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Friday Fun: Productivity tips for working in Atlassian tools?

Dave Liao Community Leader May 14, 2021

...any Atlassian tool! I'll start with two tips:

🔔 Notifications

  • I've had folks ask me about notifications in Jira (aside from emails). In cases where you can't use Jira Mobile AND you have access to Confluence, leave Confluence open and see notifications in the bell (upper-right) for your combined Jira and Confluence notifications.
  • There's also a macOS Jira Cloud app - assuming it doesn't munge/obscure your literal workflows, give it a try!

Anyone know better ways of getting notified about things in Jira?

🎹 Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Trello has keyboard shortcuts! After a power user taught me, I felt like an 80's hacker re-arranging Pinterest boards. 😅
  • Using Jira from a mobile device? Does your tablet/smartphone pair with Bluetooth keyboards? If so, access the desktop version of Jira in your web browser, and go ham with the keyboard shortcuts you know and love.

Have any other tips related to the above, or things you share with users?

9 comments

Great Topic, @Dave Liaolaugh

I've one to share about Jira to reduce the amount of (spam?) e-mail notifications:

Go yourself and advise colleagues and users to go to their Profile (upper-right corner avatar) and Edit Preferences:

  • Check if "My changes" are set to Do not notify me
  • Review the "Autowatch" selection. You may want to set this to Disabled to stop being automatically included as a watcher in issues you edit, transition or comment.

preferences.png

This may help reduce the amount of Jira e-mails, leaving only the really important ones (@mentions and notification schemes) for you to read! smile

 

Cheers!

Like # people like this
Dave Liao Community Leader May 14, 2021

That's a great tip, especially if you're working in multiple Jiras and you don't need to hear about every single notification on tickets you interact with. Great example: https://jira.atlassian.com 😅

I'll cheat, as usual, and say "all the main tools".

Atlassian stuff is most productive when it's tightly integrated with other systems (and the best integrations are with other Atlassian systems).

Of course, when you're doing it right, you still end up with several systems to work with, and the best productivity tip I have is "pick a favourite".  Which of your systems works best for you?  Go with that one, and use it to draw the info you need from the others.

I am mostly worrying about getting stuff done, so I spend a lot of time in Jira.  When the stuff to do is code, I ask Jira to draw dev stuff in from Bitbucket, when it's about releases, grab from Bamboo, from our Sales team, pull it from their Trello, and so-on.

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Dave Liao Community Leader May 15, 2021

"Go with that one, and use it to draw the info you need from the others."

Agree - figuring out how you use a tool like Confluence or Jira is just as important as knowing where things are.

You've got a map of a city, and you can see streets, but which streets are one-way?

LarryBrock Community Leader May 14, 2021

Well @Dave Liao and @Rodrigo Martinez have already talked about my top two tips, keyboard shortcuts and tuning your email, so I'll add personal dashboard.  Setting up a dashboard including the things across all projects, that are of interest to you is a quick way to get up to date quickly.  Mine includes a section of my assign issues,  a section of my teams' assigned issues, and  a "metrics" section.  Love to hear how you organize yours!

Cheers and Friday-lujah! thumbs-up

Like # people like this

Oh, personal Dashboards are ❤️!

I also used to create dashboards for each Team (together with them and their mgmt), so they'd have a similar view of their work and keep the top things in view!

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Dave Liao Community Leader May 15, 2021

Ooh, a thread on dashboards! 💪

I use personal dashboards to analyze Jira projects, and to summarize things that are especially useful to me. They're also fun to share with end-users who aren't sure what's possible in Jira. It's always easier to show than tell!

Like Rodrigo Martinez likes this

Great topic indeed @Dave Liao,

I have actually two tips I'd like to share. One about notifications and teamwork. And one about common sense;

Atlassian tools are team tools, right. So they bring about the highest value when they improve work of entire teams. One of the biggest challenges is indeed tweaking notifications to the right levels. If you have really good dashboards in place, then you could often even reduce email notifications to zero - admittedly in the most extreme scenario. If many key users rely on email to get notified of stuff they need to do, the pendulum can swing entirely in the other direction. So in a team, discuss about the right balance for all involved and try to reach an agreement on what works best for the team. 

The one about common sense is this: do take the time and effort to understand the tool you're working with. Be aware of the consequences of choosing a team-managed project over an company-managed one in Jira. Make sure your understanding of the tools is on par with your knowledge of the work you are trying to manage with them. It makes every day life so much easier and more fun! 

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Dave Liao Community Leader May 15, 2021

Love these tips!

The idea of going practically Notification Zero isn't unreasonable in Jira, if your Jira projects self-document.

Example: If you have a Jira project with distinct "Waiting for Team" and "Waiting for Customer" statuses, you can just focus on triaging tickets in specific statuses.

Ok, two tips. They're a bit long to explain, but trust me, they will save you time! (I think.)

1. Chrome auto-completion/substituting Project Keys in URLs for project administration.

So I hate clicking around in the UI to get to "Project Settings". As a Jira admin I end  up seeing boards or issues that I do *not* care about. (Sorry!)

I'm just trying to get to the workflows, screens, or permissions scheme. You know, real work. ;-}

So to avoid the extra clicking, I go into Chrome (now Brave) and start typing my Jira instance's URL, and then the letter p, like so: jira.foo.com/p

Assuming you spend a lot of time administering Jira, Chrome should autocomplete the URL to something like:
jira.foo.com/plugins/servlet/project-config/PROJECT/summary

This is where the hack happens. Hit your right-arrow key to get to the end of the URL, then Option-Left Arrow to get PROJECT (Mac. On Windows I think it's Ctrl) and replace that with the project key you're trying to administer. (I assume you have all your project keys memorized, yes?)

You can also replace summary with any of these endpoints:
* workflows
* screens
* fields
* permissions
* roles

So then, to quickly add a user/group to a project role, you could use Chrome auto-complete and a few keystrokes to get to:

jira.foo.com/plugins/servlet/project-config/FOO/roles

No waiting for issues to load. No waiting even for the summary to load. You will be right in there!

2. Quick-switch Bookmarklets for Dev/Staging/Production

So... suppose you're at a company with $$$ and they've sprung for Premium or Enterprise Cloud, so you have a nice Sandbox instance.

Or you're at a place running Server or DC, and you or somebody smart has set up dev and/or staging instances for you to test your changes before deploying.

Sometimes, it would be nice after making a change on Dev, being able to compare that exact page (Confluence page, issue screen, workflow diagram) to its counterpart on Production. Or maybe you just made a change live on Production (you cowboy/girl you!) and now you're like... oh no, what did it look like before?

So, you could go to your Dev/Prod server and manually navigate to the same page. You also could copy and paste the URL you're currently on and replace the hostname with your Dev/Prod server. 

But c'mon now. We don't have time for that.

What you want is a Bookmarklet. Bookmarklets are bookmarks in your web browser that contain Javascript. They are most effectively deployed in your Bookmarks bar for easy access. (This works in Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Brave.)

So what we're going to do is create Bookmarklets that with the click of a button, open up a new tab with the exact same page you're looking at, but on your Dev/Prod server.

To create a Bookmarklet, first create a bookmark. It can be of anything. Let's say, your Jira Prod home page.
Screen Shot 2021-05-16 at 3.19.54 PM.png

As previously mentioned, if you put it in your Bookmarks Bar, then you can access it very easily.

Next, right-click (ctrl-click on a Mac) on your new bookmark, and Edit it.
Screen Shot 2021-05-16 at 3.05.37 PM.png


You'll want to change the Name of the bookmark to something like "Dev", and then for location, you can use the following code (substituting the YOURDEVSITE with your Dev/Prod site).
NOTE: You also have to replace the [COLON] below with a : because the Community forums thinks embedding Javascript in a post is bad, which is fair.

javascript[COLON]window.open(document.location.href.replace(document.location.host,'YOURDEVSITE.atlassian.net'))


Screen Shot 2021-05-16 at 3.05.50 PM.png

Click on Save, and you should be good to go!

Now, to test it, go to your Production site, find a page that has an equivalent in Dev (let's start easy - say your main Jira home page).

Then click on your new Bookmarklet.

If everything worked, you should have a new tab open with the same page, but on Dev!

Whew. Ok, that's a lot of typing for two tips.

 

Like Dave Liao likes this
Dave Liao Community Leader May 16, 2021

@Darryl Lee - ahhhh, your first tip reminds me of a tip I use (particularly useful when administering several Jira instances) - set up the Jira instances that you work in as custom search engines in your browser!

Both tips are useful - especially that bookmarklet tip!

Like Rodrigo Martinez likes this

@Dave Liao, I actually like how Chrome is automatically adding all the Atlassian sites I work with automatically as search engines.

I simply type, e.g. ecosystem.atlassian.net, press the tab key and enter my search term. Combined with auto completion, I usually get the base url suggested, so I type some letters, press tab and search for it :). 

Like Dave Liao likes this
Dave Liao Community Leader May 17, 2021

@Matthias Gaiser _K15t_ - that IS an interesting auto-addition Chrome is doing. Microsoft Edge Chromium does the same, and now I need to figure out how to turn that feature off (since I have a lot of Jira instances I don't really want to search automatically). 😅

Two more cents:

We should strive to keep Jira notification to only the important things. So that users actually pay attention to Jira e-mails instead of piling them on the Spam folder.

When that's not completely feasible, I'd configure e-mail rules to filter and flag important e-mails (based on subjects and body keywords) and share them with the teams (export the rule and attach to a Confluence space so many could copy & paste to their own e-mail config). Examples included:

  • Request For Changes just submitted for approval (ITIL stuff)
  • Stories submitted for QA or validation phase
  • Important issue filter subscriptions

Those rules I'd create would basically flag the e-mails as important and keep'em on top of others until the user/recipient would address them.

This is specially useful if you're expanding Jira to non-IT areas of the company. They may not be used to Dashboards/Queues and still rely heavily on e-mails and such.

🍻

Like Dave Liao likes this
Dave Liao Community Leader May 17, 2021

@Rodrigo Martinez - ooh, email filters are good tip - any reasonable email client (Google Workspace, Microsoft 365's Outlook, etc.) includes the ability to filter. 🙏

Like Rodrigo Martinez likes this

To be productive, Create a confluence page may be a table.

Link all of your related JIRA tickets on Confluence page.

You now have all of your tickets status in one glance.

you can change its status as well.

:-)

Thanks...!

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When the first word after fun is productivity the fun is kinda murdered.  Just sayin'  :)

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Dave Liao Community Leader May 23, 2021

@Rob Horan - ha, I agree!

When I signed up for Friday Fun (almost nine months ago!) I had "productivity tips" as my placeholder idea. At the time, making it Atlassian-specific made sense to me. No idea why... but since I had it drafted, I figured I'd post it 😂 

I'm happier with my "what's your favorite phone?" post, which got more responses anyway. 😉

Like Rob Horan likes this

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