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Creating customized templates in My Notes and Forms

Creating customized templates in My Notes and Forms

Note: The full version of this feature is only available on the Essential and Plus plans.

In SimplePractice, you can use our template editor to easily design and edit your questionnaires, assessments, and progress notes for your practice. For information about how to use the Template Library, 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. To learn more about our team member roles, see Team member roles and access levels. Keep in mind that Clinicians and Schedulers are able to send intake forms and documents to clients.

Reviewing our template types

Note: Customers on the Starter plan will only see intake forms on this tab.

The My Notes & Forms tab is divided into progress notes, intake forms, and assessments that are organized alphabetically within each section.

Important: A template can only be used based on the type it’s saved as (intake form, progress note, assessment, or treatment plan). If you’re using one of the workflows outlined above and aren’t seeing a form, it's likely saved under a different section. To learn how to change a document’s section, see Naming your custom note or form.

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 by clicking Share in the top right corner of their file.


Note: After your clients complete their intake forms, they’re unable to view them in the Client Portal. If a client would like a copy of their completed intake form, you can upload it to their chart and share it with them directly. To learn more, see Uploading and sharing documents for individual clients.

Progress Notes

Progress notes are clinician-facing templates, and can be used to take notes related to specific appointments. Progress notes can also 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.



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.


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

Treatment Plans

Treatment plans are clinician-facing documents that can be completed from a client's Overview page with or without a diagnosis. Once a treatment plan is completed, it can be shared via the Client Portal for client and contact e-signature.

From the client’s Overview page:

  • Click New > Diagnosis and treatment plan
  • Select a diagnosis or click Skip to treatment plan
  • Use the dropdown menu to select a treatment plan template


Creating a custom form template

From the Notes & Forms page, you can create a new custom template from scratch or create a new template based on one from the Template Library.

To create a new form:


Important: Intake forms shouldn’t be used to collect client credit card information. Credit card information should only be stored within the designated online payments fields in your SimplePractice account. If your practice would like to collect client card information, review the Credit Card Information form to learn more about securely collecting and storing client credit card information. By storing credit card information outside of these fields, or in any other manner, you acknowledge the risk associated with storing this data within your account.

To create a new form based on one from the Template Library:

  • Navigate to Settings > Notes & Forms
  • Click + Create new template > Select from library
  • Locate the template you want to base your new form on
  • Click + Add to the right of the form

Note: To learn more about our Template Library, see How to use the Template Library.

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 that you already use and make any desired changes. To do so:

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


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


  • Select the copy to open it and make the desired changes to the form
  • Update the title and template type, as needed
  • Click Save


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


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


    • For progress notes, assessments, and treatment plans, you can enter a Display name. This will appear 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. 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, assessments, and treatment plans. There isn’t a way to include an eSignature on progress notes, assessments or treatment plans.

In this section, we’ll cover the different ways that you can edit a note or form for your practice. This includes:

Understanding each question type

Before adding questions to your notes or forms, it’s important to understand how each of our question types work. The following table provides details about each question type:

Question Type


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 lets you group multiple questions together, with the client choosing from a dropdown or entering a short text entry for each
Dropdown Similar to the Single Choice (Radio Buttons) question type, Dropdowns are used for single answer questions, with the Dropdown question type taking up  less space
Date Field (Calendar) This question type gives clients a date picker calendar to select a date
eSignature This question type allows you to require a client’s electronic signature, and is only available for intake forms

Adding a question

Adding a new question type or form element is the first step to customizing your form. To do this:

  • Click Add New at the bottom of the page
  • Use the dropdown menu to choose a question type or form element
    • To learn more about our form element options, see Using texts & dividers


  • Enter the question text
  • Click + Answer to provide response options
    • When adding answers, you can use the dropdown to select from the following options: No free text field, Allow one line of response, or Allow multi-line response


Note: You won’t be able to add response options to Long Answer, Short Answer, Date Field, or eSignature question types.

  • 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 yourself or 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. To do so:

  • Select the question you’d like to edit
  • Update the text in the Question field and adjust the question type as needed


  • Click Save

Tip: You can also change the question type here, as well. To learn more, refer to Understanding each question type.

Moving a question

When creating a form, you may need to rearrange the order in which the questions appear. To do this:

  • Click and hold the order icon next to the question you’d like to move
  • Drag the icon up or down to move the question to a new location


Requiring a question

You can indicate that a field is required by checking the Require answer box. All required fields will need to be completed in order to submit the form.


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

Deleting a question

Questions can also be deleted entirely. To do so:

  • Select the question you’d like to delete
  • Click the trash can


Note: This action can't be undone, so delete questions carefully.

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 text entry 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:


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


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


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


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

Once saved, here's how the dropdown will appear:


Using texts & dividers

When customizing a template, you have the option to add form elements. There are three form elements to choose from:

  • Paragraph Text (No Client Input)
  • Section Header
  • Section Break

The table below provides details about each form element:

 Text & Dividers Description
Paragraph Text (No Client Input) 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

Previewing a custom note or form

You can preview a note or form before using it with a client. You can preview your templates from Settings > Notes & Forms, or from a specific template’s editing page.

To preview a template from the My Notes & Forms page:

  • Navigate to Settings > Notes & Forms
  • Click the eye icon next to the template


To preview a specific template while editing it:


  • Click Preview


Tip: If you’re creating a new template from scratch, you’ll have to click Save before the Preview button will appear.

Printing or saving a custom note or form

Deleted templates can’t be recovered. Before deleting a custom template, you can print or save a copy for your records.

To print or save a custom note or form:

  • Navigate to Settings > Notes & Forms
  • Click the eye icon next to the template you'd like to print


  • From Preview mode, click Print in the top right corner


  • Print or save the template as a PDF


Here's how each type of form will look when exported or printed:

Intake Forms:




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

Progress Notes:


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