Marketing can be a cyclical process. We marketers typically plan projects, assign work, review content, publish, and then…. start all over again. At the beginning of each quarter, we approach this process with bright-eyed enthusiasm, big ideas, and a clear plan of attack. But as the months wear on, and more (or unexpected) work accumulates, it can be tough to manage projects and keep the process together.

That said, having the correct tools in place can alleviate the manual labor of staying organized and can sustain team momentum. On the Jira Marketing team, we use Jira Core and Confluence together to keep all our programs running smoothly. For those who need a refresher, Jira Core is a task and project management solution for business teams, and Confluence is a tool for document sharing and content collaboration.

How exactly do we do this, you ask? Let’s take a look inside our process of writing and promoting a blog to see how our team drives work from to-do to done.

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Planning: create a Jira issue from inside Confluence

Before writing a blog, our team gets together to brainstorm content and produce a solid outline, which is done in Confluence. We create the promotional plan, record our notes, and then break it down into actionable items. For instance, these items could be: 1.) Write blog content, 2.) Collect blog images, and 3.) Send promotional email.

Having defined the work to be done, we then create these tasks in Jira Core so we can properly track them through a workflow. In Confluence you can highlight the text and choose the Create Jira issue option.Then, enter the project name, issue type and description. Your highlighted text will automatically populate within the issue summary field. Just like that, your tasks are recorded in Jira Core. Check it out:
[WPGP gif_id=”34462″ width=”600″]

Working: add a shortcut for easy access

If Confluence is our tool for ideation, then Jira Core is our main driver for tracking our activities. We can see where the task is in our workflow and evaluate our progress.

Pro tip: Having a well-defined workflow is what allows us to stay on top of our work. You can use out-of-the box business project templates or create a customized template to match how your team works. Learn how to create your own here.

Continuing with our example, we open the first task (write blog content) and assign it to the appropriate person. Once that person begins writing they can set the status to “In Progress.” From here, we can communicate questions and feedback, and keep the issue moving to “In Review” and eventually “Done.”

While we track the issue in Jira Core, the blog post is written in Confluence. To easily access this content in Jira Core, we can add a shortcut link that connects to our Confluence page. To do this, simply go to the side bar in Jira Core and add the shortcut link.


Get your issues in order 

The blog copy isn’t the only issue being worked on. There are images that need to be created and added, and email templates that are being designed. For the most part, we view this information in Jira Core. But, what if we want to see these tasks on the same Confluence page as our written blog? One easy way to see issues from within Confluence is to copy and paste each separate task URL directly to the page.

However, if you want to see more information than just the issue title, you can use the Jira Issues Macro found in the content dropdown in the top navigation. What information you choose to see is completely customizable. Show the issue summary and assignee, or add the due date and status. Specify how many tasks are displayed and from which project. Get even more granularity by using JQL to filter and select an order. If you want to view tasks in order of due date, that’s possible, too.

Pro tip: Use JQL (Jira Query Language) to perform an advanced search or filter for Jira Core tickets. You don’t need to be technical to learn how! Read more here.


Reporting: gain some perspective

We have many blogs being written simultaneously, so it’s nice to get a bird’s eye view of what topics are ahead. We do this in either Jira Core or Confluence by pulling blog tasks into a calendar. In your Jira dashboard there is a calendar gadget where you can see how many blog posts are coming out per week.

Or, see more details of each blog post by using the Team Calendar Macro in Confluence. Here you can choose specific projects to display and automatically pull the tasks into the calendar. Specify if the tasks are visible on their start date, due date, or span across both. And, if you change a date in Jira, it will automatically update in the calendar.

Confluence calendar on the left; Jira calendar on the right

Using Jira and Confluence together has allowed us to maintain organization and maximize efficiency, for the sake of our collective team sanity. That bright-eyed, energetic, beginning of the quarter feeling? With the right tools in place, it can last all quarter long. 

Want to try these integrations out for yourself? Get started in Jira Core and Confluence. 

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Inside Atlassian: how we do marketing project management with Jira Core and Confluence