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Jira as email inbox - Why it’s essential to a successful project

Hello Community, 

 today I wanted to tell you about a problem with external email communication we faced right after we founded APTIS and how we solved it. It’s a problem I’ve heard many people experience so if you’re a PM and/or struggling with email management this article is definitely for you. 

 So what was our problem? 

 Jira is always great for managing the internal work and communication within teams but as every PM knows the most important communication with customers goes through email. Usually through the private inbox of the responsible PM which I had a few of. Which resulted in essential project data being trapped inside their inboxes without me being able to see that information. And that included important info like the data from the customer or insights from outside the project team. To prevent that everyone had to transfer all their data to Jira which not everyone did and when they did it cost them a lot of time. But we had no easier way for me to see what was happening. I never knew if everyone transferred all the important information so handovers were a mess. 

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How did we solve this problem? 

 As we already managed all of our work in Jira we figured the best solution for this would be to send and receive all the emails in the related Jira Issues. Then everything would be in Jira. 

So we started with the configuration of Jira’s native email capabilities. Now emails were added as comments to the right issue if the related issue key was in the subject line. But it wasn’t so easy to send emails from the issue to the customer. That’s why we added JETI to the mix. It allows us to send emails directly from the issue view and even have customised email templates. 

 Now we had Jira as the one place where all relevant information was stored including all emails, links and internal comments. 

 Which was really helpful because it was now easy to work on a project together or do a handover. 

But do you know the feeling when you have a problem and you think you solved it but it’s still not working as well as you hoped? 

 Well if you scatter internal comments and customer emails all across your project hierarchy it’s really hard to find them. If you know on which issue that email is it’s fine but if you don’t know from which issue you typed that email you need to make some time to search for it. 

 When we searched for a solution, we didn’t really find one. It’s hard to find comments per default Jira search and there wasn’t anything on the Marketplace that fitted to our case. 

So we did what developers do. We added something to our own product Epic Sum Up. A comment summary counter. It summarizes all the comments (including emails added as comments) from one hierarchy and lets you see them in one place. You can group them but the fastest way to find something is to use the search bar. 

comment overview illustration with JETI.png

Now we had all the important information in Jira and it was very easy to find everything. We had a solution that really worked. 

And today it’s just a matter of seconds to find the right comment/email. 

If you had a similar problem in the past, I am interested to learn how you solved it. Just comment below. 👇

And of course if you have any questions, ideas or would like to discuss this topic further I am always open to a conversation

And if you’re interested in diving deeper into the topic, I’ve written a whitepaper about it. If you want to have a look you can find it here. It’s 100% free.

I hope that you could benefit from this short story and look forward to your feedback.  

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