Agile: Assigning issues to sprints with a large backlog

I am trying to sprint plan with JIRA Agile, but it is becoming cumbersome and I wonder if I am doing something wrong. I have a project with 800+ issues, most are still in the backlog, and 19 sprints so far. I know of two ways to sort issues into sprints; by dragging an issue up and down the board, and right-clicking on an issue and selecting the sprint from the Send To list. However, the size of my backlog and the number of sprints I have is making both options difficult. Dragging each issue past several hundred issues to sort it is very time-consuming, and my right-click menu is now so large that it exceeds my screen height, making some sprints unreachable.

I tried configuring JIRA to display the Sprint field on the edit screen but you have to use the sprint number and can't just start typing the sprint name, which isn't going to work for all the sprints I have.

Does JIRA Agile only work for smaller projects? Or should I be doing something else to efficiently plan my sprints? Is there another way to assign an issue to a sprint? Will the Version/Epic sidebars help? These are features I don't really use, and I don't know how I could use them to my advantage. Thanks.

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Am I asking in the wrong place?

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Rian, did you ever get an answer? We have the same challenges with our 400-task backlog. I feel like I must be missing something-- any large project accumulates a few hundred tasks in the backlog over time, so there must be strategies that others are using to manage those big backlogs.

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