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How to automatically add checklists to your Jira issues - step by step guide

Automatically adding checklists to each new Jira issue is a desired functionality. One typical use case is having the “Definition of Done” available by default in each new issue, to make sure that either developers or testers take time to verify if the task is done by the definition the team agreed to follow. Another common case is tracking whether the ticket is ready for development. That may include making sure the bugs have reproduction steps included or that new features have acceptance criteria. The thing about all those mentioned situations is that they all concern universal requirements that apply to the majority of the tasks you and your team face. You have to stand up to these standards because you want to deliver the highest quality service or product, of course. Still, human memory is faulty which makes it hard to remember every single step on your path to success (or "Done" if you prefer). Wouldn't it be great if after entering your Jira issue, you could see right away the complete list of criteria that you have to fulfill? This guide explains step by step how to achieve this with Multiple Checklists for Jira - an Atlassian Marketplace app available for Jira Cloud and Jira Server.


1. Get your checklist template ready

Enter any of your Jira issues and start working on your checklist items. Once you are happy with the result, click the “Save as template” button from the menu next to the checklist. You will be prompted to enter a unique name for the template. Once you have done so, just click “Save” and your template will be saved. Don’t worry, you can always edit the template later on, by adding more items, editing existing ones, reordering them, or deleting.


2. Go to manage templates view

You can access template management either directly from any Jira issue, through Multiple Checklists for Jira options, or via Jira Settings, provided you are the instance administrator. The screen allows you to edit and delete the existing templates, as well as assign them to be automatically added to the newly created issues. The last one is only available if you administer at least one project on the given Jira instance.



3. Automate template

Provided you are a project admin or Jira instance admin, you can click on “Automate template” after selecting a template name from the list.



You can then select specific projects and issue types, that will have the selected template automatically added as a checklist to each created issue of those types.



Please note that if you are automating a project template, you will not be able to select any other projects. Project templates can only be added to the project they belong to.

Automate template with JQL filter

If you need more freedom in assigning the checklist automatically, you can choose to automate it with a JQL filter, by clicking on "Automate with JQL Filter". Project templates can be automated with JQL by project admins, while global templates can only be automated by JQL by global Jira admins.

After clicking the "Automate with JQL filter", simply select one of the JQL filters you want to use. If the filter doesn't exist yet, you can create one, by clicking on the "Create filter".  Please note that the filter cannot be set as private in order to be accessible from the automate template screen. Make sure to change the filter access rights if you intend to use it for checklist template automation.

Checklist templates automated with JQL are added as soon as the Jira issue reaches a state described by the JQL query, e.g. JQL: issuetype in (Story, Task) AND status = Testing will add checklist template to stories and task, when their status is changed to "Testing". The templates are only added once to the Jira issue. If your issue leaves the Testing status and then enters it again, the checklist will not be added again.



4. Test it out!

That was it! You should be all set. Now go ahead and create a new issue to see if everything works as expected. If you cannot see any new checklist added, go back to the template management view and make sure that you have selected the correct project and issue types.


Multiple Checklists for Jira is available for Jira Cloud, Jira Server, and Jira Data Center on the Atlassian Marketplace.


Thanks for sharing the step-by-step guide!


I have a very simple question that it was clear if the documentation note this. Can I add a checklist upon creating a Jira issue? Or do I have to create an issue first and then edit it to add the checklist?



Hello @Roberta 

If you are referring to issue creation modal/screen, then unfortunately none of the Jira Cloud apps can hook into that view, and therefore checklists cannot be inserted there as well. This guide explains how to have a predefined checklist added to each issue, as soon as it's created. 


Hi @Sebastian Brudziński 

Thank you for your reply. We have Jira Data Center/Server. So, is this app only for Jira Cloud?

Thanks again,


Hello @Roberta This app is for both Jira Cloud and Jira Server :)


Like Vero Comparini likes this

Is it possible to set more than one template to default, so that when a new issue is created DoR, DoD and AC template will automatically be loaded? 

Many thanks for your help. 

Best Regards

Hi @Sebastian Brudziński thanks for the details.  Is it possible to add a checklist to existing stories or only apply to a new issue? 

Thanks for the help, 


Like Sebastian Brudziński likes this

Hello @Brett Foy - we are currently working on adding the support to automatically assign a template to existing stories too. It will be possible by selecting a Jira filter (so essentially a JQL) and once it matches the Jira issue, the template will be inserted there. This means you will be able to automatically add it by status, assignee, or really any Jira issue field.

You can, of course, always add a checklist manually to any issue, but I assume you ask for auto-assignment :)

Please feel free to reach me if you have any more questions!


Like Brett Foy likes this

Hello @Sebastian Brudziński  - is it possible to add more than one template as default for an Issue type?




Like Sebastian Brudziński likes this

@chandrakalaSYes - that's possible. There's no limit on the number of templates that can be assigned automatically per project and issue type :)

@Sebastian Brudziński  I have 2 Checklist - Dev and QA and want to assign to Issue type - Story. After assigning Dev checklist to Story and when I assign the QA checklist to Story the earlier one is removed and 2nd one is set as default.

@chandrakalaSare you sure the checklist app you are using is Multiple Checklists for Jira? What you are describing doesn't sound like our app that is described in the article above

@Sebastian Brudziński Sorry I am trying Issue Checklist for free.

Hi does this use Jira automation credits, or is this automation outwith Jiras own system 

@Sebastian Brudziński 

Hello @Will Craig

automated template addition in Multiple Checklists for Jira doesn't rely on Jira automation. Therefore, there are no limits as to how many times the template can be added in a given period of time.

Best regards,

Hi @Sebastian Brudziński ,

Can we add checklist via automation to newly created tickets.

checklist list should be added to only automation created tickets not for all the issues in the issuetype.



@Ritu Varma Yes, that would be possible, however, you'd need something in the Jira issue that you can use to tell issues created manually from issues created via automation. You could for instance add the label "automation" to all the issues created via automation, and then configure checklists to add only for issues that have this label. If you have any other field that you can use to differentiate those issues, it can be used as well.


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