Notes and note visibility
Adding Notes is an easy and useful way of recording or logging any information against a contact, child or giver. Notes can also be added against events, small groups, ministries, and bookings. Notes never display in the member-facing My ChurchSuite; they are a function of the admin-facing system only and are therefore only visible to Users, not members.
By default, Notes are visible to All Users. However it's also possible to restrict the visibility of Notes; either to a specific group of users, or to make them private, visible only to yourself. Notes are date and time stamped and clearly show who recorded or edited the Note.
In this article
Overview of Notes
When viewing a person's profile page in the Address Book, Children or Giving module (or when viewing an event, ministry, small group, booking or customer), click "Add note" and type your note...
Before saving a note, you can optionally restrict its visibility - either the default "All Users", or a more private, "Just Me". It's also possible to restrict visibility to one or more User Groups (See below). Finally, click "Add note" to save it.
It's also possible to pin important notes to the top of the list - pinned notes remain at the top of the list so that they're always seen, and can be unpinned when appropriate. Once unpinned the note takes its place back in the date order of the other notes.
Public notes in ChurchSuite
By default, Notes are set as visible to "All Users" of your admin-facing system (not the member-facing My ChurchSuite. The Note is always linked to the staff member (user) who made it, so everyone knows who wrote it. But what does "All Users" mean? Essentially this means that every other user with access to the module in your admin-facing ChurchSuite account can see the Note.
What's useful about "All User" Notes is that when communicating or dealing with church members, all your staff team are able to work more collaboratively and stay on the same page pastorally, rather than sending inconsistent communications. Using the Notes report, located in the Reports section of the Address Book, Children, Calendar, Small Groups, Rotas, Giving and Bookings modules, you can quickly catch up on what's been happening after a period of absence or leave.
Private notes in ChurchSuite
Private Notes in ChurchSuite can only be seen by the User that wrote them. In other words, if a pastor in your church adds a private note against an individual in the Address Book, other pastors (or indeed any other User) will not be able to see it and will not even know that a note has been made.
What's useful about private Notes is that the Note stays confidential, so it can be used by a pastor wishing to make notes that might contain sensitive pastoral information. Equally, it could just be that the member of staff making the note wants to be reminded of something before the next time they contact this person!
To make a note private, change the default "Visible to All Users" field and select "Just Me" before clicking "Add Note" to save it.
Restricting the visibility of notes to user groups
You can easily restrict the visibility of Notes to certain groups of users, so that only a user who is pat of the user group is able to view the note. For example, you might have a "Pastoral Bereavement Team" User Group who record sensitive Notes that they wish to be visible to others in that team.
To restrict note visibility to a User Groups you first have to create group. To do this you'll need Administrator permission. Go to Administrator > Groups and select "Add user group".
Give the User group an appropriate name and assign one or more users to the group using the "Add" and "Remove" buttons. Remember to "Save Changes" before navigating away from the page.
You can also add and remove users from an existing User Group when editing a User's profile (in Administrator > Users). Here you'll have then option to select which User Group(s) they belong to - notice the User Groups section below.
When adding a note, a user will only see the User Group(s) that they belong to...
Deleting Users and User Groups - Warning!
Before deleting a User or User Group, consider whether any notes, tags or flows have their visibility restricted to just that User Group. If you proceed with deleting a User or User Group, no users or administrators will be able to view those tags, notes or flows - they will be hidden from view. This is intentional in order to respect the original visibility restrictions that were intended to ensure privacy of those items.
Before deleting a User or User Group, update the visibility restrictions of your notes, tags and flows - either to "All Users", "Just me" or to an alternative User Group; then proceed with the user or user group deletion. Once a User or User Group is deleted, only the ChurchSuite Support team can restore the visibility of those hidden tags/notes/flows.
Reporting all Notes for an individual
When viewing the profile of a contact, child or giver, you can easily view a report of all Notes for that individual. This may be helpful where, as part of a subject access request, you need to produce a report of all the Notes for an individual. Click the "View notes" button at the top of the list of Notes...
...and a filtered list of all Notes report is displayed for that person. The report can then easily be downloaded to a CSV or PDF format report, or printed.
Note also that the Notes report includes batch action functionality, allowing a user to select one or more notes, or even all notes, and then batch delete the selected Notes.
Markdown support in notes
More advanced web users may already be familiar with Markdown. Markdown is a text-to-HTML conversion tool that allows you to type using an easy-to-read, easy-to-write plain text format, and then convert it to structurally valid HTML.
All the Notes fields throughout ChurchSuite support Markdown notation, allowing you to add customised formatting to your notes using plain text formatting references. Here's an example:
In this example, the emboldened blue note title, the emboldened "more info" and the unordered bullet list are all entered in Markdown notation. Here's what the original Markdown notation looks like:
Using the special characters of Markdown notation, you can therefore enhance your notes if you wish. Markdown notation allows the following customised content to be added to your Notes.
- Block quotes
- Bold, italics
- Lists - unordered (bullets) and ordered (numbered), and nested (indented)
- Inline HTML web links
A full list of Markdown notation can be found here.