Adding Notes, Reminders and Instructions to Your WordPress Dashboard and Admin Pages

Would you like a way to stick virtual Post-it notes to the admin dashboard of your WordPress website, either to leave messages for the other writers on your blog, or to serve as personal reminders? If so then the plugins we are going to be looking at today are just what you need.

First up we will take a look at the WP Dashboard Notes. This is a free plugin which makes it easy to post instructions in a place where everyone accessing the back end of a WordPress website can see them: the dashboard. The visibility of the notes can be restricted to just you, or made available to all of the registered users of your website.

After that, we will cover some of the other options available for adding notes to the admin pages of your WordPress website.

Whether you are working alone, or managing a multi-author blog, being able to stick virtual Post-it notes to the WordPress dashboard area can be a great way to share important instructions, and store your ideas and reminders. So let’s start by finding out how you can use the WP Dashboard Notes plugin to turn your admin area into a virtual pin board.

How to Use WP Dashboard Notes

WP Dashboard Notes is free to use and can be installed directly from your WordPress admin area. Simply log into the admin area of your WordPress website, and then search for the plugin by name from the Add New Plugins screen.

Thankfully the WP Dashboard Notes plugin doesn’t clutter up your admin sidebar menu with any new links or menus. However, after installing the plugin, you might be wondering where the controls for it are located.

Logically, the developer has placed them on the slide-out Screen Options panel on the Dashboard page of your WordPress website.

WP Dashboard Notes Screen Options
Click on the Screen Option tab to reveal the controls

Now you can click on the add note button and create your first message. After doing so, a new note is created. Though the interface of the note, you can then enter your message, as well as customize its appearance.

WP Dashboard Notes Create a Note
Enter your message and customize the note appearance

Through the appearance options, you can change the background color of your note to make it more eye catching.

WP Dashboard Notes Change Color
Change the color of the note

You can also convert the note to a more traditional notepad, rather than the default list note. You are also free to create multiple notes on the dashboard of your website.

Switch to the note mode
Switch to the note mode

From the controls on the notes you can change the visibility settings. This allows you to create private notes, as well as notices and lists that all users with access to the admin dashboard of your website can view.

Like the other panels on the dashboard, your notes can be easily repositioned, simply by dragging and dropping them into place.

Drag and drop your notes into place
Drag and drop your notes into place

Whether you want to create personal reminders and to do lists, leave messages for your team, or even carry out discussions with your co-users, all on the dashboard of your website, WP Dashboard Notes gives you an intuitive and attractive way to do so.

If you like the idea of adding notes to the admin pages of your WordPress website, there are a few more plugins you might be interested in that deliver similar functionality, in slightly different ways.

Other Notes Plugins for WordPress

  • Dashboard Notepad

    Dashboard Notepad

    Dashboard Notepad is another free option for adding a note to your admin dashboard. Unlike WP Dashboard Notes, you don’t get the colorful appearance of the notes, or the checklist capabilities.  However, you do get more control over which user roles can view and edit the notepad and its contents.

    Furthermore, you can publish the contents of the notepad on the front end of your website. This is achieved by using the relevant shortcode to display the notepad in a post or page. Alternatively, you can use the template tag to insert it into your theme files.

  • WordPress Admin Notepad

    WordPress Admin Notepad

    WordPress Admin Notepad hasn’t been updated for a while, but it still seems to work fine. The main difference between this plugin and the others featured so far is that the notepad can be displayed on all of the admin pages of your website, and not just the dashboard.

    If you’ve got an important message you want all of the logged in users on your website to see, WordPress Admin Notepad does give you the ability to display your notepad everywhere on the back end of your site. You can also choose which user roles can see and edit the notepad and its contents, making this a fairly flexible choice.

  • Dashboard Site Notes

    Dashboard Site Notes

    Dashboard Site Notes is another option that hasn’t been updated for a while. However, it stills appears to be working without any problems.

    After activating this free plugin, you can begin creating multiple site notes. The site notes are created using the WordPress post editor, making the process of adding a note very familiar.

    Each note that you create can have its own visibility settings. The options for where and how each note is displayed includes which admin pages to show it on, and which user roles can view them. Notes can also be inserted into posts and pages using the corresponding shortcode.

    An interesting feature of this plugin is that the notes you create on a site, can be compiled into one set of instructions. This feature, plus the ability to display certain notes on specific admin pages, helps make Dashboard Site Notes a good choice for adding instructions for clients and other users, to any websites you create or manage.

  • WP Noteup

    WP NoteUp

    WP Noteup is a relatively new plugin that allows you to add notes to the WordPress post editor screen. The notes are only available on the post they are created on. This makes WP Noteup a good choice for storing any information you want to include in your post, that will be visible as you write it.

    If you’ve got any points you want to make in your post, or sites you want to link to, you can add them to the notes panel for future reference.

  • Edit Flow

    Edit Flow

    Edit Flow is an editorial workflow plugin for WordPress that is packed with features. However, amongst those features you will find the ability to not only leave notes on certain admin pages, but also carry out multi-user discussions.

    The Editorial Comments feature of Edit Flow can be enabled for any of the post types on your website, including pages. After installing the plugin, you can begin leaving comments, and starting discussions with your fellow authors, on the post editor screens of your site.

    This has the potential to cut down on email correspondence between content contributors and editors. As the notes are all stored on the post editor screen, they are retained in an easy to find location for future reference.

    Edit Flow has many powerful features, and if you are managing a multi-author blog, it is well worth checking out for its time saving and organizational capabilities.

Conclusion

While the WP Dashboard Notes plugin is the most eye catching, in terms of the design and appearance of the notes, if you do want display your notes in more locations than just the dashboard, then one of the other options might be a better choice.

Whether you want to add personal reminders, instructions for your co-authors, or information for clients after handing over a website, using a notes plugin is an easy way to keep everything in one easy to find place.

How will you use notes on your website? What features would you like to see in a plugin of this type? Please let us know in the comments below.