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

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

Note: The full version of this feature is only available on the Professional Plan.

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.

In this guide, we'll cover:


Template types

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

Note: For customers on our Essential plan, you'll only see Intake Forms available in this tab.

Intake Forms

These are client facing questionnaires. These can be filled out electronically within the Client Portal by clients and contacts, and will be accessible from the Shared with Client section on the client's Overview page.

Progress Notes

These are clinician facing templates and can be used to take notes relevant to specific appointments.

Assessments

These are clinician facing questionnaires that can be completed from a client's Overview page without being associated with a specific appointment.

Note: Assessments are only available on the Professional Plan.


Creating a custom form template

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:

notesandformstab.simplepractice.settings.png

createnewtemplate.simplepractice.notesandforms.png


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, for Intake Forms, or for Assessments in the dropdown menu
    • For progress notes or assessments, 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

displayname.simplepractice.notesandforms.png

    • 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 custom Intake Forms, Progress Notes or Assessments. Although the steps below focus on customizing Intake Forms, you can use the same process to customize your Progress Note templates or Assessments (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

questionoptions.simplepractice.notesandforms.png

  • 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

movequestion.simplepractice.notesandforms.png


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 (Multiple-line text) Use this question type for more open-ended questions that may result in responses of a few sentences or paragraphs.
 Short Answer (Single-line text) This question type gives clients a single-line text input area for shorter responses.
 Single Choice (Radio
 Buttons)
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.
Short Answer (Question Groups)
This question type allows you to group multiple related questions together with the client choosing from a drop down or entering a short text entry for each.  
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 (Calendar) 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.

Using the Short Answer (Question Groups) option

This question type allows you to add group-related questions to one section of an intake form, progress note, or assessment. You can select whether these questions have a short answer or autocomplete dropdown to choose from.

If you select the autocomplete option, only one type of response can be selected. However, you can customize the text as needed beforehand. 

You can use commas to create a new autocomplete dropdown option with multiple different answers in the template builder. To do this:

  • Navigate to Settings > Notes and Forms > My Notes and Forms
  • Click + Create New Template > Create New Template
  • Choose your template type from the drop down next to the template name field

templatetype.simplepractice.notesandforms.png

  • Title your template
  • Click Add New
  • From the drop down, choose Short Answers (Question Groups)

shortanswers.simplepractice.notesandforms.png

  • Enter the Question subject
  • Click + Answer
  • In the Answer text field, enter your question subheading

questionsubheading.simplepractice.notesandforms.png

  • Choose Dropdown (autocomplete)
  • In the text field next to the drop down, enter your answer options separated by commas

dropdownautocomplete.simplepractice.notesandforms.png

  • Click Save
  • Add additional questions and fields as needed
  • Choose Save to create the template

Once saved, here's how the drop down will appear:

dropdownexample.simplepractice.notesandforms.png

Note: If a question is optional, it can be left blank. Any questions without answers won't be visible on the completed document.


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

  • Navigate to Settings > Notes and Forms
  • Click the eye icon associated with the note or form you'd like to print to view in Preview mode

previewtemplate.simplepractice.notesandforms.png

  • 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

  • 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

Once exported, here's how each type of form will look:

Intake Forms:

printedintakeform.simplepractice.notesandforms.png

Assessments:

printedassessment.simplepractice.notesandforms.png

Note: Assessments are only available on the Professional Plan.

Progress Notes:

printedprogressnote.simplepractice.notesandforms.png

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