User Notes on Profile Page

Continuing the discussion from Profile Comments:

Is this on a road map? Because if it isn’t, I’m fairly certain the devs at SP are likely going to build it. I’m just curious if there are any plans for this (since @codinghorror and @sam liked it).


We definitely want a way for moderator to leave notes on a user’s account for other mods to see.

Not immediately planned atm, we are focusing on critical bugfixes and stabilization

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Also, plugin please. A PM (or even a CRM integration for the other end of the spectrum) with a link to the account will usually suffice. Personally I don’t think I would need this feature.

That is how I see it being developed, but whether it gets adapted into core later on is a decision for Discourse :smile:

Hey there,

as an exercise I build the requested plugin. You can find it here:

It works sufficient enough but the design needs some more work (I take mockups but also CSS, if you guys have any good ideas). From the README:

This neat little plugin adds the possibility for any user to leave private, personal notes on another persons profile allowing them to read them later. Only the user, who created the note can view them.

On top, Staff can decide to share the note with the rest of staff. In which case other staff will see what that person noted on it. This works on a per-note-bases and doesn’t inhibit any staff person to still have their own personal notes.

Looking forward to hear your feedback.


@lightyear Thanks for that. I’ll get with the team and have it installed so we can help make design adjustments (or whatever) accordingly. Hopefully we can get this moving in a relatively short time frame.

Did a minor update after I found a bug. Also added a prettier UI for it, so now I am willing to share some screenshots. Here is the Changelog:

  • 2014-02-18
    • way improved UI. If you had a version before this one run in development, make sure to clear your cache (rm -rf DISCOURSE/tmp/cache/*)
    • Bugfix: as staff all notes were shared with staff. Now only when actually selected.

This is what you can see on every profile page now:

With add open:

And after posting a private note to self:

And also with a staff-wide-shared note:

Notes are in sorted by the date with the latest being on the top.

I’m confident it works and does what it is supposed to be now. Feel free to file any bug reports on the corresponding github page. I’ll add it to the plugin-category as soon as I have write access.

Enjoy folks.


Hi @lightyear Sorry to bump. Not any bugs that I can see, in fact I think it works great.
But perhaps a little tweaking wouldn’t hurt?

We’ve had a few members express having trouble with the wording

And I’ve been playing with the CSS - “playing” because CSS isn’t my forte by any means. So I’m certain others could do better.

div[class="note staff"] {
 white-space: pre;
 overflow: auto;
 max-height: 300px;
div[class="note staff"] p {
 margin: 0;
div[class="note staff"] span.timestamp {
 float: left;
margin: 0 1em 0 0;
div[class="note staff"] span.shared {
 float: left;
margin: 0 1em 0 0;
div[class="note staff"] button[class="btn edit-note"] {
 float: left;
 margin: 0;

It should just say “only staff members can read these notes”.

That isn’t true. As it sits today, a regular member can write a private note and staff can’t read it unless the “share with staff” checkbox is checked.

Weird, complicated feature. Not how I’d design it. But if it’s working for you, great.

We didn’t design it either… We sort of expected it to be a staff only feature ourselves… but aren’t complaining, as it still permits us to use it in the way we know how.

Well, I would definitely recommend limiting it to staff only. I think scribbling user-level private notes on someone else’s profile is kind of a bad idea. Like whispering behind someone’s back.

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ping @HAWK

I have a feeling this is what some of members think of the Private Notes area. It really does only make sense to me as a moderator/staff feature, but I know you sort of liked it being opened for everyone to use. Your call ultimately.

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TBH I hadn’t even considered the fact that regular users could see it until the conversation yesterday and I agree that it makes no sense. My comment to the guy that raised it was really in the spirit of positivity (rather than “oh ****, you’re not supposed to be able to see that.” Happy for it to be staff only.


That is not how it (is supposed to) work(s). Maybe some better copy-edit is needed here but essentially it allows:

  • anyone to keep a note on a profile – only accessible by the user themselves [see here], hence the word “private”
  • staff can decide to share the note they are writing with other staff members
  • with the latest version you can configure in the settings that the feature may only be activated in the admin-interface

The basic idea was to leave notes for yourself to look up on a profile. To allow you to have a context. For example a user could write down “Met them at conference X in 2014”.

I am welcoming PRs for better wording…

It’s just… not a good idea from a social perspective to allow this. Hidden, secret note passing that nobody else can see.

I suggest you have a mode where only staff can add and read these notes, and make that the default.

What is “Hidden, secret note passing that nobody else can see.”? There is no “note passing”. There is only your notes on the profile, accessible only by you. And staff notes on the profile, if you are staff.

Meaning this isn’t in the normal interface and therefore can only be accessed by staff members. Or can non-staff access the admin-interface nowadays?

It can be in the normal interface on the user page, with a grey “visible to staff only” text in the bottom right corner. Having it be available to regular users should be a boolean configuration option IMO, that is off by default.

FWIW, the normal-user feature is kind of synonymous to how most ‘address book / contact list’ features work, for instance in Gmail so you can keep private notes for yourself (like the example @lightyear gave … “met him at X conference 2014”).

I don’t see a big issue with that, but it seems like it’s not clear that these notes are private to the user who creates them from the conversation above.