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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 Essential and Plus 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, and more.

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

In this guide, we'll cover:

Note: In a group practice, only Account Owners, Practice Managers, and Clinicians with Administrative Access are able to edit templates. You can learn more about each team member role here: Team member roles and access levels. Keep in mind that clinicians and Schedulers are able to send intake forms and documents to clients.


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: Customers on our Starter plan will only see Intake Forms available in this tab.

Intake Forms

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

Templates saved to your Intake Forms can be shared with a client at any time using the Share icon in their file.

share.simplepractice.clientoverview.png

Progress Notes

Progress notes are clinician facing-templates and can be used to take notes relevant to specific appointments. These can be shared via the Client Portal for client and contact e-signature

Click + Progress Note under an appointment to choose from your available templates and add it to a client’s file. 

%2Bprogressnote.simplepractice.clientoverview.png

Assessments

Assessments are clinician-facing questionnaires that can be completed from a client's Overview page without being associated with a specific appointment. These can also be shared via the Client Portal for client and contact e-signature.

Click New > Assessment to choose an Assessment template and add it to a client’s file.

new_assessment.simplepractice.clientoverview.png

Note: Assessments are only available on the Essential and Plus plans.

Important: A template can only be used based on the section it’s saved to (Intake Forms, Progress Notes, or Assessments). If you’re using one of the three workflows outlined above and aren’t seeing the form that’s in your library, it's likely saved under a different section. Locate the form in question on your My Notes & Forms page, and check if it’s saved to the right section. 

forintakeforms.simplepractice.notesandforms.png


Creating a custom form template

You can create a new custom template from scratch, select one from the Template Library to edit, or modify an existing form in this section.

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

notesandforms.simplepractice.settings.png

createnewtemplate.simplepractice.notesandforms.png


Creating a new custom form based on an existing form

Instead of creating a template from scratch, you can create a copy of an existing form and make any desired changes. Here’s how: 

  • Select the form that you want to use as the basis for a new custom form
  • Click the duplicate icon

duplicateform.simplepractice.notesandforms.png

  • This will create a duplicate with the name [NAME OF ORIGINAL FORM] Copy

copyoftemplate.simplepractice.notesandforms.png

  • Click the copy to open it and make the desired changes to the form
  • Update the title
  • Click Save

savetemplate.simplepractice.notesandforms.png


Naming your custom note or form

When creating a new template or editing a copy of an existing template, it’s important to give it a descriptive name and save it to the correct section. Here’s how:

  • Enter a descriptive name in the Template name field

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  • Select for Progress Notes, for Intake Forms, or for Assessments in the dropdown menu

forassessments.simplepractice.notesandforms.png

 

    • For progress notes or assessments, you can enter a Display name. The Display name will be the title on all printed notes that use 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 progress notes, the Template name will display instead if no Display name is entered.

Customizing 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. To do this:

  • Click the blue Add New button at the bottom of the page
  • Choose a question type or form element as shown below

longanswer.simplepractice.notesandforms.png

  • Choose a question type

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  • Enter the question text
  • Provide the response options depending on the question type you've chosen 
    • To do so, click +Answer

Note: This doesn’t apply to Long Answer, Short Answer, Date Field, or eSignature question type

  • Enter your first response in the Answer text field
  • Repeat the steps until you’ve 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.


Editing a question

Questions already added to a template can be edited at any time. Here's how:

  • Click the question title to open it.
  • Change the text in the question field. You can also change the question type here as well

shortanswerquestion.simplepractice.notesandforms.png

  • Click Save.

Moving 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

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Requiring a question

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

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Deleting a question

Questions can also be deleted entirely. Here's how: 

  • Click on the question link to open it for editing
  • Click the trash icon to delete the question

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Note: This action can't 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 open-ended questions that may result in multiple sentence or paragraph answers.
 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 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

In SimplePractice, you have 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

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  • 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 Essential and Plus plans.

Progress Notes:

printedprogressnote.simplepractice.notesandforms.png

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