Note: Customizable notes templates are available in the Professional Plan. The Essential Plan offers plain-text notes only.
Each session in SimplePractice has a Progress and Psychotherapy note field attached to it. With all of our pricing plans (Essential & Professional), you can enter your note as plain text. However, with the Professional Plan, you have the option to create customizable note templates that can be used for documenting your sessions. This allows you to write session notes in a structured form with checkboxes, drop-down menus, text fields and more.
In this article:
- Creating and Customizing Templates
- Types of Template Questions
- Writing Notes with Your Templates
- Important Details to Know
Creating and customizing your note templates
To create your first note template:
- Log into your SimplePractice account.
- Click My Account > Settings > Notes and Forms as shown below.
- Select Create New Template and then select for Progress Notes.
FYI: Notes and Forms is where all of your templates (both for progress notes and intake questionnaires) are stored.
Note: Be sure to name your template something that will help you identify it from other note templates you create. Many providers choose to name note templates based on the information collected e.g. "Progress Note", "P.N. + Treatment Plan", "P.N. + T.P. + Mental Status Exam", "SOAP Note", or "DAP Note", etc...
To begin adding fields to your note template click Add Question.
SimplePractice offers several types of question to choose from, including Paragraph, Single Choice (Radio Buttons), Multiple Choice (Checkboxes), Drop-Down, and Short Text Response.
FYI: To include a Drop-Down or Short Text Response, you must first select Short Answer.
Use this question type for more open-ended questions that may result in responses of a few sentences or paragraphs.
Single Choice (Radio Buttons)
This type is used for questions that allow only one response. Here's an example:
For this question type, you can allow your clients to elaborate if they select a specific answer. To do this, change the field next to the answer from No Free Text Field to Allow one-line response or Allow multi-line responses as shown below.
Multiple Choice (Checkboxes)
This question type allows clients to select more than one response. Here's an example:
For this question type, you can also allow your clients to elaborate if they select a specific answer. To do this, change the field next to the answer from No Free Text Field to Allow one-line response or Allow multi-line responses.
There are currently two questions types nested under this type: Drop-Down and Short Text Entry.
Drop-Down questions are used for single-select questions, similar to the Single Choice (Radio Buttons) question type. The primary difference is that the Drop-Down question type takes up much less space. Here is an example of a Drop-Down:
To set up a Drop-Down like the one above, enter the responses, separated by commas, as shown below.
Short Text Entry
Also located under Short Answers, this question type gives clients a single-line text input area for shorter responses. Here's an example:
Writing notes with your templates
Your note templates are found in the Progress Note field for every client session. To use your template in a session note:
- Go to the Session Detail page. You can get there in two ways: from the calendar or from the client's overview page.
- From the client's overview page, click on the client's name and then scroll to the session where you'd like to create a note. Click Add Progress Note.
- Once you're on the Session Detail page you're ready to create your note. Select the template you want to use from the dropdown list of all your active Progress Note Templates.
- Select a note template, and it will load in the Progress Note field for this session and you can begin filling it out.
Note: You can still use the "Simple Progress Note", which is the standard blank text field for your note.
Important details to know
- You can only load templates into a progress note field that is linked to a session. You cannot load a template on the Diagnosis page, on the Mental Status Exam page, or in the chart note field.
- If you would like to create a custom template to document a Mental Status Exam, you can create your own Mental Status Exam in a Progress Note template. Then when you fill out this Mental Status Exam template, it will be associated with an individual session.
- You do not have to use a note template for every Progress note. You can always select to use the Simple Progress Note, which is simply a blank text field with no customization.
- You can only load 1 note template into a Progress Note field. So if you would like to record a structured Progress Note as well as a Mental Status Exam, you should create a template that contains the structure to record both types of information.
- Many providers choose to create multiple note templates depending on the information they would like to capture from a session. Providers frequently create separate templates for a "Progress Note", "P.N. + Treatment Plan", "P.N. + T.P. + Mental Status Exam", "P.N. + Discharge Summary", etc...