Archive for the ‘FogBugz’ Category

Improved Cases Menu – Whipping the Filters Menu into Shape

January 28th, 2015 by Dane Bertram

FogBugz, she is a changin’. In the last couple of months alone we’ve updated the case page, added postponed cases as well as in-app notifications, personal activity feeds and periodic email notifications. Well now we’ve given the Cases menu (née Filters menu) a functionality face-lift too.

Cases Menu – What Has Changed?

FogBugz has always been hungry for your data. And to help manage that glorious, gluttonous, gob of cases, FogBugz provides a Swiss Army knife for slicing and dicing your cases known colloquially as “the list page.”

Whenever you click on the “Cases” button in the header (or select a saved filter from its associated menu) you’re taken to a list of cases. You can filter cases (e.g., “status:active”), perform full text searches (e.g., “Frog Reef”), and even combine both filters and searches (e.g., “status:active Frog Reef”). Once you’ve crafted the perfect partition of cases, ordered them just so, and selected the columns showing just what you’re most interested in, you can save the whole concoction as a Saved Filter.

Saved filters on the cases menu are sorted alphabetically, so some FogBugz users have resorted to using fun names like “__Stuff” and “__Important Casez!” to group related filters together. Blech. To help remedy this misfortune, we’ve added filter groups to the cases menu (more details below) to let you group your personal filters whichever way you see fit.

Sharing is caring…except when people overshare

Now you might be thinking, “Awesome! But how can I brag about share the usefulness of my carefully crafted filters?” Good question, hypothetical you! That’s where “Shared Filters” come in. Anyone can share their personal saved filters, and when they do, everyone else that uses FogBugz will also see that filter in their cases menu. Handy? You bet. Can it get out of control? Certainly. Especially as your company grows and more folks on different teams start sharing their filters all over the place. What’s a FogBugz user to do? Well, up until now, not a whole lot other than watch the “Shared Filters” section of your cases menu grow like a well-intentioned weed:

Screenshot of FogBugz cases menu with many saved and shared filters
“What’s wrong with that?” an inquisitive hypothetical you asks. Everything! You shouldn’t be subjected to an ever-growing list of shared filters that you mostly don’t give a hoot about. Just like you shouldn’t need to wander off to a completely separate page within FogBugz just to share your genius grouping of FogBugz goodies.

“So, uh…how are you gonna fix it then?” I’m glad you asked!

The Improved Cases Menu

We’ve recently updated the cases menu with a metric filter-ton of improvements. From the newly-added filter groups, to better shared filter management. We’ve tried to give you the organizational tools you need to get your filters menu whipped into shape, so that you can get back to actually working on the cases in those filters instead.

Filter groups

No more need for weird prefixes to help keep your personal saved filters organized! You can now create as many personal filter groups as you like and freely drag your filters between them:

Screenshot of creating a new filter group and adding a filter to it

Drag-and-drop re-ordering

You can also drag-and-drop the groups themselves to determine the order in which they’re displayed, while the filters within each group are automatically sorted alphabetically.

Screenshot of clicking and dragging a filter group

Collapsible menus

Still have too many saved filters to look at all at once? Well, filter groups (including the built-in “My Filters” and “Shared Filters” groups) are now collapsible and will remember their collapsed-ness no matter what browser or computer you might be using. Collapsed filter groups tell you the number of filters they contain (even whilst they’re being dragged!):

Screenshot of collapsing a few filter groups

Delete saved filters from the Cases menu

You can now delete your own saved filters (including those you’ve shared) without ever leaving the cases menu by hovering over them and clicking the new delete icon:

Screenshot of hovering over a saved filter's delete icon in the cases menu

Easier shared filter management

Got too many shared filters in your cases menu that you’re not actually interested in? Now you can hide other people’s shared filters from your cases menu by hovering over them and clicking the new hide icon:

Screenshot of hovering over a shared filter's hide icon in the cases menu
Don’t worry though, you can still get them back (in case you change your mind) via the “Manage filters…” page.

Better sharing of saved filters

Sharing your own saved filters has also gotten easier. Now it is as easy as clicking and dragging your soon-to-be-shared filter into the “Shared Filters” section of the cases menu:

Screenshot of clicking and dragging a filter into the Shared Filters group
Un-sharing (or making your own personal copy of someone else’s shared filter) is just as easy by dragging a filter out of the “Shared Filters” group.

Is there anything the new cases menu can’t do? Sadly, I’m afraid there is. It can’t help you with last minute gift shopping…or with that income tax mishap from 2014. But it can help keep the cases and filters you hold most dear within easy reach. We hope it improves your ability to get the most out of all of those juicy cases FogBugz has been keeping an eye on for you. Go forth and filter!

Case Page Updates – Show Subscribers and Working On

December 15th, 2014 by Tim Kington

Your old friend the FogBugz case page just got some updates. This view has always shown you whom the case is assigned to and who has interacted with the case in the past (the edit history). Now it also shows you who is currently involved with the case.

Working On This Case

You’re a developer and it’s the end of the year. Half of your team is out on vacation for some reason, so your team takes a break from big project work to knock out some long-neglected UI bugs. Whenever a developer finishes a case, she grabs another from the ones which are assigned to your “Up For Grabs” virtual user. The trouble is that sometimes someone is working on a case but forgot to assign it to themselves, or a user has more than one case assigned and you can’t tell which one is in progress. Well, now, just in time for The Holidays™, there is a new Working On This Case list showing who is working on it. If someone is listed, move on to another case, otherwise assign it to yourself and start working.

hodor hodor hodor hodor

Work In Progress

Change hats. Now you’re the team lead. If you want to know what everyone is working on, use the Work In Progress report provided by FogBugz News Network. Enable it under Gear menu → Extra Features. If you’ve been using FogBugz for a long time and just switched to the Performance Upgrade, you will recognize that this was previously the FNN plugin.

Subscribed To This Case

When collaborating on a case, the Notify More Users feature makes it easy. Simply put users’ names in the Notify More Users field to trigger a notification. Long-running conversations could be a pain though, because you have to enter all of the names on every edit. Not anymore! Give those fingers a rest because the Subscribed To This Case list is our Winter Solstice present to them. Instead of blindly typing out all the names of people to notify, now you can enter only the users not already listed as subscribed.


Information about your subscriptions wasn’t previously shared with anyone else, so we didn’t want to expose it without your say-so. For existing accounts, you will need to opt-in to this site-wide feature on the Advanced Settings tab of Gear menu → Site Configuration page. If you previously used the Add Subscribers plugin in an older version of FogBugz, this feature should be turned on by default. Since we think it’s useful to see, it is on by default for new accounts too, but can be turned off for those wishing to keep subscriptions private.

Learn More

The documentation on our customer service portal has more details on the subscribers and working-on lists. These features are ready for you to use in the latest version of FogBugz On Demand. Don’t have an account? Try Fogbugz free for 30 days. Questions? Drop us a line.

Juggle Your Caseload With ‘Postponed Cases’ in FogBugz

November 24th, 2014 by Tim Kington

Have you ever had a case that you couldn’t work on right away?  Maybe it was a support case and you needed to check in with the customer in a few weeks, or maybe it was a bug that you couldn’t work on until something else was fixed.  In the past, you would leave the case open and get used to ignoring it.  After a few days of that, the case becomes invisible to you, and you forget to follow up when you should.  With the new Postponed Cases feature in FogBugz, your cases reactivate themselves when it’s most useful to you.


Reactivate Cases By Time or Case

Postponed Cases adds two options to the case page when you resolve a case as “Postponed” (or “Waiting for info” for Inquiry cases): Reactivate Time and Reactivate On Cases. When should you use them? Consider the following:

  • Need to check in with a customer in a few days? Resolve the case as Postponed and set the Reactivate Time. The case will be reactivated (and you will be notified) at that time.
  • Waiting on a developer to fix something before you can work on your case? Resolve as Postponed and enter the other case in Reactivate On Cases.  When the other case is resolved, your case will be reactivated.
  • Worried that the developer might let the issue slide?  Set your case to reactivate when theirs is resolved, but set a Reactivate Time too.  The case will be reactivated when the other case is resolved or the Reactivate Time arrives, whichever comes first.


Available Now

Gone are the days of dropping things on the floor because you’ve gotten used to ignoring them in the list page.  Use the Postponed Cases feature, and your customers and coworkers will be amazed at your case-juggling skills. It’s available now, so try it out in FogBugz straight away. Documentation is on our help site.

Project Jackalope – Notifications, Personal Activity Feeds, and Periodic Email Notifications

November 13th, 2014 by Brett Huff

Image credit:

Project Jackalope

Fog Creek has had a strong tradition of holding a spectacular internship program.  Each year our summer interns work on real code that drives significant features of existing products, or sometimes whole new products.  This year we had 5 interns at Fog Creek (plus 3 at Trello), and 3 of them worked on FogBugz. Continuing our tradition of using animal names to refer to our intern class projects, they worked on Project Jackalope.

Beyond “My Cases”

In a highly interactive environment, FogBugz was showing weakness.  You would only know that someone had assigned you a new case by checking your “My Cases” filter, or by checking your email.  If a case is important you would have to leave that case open on a tab, or watch your email for updates.  Neither of these options is ideal for a dynamic work environment.  So we decided that FogBugz is sufficiently mature that we can now re-invent email.

Notifications and Activity Feeds

Notifications, Personal Activity Feeds, and Periodic Emails are designed to stop the email madness.  You now get notifications in FogBugz when people comment on or change cases you’re interested in.  You can see all of your activity across cases, instead of in just one case.  And when your emails are less time critical (because you see them change within FogBugz), you can now slow those emails down to one every 3 hours, or turn them off entirely.  So without further ado, I’ll let the interns each present their features:

Personal Activity Feeds: or the “What did I get done yesterday again?” page

November 13th, 2014 by Matthew Hayes

It seems like pretty much every web-app these days has added a page to show you what you’ve been doing lately. These types of pages are useful for a number of reasons. You can review what you’ve done and what others have been doing that involves you in a nice, compact story. Since the most-recent events are at the top of the feed, you can quickly find the relevant information you’re looking for, even if you don’t quite know how to search for it. You can also skim through other users’ feeds to get a quick impression of what they’ve been up to and how you might coordinate with them.

As a project management and issue tracking tool, FogBugz is quite different from “social network” type apps, but these activity feeds have become so prevalent that we want and expect a similarly useful page whenever we see a clickable username on the web.  In the past, whenever you clicked on your co-worker’s name within FogBugz you got a page that showed you their email address, current working schedule, and the projects they spend their time on. While certainly useful to know, this information is generally pretty static, and not all that useful day-to-day after the first time you’ve seen it.

Introducing: FogBugz Personal Activity Feeds

Welcome to the FogBugz personal activity feed.  You now have that place you can point your boss to and say “Of course you should give me a raise… just look at all the stuff I’ve been doing!”  Or when you come back from that long vacation, instead of trying to come up with a complex axis query/search/incantation to figure out what everyone has been up to (or worse, asking them to take time out of their day to catch you up in-person), you can just click on their name in that case they sent you and see how they’re way too busy to get to it themselves.

My Activity

When you’re trying to reflect or summarize all the cases you’ve opened, resolved, or at all been involved with this week, there’s now a shiny new page that organizes all that information for you. To view your own activity feed, just click the new “My Activity” link in the drop down menu under your account avatar:
Activity Menu

When you do, you’ll notice two tabs on the left to switch between your personal activity feed and your (also shiny and new) notifications page.

Activity Feed and Working Schedule

The new activity feed page still has the user’s email address for easy access, as well as convenient links to all the cases currently assigned to that user, and even a link to the old user info page (now more accurately labeled as their ‘Working Schedule’) in case you need any of that information. The activity itself is grouped by day, so it’s easy to find what you’re looking for.  Fear clicking names no more!

Periodic Email Notifications: For Inbox Zero Bliss

November 13th, 2014 by David Patrzeba

That inner OCD sometimes gets the better of all of us.  You’re happily working away when the familiar ring comes over your computer speakers: “You’ve got mail!”  Quickly, you drop what you’re doing to go look at the latest chain letter that your co-worker is emailing you (because, what could be more important).  Then you’re disappointed to find out that it’s just an email from FogBugz telling you that your indecisive manager has changed the priority on that typo bug, again.  After regaining your inbox zero bliss, you go back to your normal work and struggle to regain The Zone.  After 6.28 minutes, Mail interrupts you again.  That typo bug is now an inquiry instead of a bug, and The Zone continues to elude you.

Introducing: Periodic Email Notifications

From your user options page within FogBugz you can now choose to get periodic emails instead of instant emails.  The periodic emails are sent every 3 hours, and cover all of the activity that’s happened since your last periodic email was sent.  You can now get the upper hand for 3 solid hours, and not make your bliss depend on your co-workers respecting your do-not-disturb hour.

The Power of Periodic Emails

Periodic emails also reduce the time you spend in your inbox by only showing you the things going on within FogBugz that require your attention and that you’ve missed.  If you’re like us and spend most of your time in FogBugz, then you’re probably using the personal notification menu to keep on top of the cases that come your way.  Your next periodic email is then only a list of things that you haven’t already seen; gently reminding you to not lose cases in the cracks.  If you spend little of your time in FogBugz, instead using your time to write great code, then the periodic email is a reminder that there is a wider world out there, and someone may need your help on those pesky cases that keep getting in the way of your “real work.”

Configure your email settings to control the frequency of email notifications from FogBugz

Really, No More Email

As noted in the Notifications blog post, we also now respect the “no, seriously; don’t send me any email” option.  Now that you can get all of your notifications from within FogBugz itself, there’s no reason to force some types of email notifications into your inbox (formerly, wiki modifications and “Notify More Users” would trump the “Don’t send me email, kthxbai” option).


We’re as interested in your productivity as you are.  Honestly. We use FogBugz too, so we’re also interested in our own productivity. Keeping more of our day out of our email and focusing on tasks has helped us significantly.  We hope it helps you too!

Notifications: Love FogBugz? Now you never have to leave!

November 13th, 2014 by Graham Carling

Since the dawn of time, people have been using FogBugz to effectively keep track of their projects. Armed with the power of cases and wiki pages, developers have set out to build some of the greatest software the world has ever known.  Of course, projects change, and each developer needed a system for keeping track of what was going on with the work that was relevant to them. For a long time, this was accomplished by using a system of email notifications that would alert each user whenever something important happened. Unfortunately, in order to see any meaningful information about what happened one would have to open the email, read the summary, and then click through to FogBugz; an unnecessarily clunky process. However, times they are a-changin’, and a new era of case-up-to-date-ness is being ushered in. What if FogBugz could tell you what’s happening in FogBugz from within FogBugz, instead of forcing you to switch to your email?

Introducing: FogBugz Notifications

Notifications Icon
Notifications are an addition to FogBugz that lets you keep up-to-date with what’s going on with your cases and wiki pages without ever having to leave FogBugz. There are two main components to notifications:

  • The notifications popup – this lives at the top of the page in the header, nestled between the tools menu and the user menu.
  • The full-blown “let me see them all” notifications page.

Notification Pop-ups

The notifications popup gives you concise information on each case or wiki page that you’ve been notified about, using icons to display the reason why you’re being notified. Included with these icons are the title of the case/wiki page and a short description of why you are being notified. For more information you can mouse over the case notification to see FogBugz’ existing case hover popup, or you can click through to view the full case.

All Notifications Page

The full “See all notifications” page gives you a more detailed description of each of your notifications and also gives you the ability to load additional notifications that happened further in the past. This page now gives you a single go-to place to get caught up on anything happening within FogBugz that might require your attention. You can load as many notifications as you want, giving you one page for all of your notification needs.

How are Notifications Useful?

Notifications do a great job of reducing pain when team members make changes on cases or wiki pages that you care about. Its purpose is not to tell you every detail of what’s happened. It’s to give you a short summary of why your attention might be needed and to make it extremely easy to then see the full story by navigating to the case or wiki page you’re being notified about. It also has a number of useful features for helping you keep up-to-date and manage your notifications:

    • Mark individual notifications as read/unread without navigating to the case/wiki page you’re being notified about

Mark Notifications as read

    • Mark all notifications as read at once
    • If a notification for a case has been marked as read and a new event happens on that case, instead of creating a new notification the old one bubbles up with the new information. This helps keep your notifications organized and easier to manage, especially for active cases.
    • Navigating to a case from a notification will bring you to the specific events within that case that caused you to be notified

Case Event information

  • Informative icons to help quickly determine what’s going on and why you’re being notified on a given case or wiki page

Notification Icons display the reason you receive this notification
Notifications works hand-in-hand with our newly added personal activity feeds and periodic email notifications to give you more control over your FogBugz workflow. We hope you’ll really enjoy these new features… we know we have enjoyed creating them!

Search Axis Auto-Complete: Helping you find what you’re looking for (even faster)

July 23rd, 2014 by Aaron Maenpaa

In April, I talked about how we’re trying to make our axis search more discoverable, and ultimately, more widely used. Our first step was to introduce the search guide, which brought our axis documentation directly into FogBugz where it’s more relevant and contextual. The next step (which I hinted at), was to more actively help you create axis queries via auto-complete:

Auto-complete in action

… wait, what? What are axis queries?

In addition to supporting run-of-the-mill “full-text” search (e.g., “bob widget bug”), FogBugz also supports axis queries which let you filter cases based on criteria that apply to specific case fields. You probably know that you can specify exact values for fields in a filter, but it can be slow to click around for a one-time need to find a case. Instead of choosing between specific but slow and fast but vague, try an axis query. Compared to full-text search, axes can greatly reduce the number of matching results you need to scan over (or worse yet click and view). If you know a case was about a crash and there was an email in the case mentioning “I tried reinstalling”, you could simply search for those words, but if you know that “crash” was in the case title, using the title axis could make finding the case much faster:

On my FogBugz installation, that’s 239 cases down to 4! If you also know the case is in your “Support” project and had a tag “regression”, add project:Support tag:regression to your query. Avoiding scanning over a long result list just saved enough time to watch at least 29 cat gifs, and that’s just scratching the surface! So far, axis auto-complete has been really well received in our internal testing. On the second day of our Summer 2014 internship, I observed one of our interns doing an axis search using the new auto-complete feature… which is something I would have never expected even a few months ago. Axis search has gone from a largely hidden power-user feature to a productivity booster that’s discoverable enough for brand new users to find it.

… so what does this auto-complete…uh…complete?

When you start typing any axis name, you will see a list of potential matches. Typing a value for an axis will auto-complete possibilities (for example, your list of project names after the project: axis). Auto-complete also knows how you can sort your cases, suggesting sortable column options when you start to type them after “orderBy:” Finally, it lists past queries from your search history in case you’re just trying to make the same search you made the other day.


Axes: Including assignedTo, editedBy, opened and many more.


Objects: Including the names of people, projects, milestones in FogBugz, as well as special names like me, today, tomorrow.

auto-complete historical searches

Historical searches: Helping you run your favorite searches again.

Our favorite searches:

With all this talk about axis searches, it seems like we should share some of the searches we run frequently to help get you started:

 Michael: “What was that case again?”

 Justin: “Cases I’ve assigned out.”

 Adam: “I put this on everything.”

 Aaron: “Who’s doing what?”

Documentation is available on our help portal for auto-complete, the search guide and our complete list of axes. Like the look of it, but don’t have FogBugz? You can try FogBugz for free today!

Eight Jackalopes Walk Into An Office

July 9th, 2014 by Elizabeth Hall

Intern Group Final

As always, our interns are working on real features for our real products and have already made tremendous contributions to the Trello and FogBugz teams. We think they’re pretty special – not only did they stand out amongst the 776 applications we received but during these first few weeks they’ve had the chance to teach us a thing or two. Whether it’s coming up with new strategies for dealing with the Tanner during Werewolf or showing off cool video games they’ve made at hackathons, the class of 2014 is constantly impressing us.

Before we blink and it’s all over we want to take a moment to show off this year’s amazing talent. Here they are our eight wonderful interns (lovingly dubbed jackalopes*) in their own words.

Alex Lew

Hi! My name’s Alex, and I’m an intern on the Platform team this summer. Obligatory fun fact: I grew up in North Carolina, and my high school’s library had the largest collection of books and music in and about Esperanto of any library in the United States (excepting the Library of Congress).

Laura Watiker

My name’s Laura and I’m working on the Trello team this summer. During the school year, I go to Oberlin College in Ohio, studying CS and Econ. I grew up in the New York City suburbs, but I’m happily living in the Brooklyn housing this summer. Aside from pushing lots of computer keys, I do work with Oberlin’s co-ops, play a bunch of instruments, and theorize 2048 strategy.

Graham Carling

My name is Graham, I just finished my Sophomore year at Brown. I am originally from Manhattan and a graduate of Stuyvesant high school, a short walk from the Fog Creek offices. I am majoring in Computer Science (I know, shocking) and for the last couple semesters I have been working as a TA for some of Brown’s CS classes. Outside of work I like going to concerts, mainly of the electronic variety, along with seeing my friends from high school and working on a side project of mine. So far my summer has been packed full of fun events, and when I’m not going fishing or shooting arrows I’ve been working on the new notification center feature for FogBugz.

Jonathan Pevarnek
Hello, I’m Jonathan, a masters student in Computer Science at the University of Michigan. I’m from a small island called Grosse Ile in south-east Michigan. When I’m not working, I like to read books, go on bike rides, and work with a campus community service organization (Circle K). This summer, I’ve mainly been working with Doug to extend Trello email integration.

Matthew Hayes

I am Matthew Hayes, from Syosset, Long Island, NY. I just finished my junior year as a CS major at Cornell University upstate in Ithaca, and will be working on a FogBugz activity feed this summer. Fun fact: I caught the biggest fish on this year’s fishing trip (evidence below).

Peter Johnson

My name’s Peter, and I’m working on adding saved searches and list sorting to Trello this summer. I just finished my junior year at William & Mary in Virginia, and in my free time I enjoy running long distances and playing Dots!

Steven Lyubomirsky

If you’re inclined to take me at my word, my name is Steven Lyubomirsky, I’m a rising junior at Princeton, I study computer science, and am incredibly handsome. If you’re not, at least three of those can be independently verified. I live under the watchful guard of my blue parakeet in Fort Lee, NJ, a safe distance from the incredibly radioactive center of the universe (NYC, of course), where I like to demarcate my domain with my nightly walks. This summer I’m working on the Platform team.

David Patrzeba

My name is David Patrzeba and I am an intern on the FogBugz team (Project Jackalope). I started on June 6, 2014 because the newest addition to my family decided to arrive on my original start date of June 2, 2014. I am a NJ native and will be traveling home every weekend to be with them, but during the week I will be staying at the Clark St. residence in Brooklyn. I am a rising senior at Rutgers University (The State University of New Jersey) where I am studying Electrical & Computer Engineering, Computer Science, and Economics. Fun Fact: I served in a Special Operations unit in the Army for 7 years, and I may be Fog Creek’s oldest intern ever.

Matt wasn’t lying. He really did catch the biggest fish.

*Each year the intern class is named after the next letter in the alphabet. This year is “J”. Do you have a fantastic “K” animal name recommendation for next year? Talk to me!

The Search Guide: Helping you find what you’re looking for

April 11th, 2014 by Aaron Maenpaa

As you may already know, FogBugz offers an impressive array of search axes to help you slice and dice your data. These axes allow you to build searches to find particular cases or any cases matching pretty much arbitrary criteria. While all of these axes are documented on our help site, we kept finding that while axis search is really valuable to us when we use FogBugz, we kept talking to customers who just didn’t know about it.

We’re trying to change that.

The first thing we’re doing is adding a prompt to the search box:

search guide button

When you click it, it expands to show an axis guide:

search axis guide

We’re hoping that the prompt stays out of the way during normal use, but helps make the axes more discoverable, presents the axis documentation in a more useful format, and ultimately helps you find the cases you’re looking for, when you’re looking for them.

… but wait, there’s more

Like I said, this is the first thing we’re doing. We’re working on some other stuff we think you’ll like. Here’s a sneak peak (provided you haven’t already reached your daily recommended intake of Comic Sans ;-):

search auto-complete

Like the look of it, but don’t have FogBugz? You can sign up for a free FogBugz trial today!

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