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Notes allow you to add bits of information about a constituent that does not necessarily belong in a contact report. For example, if you get an email from a constituent regarding a change of address, in addition to updating their contact info, you might add a note to that effect to their record. Other example uses include a "Quotation" note type that might allow you to catalog interesting quotes about your organization from certain constituents.
You can add a note from the constituent details page by clicking on the Add note button in the Related activity area of the record (you'll need to scroll down the page to see this section):
Then you can fill out the note form, populating the note type and note content. You can also attach files to be uploaded, which will automatically be connected to the note and to the related constituent.
It's also possible to set the access permissions and notifications for a note. Access to this note will be allowed only for users with the specified role, and email regarding the note will be sent to all selected team members. You can also configure sharing options to display this note on multiple related constituent records.
Adding notes to multiple constituent records at once
To add a note in bulk to multiple constituent records at once, you can search for the constituents, select them all, and then choose the "Add note" option from the Bulk edit menu, as shown here:
Custom note types
If you would like to add any custom note types, you can do so either in Settings > Menu Items or by clicking the "Add new" option in the "Note Types" dropdown menu as you are creating or editing your note.