filters for custom fields. That's a BIG one that also needs to make its way into next-gen.

We are currently stuck on classic projects because of the lack of sub-tasks and custom filters. :/

I really don't understand the benefits of the new issue view. @Claire Drumond, do you measure the amount of people who switch to the old view? Not that I want everything to stay the same always, but I'm missing some important options, like 'Add Watchers' or 'Convert to Sub-task', etc.  

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@Rene Nijmeijer - The only benefit for our company is the Roadmap feature. That's it. Nothing else.

We made a specific next-gen project just to use the roadmap feature. We don't use anything else. All 20 other projects are on classic. 

EDIT: I misread and thought you were referring to next-gen projects, when you were referring to the issue view. For us, the only improvement there is the readability and better control in terms of the layout.

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@Scrum Flower Boy, thanks explains a lot then. How do I switch all my projects to the Classic mode? I now do it manually but everyday I have to change it again :(

@Rene Nijmeijer If you go to your personal Jira settings you can turn-off the new Jira Issue View completely. 

However, it will not work if you are using business projects or next-gen. It works only on software projects.

This needs to be done individually by every user, it's not a global setting for a project.


@Scrum Flower Boy , Wow, that was easy haha! Thanks for your help :) 

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@Scrum Flower Boyyou are correct the inability to filter from the board diminishes the value of custom fields and I know that's annoying. My team is in discussions to see if we can pick this up (from another team) and bring it forward in the roadmap.

So please hang in there, I am on it.

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If you go to your personal Jira settings you can turn-off the new Jira Issue View completely. 

@Scrum Flower Boy the idea is not to turn off the new issue view 😉.

Not that I want everything to stay the same always, but I'm missing some important options, like 'Add Watchers' or 'Convert to Sub-task', etc.  

@Rene Nijmeijer is correct, there are some missing features (that are yet to be built).

I want to call out that the same trajectory applies for the issue view, as it applies to the whole of Jira; expect be able achieve the same things in the new experience when it is fully built out, but in a much better way. We aren't removing crucial things that usage data and customer research watchers, we just needed to divide and conquer each of these parts of Jira. Which is a huge effort, may I add.

@Nathan Sturgess - I'm glad to hear you'll be picking up custom board filters. Our JIRA projects use A LOT of custom fields and it's vital to have them in next-gen projects if you want advanced users to transfer over to them.

Regarding the new issue view - if the idea is not to turn it off, maybe you should remove the option to do so? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The fact remains that you left out the option, because you guys and gals knew it will take you time to build out everything in the new issue view, and until then there will be users who prefer the old one. 

I truly don't understand why you're continue to develop some new interface where you have a lot of bugs or basic features that are requested since 2014.

Why do you develop one more Trello when Jira is valuable for its customization and flexible schemes?

Hi @Eugene

Why do you develop one more Trello

If you can please check out the video, I spoke about Trello and the comparison to Next-gens.


Jira is valuable for its customization and flexible schemes

Video aside we can dig a little deeper into that here. All of the customer research over the life of Jira, regardless of the number of seats, team maturity or well anything, always points to the single biggest pain-point for Jira customer is the complexity of configuration (which as you know includes schemes). When we build out shared config you will be able to have flexible shared configuration as you do today, but without the baggage of schemes and the need to hop all across the settings menus.

Let’s dig into shared config a little more. The conceptual model of Next-gen is that you have a project, that has issue types, that each have a workflow and custom fields. With shared config will be able to have multiple projects that all inherit their configuration from one source, think like a blueprint project. It will give you the benefit of schemes, but will be way better both conceptually and in terms of the user experience.

By not having schemes, users no longer need to worry about making changes which accidentally and unknowingly mess with every other project that is associated with the scheme. Next-gens will be for the most part self-contained other than their shared config, benefit is that anyone can now create a project without fear of breaking something (or fear from their admin) and be able to administer the project with relative ease.


you have a lot of bugs or basic features that are requested since 2014.

My team have the top three voted JAC tickets on our roadmap and they go actually go way back to 2004 😉. I am personally looking at exactly these these things. Feel free to email me directly and ping me the tickets that you mentioned from 2014, so I can check them out. If you are open to being interviewed, I would love to do a customer interview with you. Just let me know. 

nsturgess at atlassian dot com

Thanks for taking the time to comment.



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thanks for your reply.

Yep, I agree pain point in complexity is huge, but it can be solved if you try to digg :)

However we need to work today, not to wait for new updated releases. And I will be a bit scared to transfer current set up to new one.

Today we will have phone call with your team and we will show our troubles. Some of them

- I can't add subtasks to various sprints

- it looks like there is a bug with calculation of original and remaining estimate in new view with subtasks - it doesn't add estimation to the main task (btw, several sprint were planned wrong because of that)

- there is no auto calculation of estimation for epic

- no epic over epic (a lot of people asked about that)

- mess with time reports if we transfer 1 task from one sprint to another (yeah, I know it is not scrum in pure view, but we need to track investments in 1 task )

- sorry, but overall reports are crappy - we need to export to excel a lot of data to analyze it like plan vs fact with breakdown by people, task type, etc

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Hi Eugene,

The current state of Next-gen don't yet offer the power of Classic, thus based off what you have stated I wouldn't recommend moving yet. 

Some of the functionality/bugs that you mentioned are roadmapped to be addressed in Next-gen. There are also a few that I am not sure about (as they fall outside of my team). I will ping some people tomorrow when I get in and chase them up some more.

If you can email me and let's setup a time for an interview, so I can understand more about your team, their needs and where we are and aren't meeting those needs.

Thanks again for the correspondence.

Warm regards,


The new issue view handles drop-downs as auto-complete fields... my users find this highly frustrating as you have to know the possible values beforehand... Fields are set up as drop-downs, give me the options!!

@Mark Winspear  Can't you just double click the field and get a dropdown with all the values? Maybe there is a bug. Can you go check it out and get back to me please?

@Nathan Sturgess Yes, that works, I hadn't thought of trying it, but it's not standard behaviour for any application to work like that for drop-downs, therefore not intuitive?

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I can't stand Activity and Worklogs being whiped out of the New issue view. May be they are presented somewhere, but I wasn't able to find them. 

As for the Next Gen - time tracking and swimlanes for custom fields are must have's. What's really funny is that Next Gen issues are just same classic ones, so you add time tracking section back with external add-ons. But this should available out of the box.  

@Dmitry Astapkovich _Colined_  if you go to the bottom of the issue view, the Activity panel has a dropdown where you can select Work Log for only work logs or History for comments, work logs and state changes.


@Dmitry Astapkovich _Colined_ 

  • Time tracking - My team just started working on it ✔️
  • Swimlanes are coming, but for custom fields will be a little further out
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Nice! Thanks! 


One comment though: wouldn't it be better to have dropdown right in the label? 


I am not a designer 🤷🏻‍♂️ but each of those titles on the left represent a name for the given panel. Eg. above Activity panel there is Subtasks. Each can be accompanied with some sort of action for that panel. See "..." and "+" for Subtasks

The Activity panel can be filtered by different types of activity (as seen by the dropdown on the righthand side). If we had that dropdown under Activity and only showed Activity, users would not be able to see the current activity filter (eg. Comments) or alternatively it wouldn't be called Activity and would only show the current filter e.g. Comments (which seems misleading, as at a glance you might not know that there are other types of activity filters). 


So basically you're saying that having this static Activity label is really important. But I really doubt that since names of the dropdown items like "Comments" are a lot more meaningful.  


Btw, Activity was always a bit weird name for this case. Here's what bugs me for years:


I'm loving the customization available for issue types in Next-Gen. Quick question - will you be looking at 'turning off' classic projects in the future? (perhaps once more functionality is built out into Next-Gen?)

@Hi @Siobhan Flynn are currently focusing on building out Next-gen projects, bringing in the power while still simplifying some of the underlying concepts. We currently haven't made any decision yet on turning off classic projects but it would make sense to me that as we build out that power, users will naturally choose Next-gens over Classic projects. 

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@Nathan Sturgess Hopefully that is a way off considering the gaps at the moment.  My concern is that I run a very large portfolio and using JIRA and Portfolio in a consistent manner means teams operate in similar ways and the reporting is solid... multiple ways of operating and multiple configurations concerns me greatly.

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@Mark Winspear don't fear it will take a long time to build out anything close to Classic and I never said it was going away, so you are all good. 


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