Workflows

Set the workflow statuses that your issues will go through on each team.

Image showing the workflow settings in a Linear workspace and the workspace statuses.

Workflows define the type and order of statuses that issues go through from start to completion. Workflows are team-specific and come with a default set and order: Backlog > Todo > In Progress > Done > Canceled.

On boards, statuses show up as column headers and are ordered from first to last. List views order statuses differently depending on what status we think you'll want to see first. For example, In Progress issues show up before Todo issues on Cycle list views.

G then S to go to Team settings > Workflow to add, edit, remove, and set a default status, enable and configure auto-close and auto-archive.

G then S to go to Team settings > Triage to enable triage

S to select issue status or Cmd/Ctrl Option/Alt 1-9 to set a specific status

Teams come with default workflows set to Backlog > Todo > In Progress > Done > Canceled. Workflows are unique to each team and can be updated to add or edit workflows under Settings > Team settings > Workflow.

Under Settings > Team settings > Workflow, you'll see a list of all statuses and their order. Hover over the status to edit its name, color, or description. You can add more statuses by clicking the + button or remove statuses (as long as at least one status exists in each category).

Statuses can be rearranged within a category but categories cannot be moved around. To change the order, hover over the status from the settings page and then press the arrow button that appears.

Image showing 2 existing workflow statuses and a third custom one about to be added.

How we work at Linear
We have the following workflow set up for our product team:
Backlog: Icebox, Backlog
Unstarted: Todo
Started: In Progress, In Review
Completed: Done
Canceled: Invalid, Canceled, Duplicate

The keyboard shortcut S will update the status of the selected issue or issues. The first nine workflow statuses have unique keyboard shortcuts that let you update issues to the specific status by using Cmd/Ctrl Shift Alt1-9.

If manual ordering is set (always on boards, an option in View Options on lists), you can update the status by dragging and dropping the issue into a new status group. Our automations for cycles and integrations with GitHub and GitLab update issue status automatically.

The default status defines the workflow status that will be applied to newly created issues in your team. This can be overridden by the user when creating an issue, but makes it a lot easier to track and organize new issues that come in. By default, your first Backlog status will be the default status. To change that, hover over a different status in the Backlog or Todo categories and then select it as default.

ProTip: Triage is an optional feature that you can enable for your team which creates a Triage status and special view where triaged issue go. Enable it in team workflow settings and learn more.

Workflow settings is also where you'll configure Auto-close and Auto-archive. When enabled, auto-close will cancel issues that haven't been updated in a set period of time. Auto-archive controls when issues in the team will be archived.

When you mark an issue as a duplicate of another, its status will change to Canceled. You can create a custom status in the Canceled category (e.g. Duplicate) and then configure workflow settings so that the custom status is applied instead.

Customize workflows to match your team's processes. You can add more, edit names and icon colors, and change them for each team. Edit workflow statuses in team settings.

  • What are workflow statuses? [0:00]
  • How to add, update and remove workflow statuses [0:32]
  • Example: Why we use canceled, invalid, and duplicate statuses [0:56]
  • Example: Why we add a comment before canceling issues [1:54]
  • Example: Workarounds for release management and content creation [2:24]
  • How to reorder statuses [2:51]
  • ProTip: How to copy workflow settings when creating a new team [3:10]