DoneDone picks up where Sifter left off

I recently read through some of the decisions that Sifter, a competing issue tracker, made with their application.

Sifter’s simple approach mirrors what we believe too: one-to-one communication on issues, and a strict set of issue statuses that drive how issues get resolved.  However, there are a few features that DoneDone offers which differ from Sifter’s.  If you’re on the hunt for a simple issue tracker, consider a few features we offer that Sifter currently doesn’t support.

Markdown Support

Sifter currently does not offer any text formatting options.  We agree that a full-blown rich text editor can sometimes do more harm than good.  Instead, we simply support Markdown formatting. What we like about Markdown is that it’s unobtrusive for people who don’t want to use it. As opposed to a gaudy text editor, you don’t have to use Markdown if you don’t want – just keep typing. Plus, learning the basics, like bold (**bold**), italic (*italic*) and bullet points, only takes a few minutes to get the hang of, and it makes a world of difference for an issue’s readability:

Markdown's simple formatting structure

Our simple Markdown formatting structure to produce bold, italics, and bulleting…

Using Markdown's simple bold, italics, and bullet point conventions

…looks like this when an issue is saved.

Code Formatting

Another huge benefit of Markdown is support for code markup. The vast majority of DoneDone customers use us in conjunction with web site and software projects. With DoneDone, you can produce a code block by indenting every line of the block by at least 4 spaces or 1 tab.  This goes a long way to making bug resolution for software projects that much easier. There’s no need to attach code files when you can easily show the markup in the issue itself.

Screen-Shot-2013-02-25-at-10.46

Code formatting in DoneDone issue descriptions and comments

Tagging

Sifter doesn’t support tags — they are “messy, inaccurate, and error-prone.”  However, we believe tagging can be incredibly flexible without sacrificing simplicity.  It all depends on how you use them.

For instance, at We Are Mammoth, we use tags to categorize bugs by discipline (e.g. UI, UX, backend). This lets us quickly gauge where our time needs to be spent.  In addition, DoneDone tags come with auto-hinting, to avoid misspelling tags that should be the same thing.  For a long while, we also used tags to assign issues to a specific release (e.g. 2/28 release).  I still prefer to tag things this way, but customers can now use due dates to specifically assign dates to issues, and then view overdue or upcoming issues in their lists.

Screen Shot 2013-02-25 at 10.59.51 AM

DoneDone suggests matches based on previously created tags within a project

Attachments via email

Sifter doesn’t allow email attachments, stating it is impossible for them to distinguish between actual email image signatures vs. attachments.  We agree, those are difficult to parse through (and we don’t try to), but the advantage of being able to send full issues through email with included attachments outweighs those potential false positives.  Plus, for DoneDoner’s who frequently create issues by email, it’s a simple fix to disable your image signatures when creating issues.

Time tracking with Harvest

We fully agree with Sifter’s stance that we are not in the business of tracking time.  That’s why we’ve integrated with Harvest so that you can simultaneously track time and work on issues within DoneDone.  While we aren’t in the business of time tracking, having an easy way to log the time you are spending in DoneDone is important to us.

Track your time directly within a DoneDone issue

Track your time directly within a DoneDone issue

Edit issues in bulk

Sifter does not support bulk issue edits.  For our customers, this is an essential feature.  With DoneDone, you can take any list of issues and edit the fixer, tester, priority level, due date, or status at once.  You can also migrate a group of issues from one project to another.  We’ve found this last feature to be particularly popular.  Lots of times you’ll start logging issues within a new project and later realize that you’d prefer to break them out separately due to billing or organizational reasons.  Rather than painstakingly go through items one-by-one, bulk edits let you do this with one button click.

Send us your feedback

That’s it! Just a few ways we think DoneDone picks up where Sifter leaves off.  We think these are critical differences in our philosophies that might help you make a decision on which bug or issue tracker to use. If you’re ready to give DoneDone a try, signup free for 30 days!

We love hearing from our customers too. Email us or send us a message on Twitter (@getdonedone).

 

Ka Wai Cheung is a partner at We Are Mammoth in Chicago, developer of DoneDone, and author of The Developer’s Code. Follow him personally on Twitter via @developerscode.