I have tried a lot of ticket systems in my day, and it seems like every one has a lot that I like, but also carry one or two tragic flaws:
- Lighthouse (FREEMIUM) — while I really appreciate what Lighthouse has done for open source development with their freemium model (especially the Ruby/Rails community) and their tight integration with Tender (another project of theirs), unhelpful search and slow overall speed led me to GitHub issues next.
- GitHub Issues (FREEMIUM) — I really appreciate how refreshing this take on issues is. Rick used to work on Lighthouse and is now at github, so it makes sense that it should be so lightweight. I found the filtering to be not enough (simple case: what if I want to see what is assigned to someone else? The only way I found was to change a URL) for a private project. It also requires that your project is hosted on GitHub. I must say though, it is absolutely perfect for my open source projects, which are pretty lightweight in their ticketing needs.
- Kanbanery (PAID) — Their kanban board is really effective, their filtering is extremely useful, but unfortunately the site is slow and crashes much too often to be a usable product that I can keep open and come back to often.
- A bunch more including: Pivotal Tracker, Redmine, and Bugzilla.
Lately we have been really into Trello from Fog Creek. Its free, fast, has awesome keyboard shortcuts, and still manages to stay really simple, up to date, and out of my way. If you are looking for a new ticket system, its definitely worth the look.