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How to create time reports based on Custom fields?

We really like time reports for the data insight they offer. They help you understand how your work is going and what could be improved. Based on previous, similar tasks/projects you can estimate how much time the next ones will take and how many people will be needed for the job. They can also be a base for creating invoices for the client. That’s just a few examples of the numerous options they offer. And with the usage of custom fields, you have greater flexibility when it comes to choosing the data you want to see in your time report.  

 

Custom fields 

The idea of custom fields is that each project’s admin can create their own field which can be added to a Jira instance. This field will be visible in Worklogs and you will be able to see how much time was spent on it. Custom fields allow you to create many combinations of data, so you can look at your workflow from different angles.   

 

Using custom fields 

You can use custom fields in different contexts. You can, for example, display the time spent on each task and filter it by a particular customer. This report can be then used to prepare a bill and you can also show it in a meeting. You need a JQL filter to prepare this kind of report.  

 

Creating a JQL filter 

In order to create a JQL filter, click Filters and select View all filters:


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Then, click Create filter on the right. 

 

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This will enable you to create your own filter. Choose the customer you’re interested in and click Save as:

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A window will appear. Now, you can type in the name you want your filter to have. Once you’re done, click Submit to save changes:


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Make sure to make it visible to your organization by clicking Details and Edit permissions


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Then, in the Viewers section, choose My organization, click Add on the right, and then Save at the bottom.

 

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Now, when you open Worklogs, your filter will be visible in the Project or Filter window on the left:


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When you select it, only data connected with this particular customer will be displayed. You can then go for the following combination:

Categorize by: Project
Group by: Issues


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Remember you can also export it as a spreadsheet file. You can read more about it here. 

 

Examples of using custom fields

You might want to organize your tasks into different categories, so your time report can display how much time was spent on each. This will allow you to better track the time you devote to different activities. To do that, you can choose from different types of custom fields. When you go to Project settings -> Issue types -> Task, you will see them on the right:

 

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How can we use them? For example, as a part of a marketing department, you might want to check in Worklogs how much time was spent on different categories of tasks. So, you choose a checkbox custom field. When you click on it, it will be added to the Context fields in the Jira task. To use it, you need to click on Type and checkboxes will appear.

 

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When you’re done, click Save changes at the bottom right. 

Now, whenever you open a particular Jira issue, you will be able to choose which category the task belongs to. For example, let’s say there are two tasks: to write a blog post about flowers and write a social media post about the company. The first one will come under a blog post category while the second one will belong to the social media texts category. You can assign the tasks properly by choosing a particular checkbox in the details of your Jira ticket:


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Later on, you will be able to see in Worklogs how much time was spent on them. Choose the particular project and in Categorize by choose your Type custom field:


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You will be able to see how much time was spent on each task from a certain category as well as how much time it took to complete them all. 

Remember that if you tick more categories from checkbox fields, Worklogs will show you how much time was logged into the task in total, without distinguishing between time spent on a particular category.    

In order to create it, click Configure under the details of your task.  

Another example where checkbox fields can be used is an HR & administration department. For instance, the following checkboxes can be created: onboarding, administration, people management, office management. 


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Adding Worklogs to your Jira Dashboard

Worklogs can be added as a gadget to your Jira dashboard. You can use a JQL filter to customize what exactly you want to display. For example, it can be a filter with bugs that will be displayed on the dashboard. To set this, open your dashboard and click Edit in the top right corner. You will see a gadgets list you can search through. Find Worklogs and click Add. Worklogs will then be added to your dashboard.  

 

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To edit what will be displayed, click on the three dots in the right top corner and click configure.

 

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You’ll see Worklogs’ settings. You can choose the previously created bug filter from the Project or Filter section. Adjust the date range you are interested in, choose Categorize by User, Group by Issues and click Save.

 

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With this setting, your dashboard will show how much time was spent by each user on all bugs in the chosen time period.


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You can also display the data in a bar chart or pie chart by choosing the appropriate option in the Data Visualization field. Choose the option Categorize by: None (issues) and you will see which bugs were most time-consuming. 

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Summary

Custom fields give you the flexibility of personalizing your time report. You can use them e.g. to categorize your Jira tasks and display them later in Worklogs – Time Tracking and Reports. You can also use a JQL filter to present particular data in your time report. Once you set Worklogs to show exactly the data you are interested in, it can be added to your Jira dashboard as a gadget. We invite you to try out Worklogs and play with custom fields a little so you can create a time report best suited to your needs.

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