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How to track your Jira todos and accomplishments

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    Stuart Dotson

Hi all. Last week we covered GitHub todos and accomplishments. This week, we'll take a look at Jira.

Jira presents many opportunities for tasks and accomplishments to fall through the cracks. Just like in GitHub, your coworkers can mention you in a comment on an issue assigned to someone else. Assigned tickets can sometimes fall off the Jira Board you look at with your team.

Rest assured that you are not alone. These are challenges faced by a lot of engineers. Thankfully there are solutions for these challenges. I'll describe the Jira todos and accomplishments most software engineers want to track then describe five solutions.

Jira todos and accomplishments

Here is a short list of Jira events and the todo action required from the software engineer:

  • Jira ticket assigned - Start research and investigation. Write code. Open a pull request. Get the code deployed to production.
  • Username mentioned in a comment - Respond to the coworker who addressed you in a comment.

In addition, there are Jira accomplishments that the software engineer should remember for standup and their reference:

  • Jira tickets created and updated
  • Jira tickets started
  • Jira tickets completed
  • Comments and discussions

Option #1 Watch your email inbox

The first alternative is to configure your notifications so that you receive notifications to your email inbox. The exact URL will depend on your Jira configuration, but generally the URL will be https://${your-subdomain}, being careful to replace ${your-subdomain} with your subdomain name.


  • Real-time notifications when things happen.


  • If there are more than just a few of these notifications, it can be easy to lose or forget about them, especially when mixed with your other email.
  • You still have to devise some sort of system for marking when items are completed. This could be with email filters, tags, or deletion.

Option #2 Jira Your Work page

The second alternative is Jira's Your Work page that you can find at https://${your-subdomain} Here you can see a list of tickets you've worked on, viewed, starred, or been assigned.


  • Built and supported by Jira.


  • No sense of completion. You only see tickets that you've "worked on", whatever that means.
  • No sense of what is a lingering todo item.
  • Requires you to use this page as your main task management systems. Activity on other platforms, such as on GitHub, are not included.

Option #3 Jira Board

If you're a software engineer using Jira, you're probably doing using it within the context of a team and looking at the board for their team. The URL will look something like https://${your-subdomain}${project}/board, replacing the ${your-subdomain} and the ${project} with the appropriate values.

The Jira board makes it really easy to see the state of specific tasks, assuming they're represented by a Jira ticket. You can see what needs to be started, what is in progress, and what is completed. There is also a filter where you can toggle only the items you've been assigned.


  • Built and supported by Jira.
  • The state of tasks is readily apparent.
  • Relevant GitHub pull requests can be seen by clicking on a specific issue.


  • Only Jira tickets that fit the current criteria for the board are displayed. If your Lead or Product Manager forgets to move a ticket from one sprint to the next, the ticket is not visible.
  • Only work captured by a Jira ticket is displayed. Your comments and jira ticket updates or ticket creations are not included.
  • Your tasks are mixed in with everybody else's on your team.
  • Informal tasks are not captured like being mentioned in a comment.

Option #4 JQL Queries

Jira has its own query language because of course it does. Atlassian gazed across a landscape of unimaginable splendor, a real cornucopia of options, and somehow saw a desert.

Look at the JQL documentation page to learn how to use the language. I'll see you in two weeks.

The page to construct your own JQL queries is at https://${your-subdomain}

You can use these queries to gather issues in a more detailed way:

  • Current todos: assignee = currentUser() AND statusCategory not in (Done)
  • Mentions: comment ~ currentUser() AND statusCategory not in (Done)

Here are some other queries for completed actions:

  • Your activity in a given range: (updated >= ${startDateIso}) AND (creator = currentUser() OR assignee = currentUser() OR assignee was currentUser() OR reporter = currentUser() OR commentedBy = currentUser()

Open up a few browser tabs, learn a bespoke query language, and explore to your heart's content!


  • Built and supported by Jira.
  • Addresses many disadvantages of a Jira Board or the Your Work page.


  • You have to learn the Jira Query language JQL.
  • You must open several tabs or navigate Jira's interface to find the JQL query page.
  • Information about updated Jira tickets and when you updated them is lost.
  • There's no way to tell if you've responded to a mention.

Option #5 BeyondDone App

The final option is the BeyondDone app, which lets you see all your Jira todos and accomplishments in one view.

BeyondDone goes beyond what is offered through the Jira platform in many ways. Jira mentions are displayed and marked done when you respond to the comment. All the Jira tickets you update are included. The diff and date of each update are included. Your Jira comments are displayed and mixed in with all your other activities for your reference.

BeyondDone also aggregates your todos and activity from GitHub. GitHub activity related to Jira tickets is grouped together. You can add your todos and accomplishments when you have items that don't currently have a BeyondDone integration. I've used these to remind myself to resolve Slack conversations or capture work not covered by a Jira ticket.

I use BeyondDone every day and it has turbocharged my ability to stay on top of things and sell myself better in standup and with my supervisor.

I encourage you all to sign up today. There's a 30-day free trial and no payment information is required up-front.

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