I’ve been a Jira Software administrator for some time now and have worked with hundreds of customers’ instances. I’m often asked, ‘How can I get more out of Jira Software?’ I always give the same answer: learn the keyboard shortcuts. Nothing will improve your speed throughout Jira Software more than keyboard shortcuts. From creating issues, assigning work, and even administering the product, keyboard shortcuts will make you faster and more confident throughout Jira Software.
0. Getting started
Keyboard shortcuts work throughout Jira Software (and Confluence) outside of text fields. The most important keyboard shortcut is the ‘?’ key. The question mark brings up the help for all keyboard shortcuts. Open up your Jira Software instance, press the ‘?’ key, and confirm you get the dialog below.
Tip: if you don’t see the above dialog, ensure the cursor is not in the text field. If you see the ‘?’ character when you press the key, click outside of the text field and try it again.
Now that you can see the power of keyboard shortcuts, let’s take a look at four areas in which we can optimize our time when using Jira Software.
1. Work with individual issues
Issues are the central concept of Jira Software. The faster we can work with issues, the more we optimize our time. Wherever you are in Jira Software and have an issue highlighted, you can take action on that issue.
– All issue operations. Use the ‘.’ key to transition an issue.
2. Handle sets of issues
The next step in mastering keyboard shortcuts is working with sets of issues. When searching in Jira Software using standard search or with JQL, Jira Software will return a list of issues. The two most important keyboard shortcuts are ‘J’ and ‘K’.
You’re probably thinking, how do ‘J’ and ‘K’ represent next and previous? The roots go back to the early days of UNIX where J and K mapped to previous and next before the advent of arrow keys. Many web applications like Gmail, Twitter, and Tumblr also use the same keyboard shortcut.
If we combine the ‘J’ and ‘K’ keys with the shortcuts in the previous section, we can quickly triage a list of issues in Jira Software. Using list view, we can quickly assign issues using the ‘K’ and ‘A’ keys. Rather than using the mouse to click through each issue, we can remain on the keyboard.
3. Navigate across Jira Software
The ‘G’ key is your passport to navigate across Jira Software. The ‘G’ key pairs with another key to select the destination screen. Let’s take a look at how the ‘G’ key works:
then – Go to the dashboard
then – Go to Jira boards
then – Go to issue search
then – Administrative search
Wherever I am inside of Jira, the ‘G’ key gets me where I need to go!
4. Boost agility
The three most important shortcuts for agility are unsurprisingly ‘1’, ‘2’, and ‘3’.
– Go to backlog
– Go to active sprints or kanban board
– Go to reports
And you can do even more. Just like ‘J’ and ‘K’ move between issues, ‘N’ and ‘P’ move between columns in active sprints or the kanban board.
– Move to the previous column
– Move to the next column
If you’re working on a smaller screen or a projector during sprint planning, the ‘T’ and ‘Z’ keys help optimize screen space.
– Hide and show detail view to conserve screen space
– Enable presentation mode
While you’re planning sprints, move issues to the top of the sprint or backlog with ease.
then – Send the selected issue to the top of the list
then – Send the selected issue to the bottom of the list
So, ditch the mouse and get more out of Jira Software by staying on the keyboard. I’m curious to know, what’s your favorite keyboard shortcut?
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