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How Can Distinguish Between Backlog and Board Tickets in Next-Gen Project?


Hi Everyone,

In the next-gen project, I see the 'To Do' status for tickets, in the Backlog and the Board, how can I distinguish between the two in a filter easily?

The only way I could do this, was by assigning a story point or finding a common feature to add to the Board tickets vs. the Backlog tickets. 

Ex. All tickets in Board have story pt estimate = 1, All tickets in Backlog story pt estimate is empty

Any other better way to get this distinction?


1 answer

1 accepted

1 vote
Answer accepted
Andy Heinzer Atlassian Team Oct 14, 2020

Hi Vanessa,

I understand that you are looking to understand how to see in a JQL filter which issues in a next-gen project are on the board and which are in the backlog.  For a next-gen project when an issue gets moved onto the board, this is the equivalent of being placed into a sprint.   Issues that exist in the backlog are not yet in any sprint.

In turn we can search for these in advanced JQL by looking like so:

project=ABC and sprint is empty

^ will return all the issues in that project that are in the backlog (have no sprint).  While the query of:

project=ABC and sprint is not empty

^ will return issues in that project that are on the board (already part of a sprint).


I hope this helps.  Please let me know if you have any questions about this.


Can this same board JQL query still be applied if there isn't a sprint on the project? We only have the backlog and kanban board. 

Like James Chan likes this
Andy Heinzer Atlassian Team Oct 14, 2020

Unfortunately, no.  In order for this to work, that next-gen project will need to have the Sprints feature enabled in it.  Only then will those issues gain this sprint field which you can then use to lookup such values in JQL.

Otherwise, I do not believe there is currently anyway to determine which issues are on the board vs backlog via JQL. 

Like # people like this

This is bad, because, i would like to get a JQL filter to use with visual studio code, with only backlog items that are not on the board!

Like Fowler likes this

My case is probably a bit unusual because I am the sole individual in my next-gen JIRA project, but what I do is the following:

  • When an issue is specifically on my backlog, I leave the assignee field null/empty.
  • When an issue is moved to my actual kanban board, I assign myself to the ticket in the assignee field.

This way, if I craft JQL queries, I can distinguish between the backlog and kanban board by seeing if the assignee field is populated or not.

I also do not use the sprint functionality in my next-gen project, only the backlog and kanban board.

That's the best idea I've come up with until they expose a backlog identifier of some sort in JQL.

Yes its a nice one!


Like Daniel Miradakis likes this

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