My Notes and Forms: Creating customized client intake and progress note templates

Note: The full version of this feature is only available with the Professional Plan. Learn more about SimplePractice's pricing and plans.

With SimplePractice's My Notes and Forms, you can easily design and edit your intake forms and progress notes. These tools are great for creating custom forms, assessments, questionnaires, etc.

This article will guide you through the process of how to create a custom form. For information about how to use the Template Library, please see this walkthrough: How to use the Template Library.

Topics covered in this article:

Creating a custom form template

The My Notes & Forms tab is sectioned into Progress Notes and Intake Forms that are alphabetized to better organize the templates housed here.

Note: For Essential customers, you will only see Intake Forms in this tab.

You can create a new custom template from scratch, select one from the Template Library using +Add to access a preloaded template for editing, or you can modify an existing form in this section.

Here's how to create a new form from scratch:

Creating a new custom form based on an existing form

  • Select the form that you want to use as the basis for a new custom form.
  • Click the copy icon located in the same row of the one you wish to copy as shown above. A new form will be created with the name “Copy of [NAME OF ORIGINAL FORM]”. 

How to name your custom note or form

  • Enter a descriptive name in the Template name field.
  • Select for Progress Notes or for Intake Forms in the dropdown menu.
    • For progress notes, you can enter a Display name. If you enter a Display name, this will be the title on all printed notes using this template. If you leave this field blank, the Template name will be used on printed notes instead. 
    • For intake forms, you can enter a Display name that will display to clients in the Client Portal. Similar to the Display name for progress notes, if you don't enter one, the Template name will display instead. 

How to customize your note or form

Note: The following information applies to creating both custom Intake Forms and Progress Notes. Although the steps below focus on customizing Intake Forms, you can use the same process to customize your Progress Note templates (except for including an eSignature). 

Adding a new question type or form element is the first step to customizing your form. Here’s how:

  • Click the blue Add new button at the bottom of the page.
  • Choose a question type or form element as shown below. 
  • Enter the question text.
  • Depending on the question type you've chosen, you can then provide the response options. To do so, click +Answer to add the responses you would like to present to the client. (Note this does not apply to Long Answer, Short Answer, Date Field, or eSignature question types.)
  • Enter your first response in the Answer text field.
  • Repeat steps 4 & 5 until you have added all responses for a given question. 
  • Select Allow one line of response or Allow multi-line response to Single Choice or Multiple Choice question types to allow a client to add additional information for a specific response.

Note: The eSignature question type option is only available for Intake Forms.

How to edit a question

  • Click on the question link to open it for editing.
  • Change the text in the question field. You can also change the question type here as well.
  • Click Save.

How to move a question

When building a form, you may need to rearrange the order in which the questions appear. Here’s how:

  • Click and hold the order icon next to the question you wish to move.
  • Drag the icon up or down to move the question to a new location.


How to require a question

You can indicate that a field is required for the client to submit the form by checking the Require answer box. The Client Portal will prevent clients from submitting until they fill out those required fields. 

How to delete a question

  • Click on the question link to open it for editing.
  • Click the trash icon to delete the question. This action cannot be undone so make sure to delete questions carefully. 

Question types

SimplePractice offers several types of questions to choose from, including:

  • Long Answer
  • Short Answer
  • Single Choice
  • Multiple Choice
  • Dropdown
  • Date Field
  • eSignature

The following table provides details about each question type:

 Question Types Description
 Long Answer Use this question type for more open-ended questions that may result in responses of a few sentences or paragraphs.
 Short Answer This question type gives clients a single-line text input area for shorter responses.
 Single Choice (Radio
This type is used for questions that allow only one response.
 Multiple Choice   (Checkboxes) This question type allows clients to select more than one response.
 Dropdown Dropdown questions are used for single-select questions, similar to the Single Choice (Radio Buttons) question type. The primary difference is that the Dropdown question type takes up much less space.
 Date Field This question type gives clients a date picker calendar to select a date.
 eSignature The eSignature question type is only available for Intake forms. This question type allows you to require a client’s electronic signature.

Text & dividers

SimplePractice also provides you with the option to add form elements. There are three form elements to choose from:

  • Paragraph Text
  • Section Header
  • Section Break

The following table provides details about each form element:

 Text & Dividers Description
 Paragraph Text This form element gives you the ability to add instructions for clients.
 Section Header

This form element gives you the ability to create bolded section headers for your custom note or form

 Section Break This form element lets you add a line to divide different sections of your custom note or form.


How to print a custom note or form

If you would like to print a copy of a note or form you've created, follow these steps:

  • Go to My Account > Settings > Notes and Forms
  • Click the eye icon associated with the note or form you'd like to print to access its Preview mode
  • In Preview mode, click the Print button in the top right corner
    Click the white Print button in the top right corner of the note or form preview page to print
  • Then send it to your printer, or save it as a PDF
    You can select a printer and print the note or form or you can save it as a PDF
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