User Notes and Files: A Guide for Site Managers

Created by Brittany Crow, Modified on Wed, 26 Jul 2023 at 10:49 AM by Brittany Crow

Heads up! This article is intended for site managers. If you're an advanced program manager, click here


Your site offers several options for sharing important information with your volunteers or fellow site managers and advanced program managers. For example, you can upload important documents with user files or share private details in user notes. So, what's the difference between user files and user notes?  

  • If you want to upload important documents to volunteer profiles, you can use the Files area of a user's profile.  
    • Files can be: 
      • Public: Shared with the volunteer and anyone with access to their profile. 
      • Private: Only shared with those that have access to their profile or that you share a link to that file. 
    • Files are a great way to record and manage important documents that are user-specific. 
  • If you want to capture important information that's only shared with other site managers or advanced program managers with access to a user's profile, then you can create user notes! 
    • These are notes that you, another site manager, or advanced program manager add to a user's profile. 
    • Only site managers and advanced program managers can edit or view user notes. 
    • Notes are great for recording important or sensitive information about volunteers that only those with access to the user's profile can view. 
    • Volunteers cannot access or view these notes. 

In this article, we cover: 


Let's talk about user files

User files can be shared with the volunteer or set to private. When a file is set to private, it can only be accessed by site managers or advanced program managers overseeing programs the volunteer is assigned to. Private files can also be shared via a shareable link. Your site has a Files area for you to store information, but in this article, we're talking about user files. Here are the differences between files stored on your site and user files stored on a volunteer's profile: 

  • Site files are stored in the Files area of your site which is found under Content > Files
    • Files must be shared via a shareable link—which can be done through spotlights, email blasts, newsletters, social media posts, etc. 
      • Files are only accessible by site managers when logged in as a site manager. 
      • Click here for more information about Files. 
  • User files are stored on a user's profile under the Files tab in their profile area. 
    • Users can upload files to their profiles and view any that a site manager or advanced program manager have uploaded to their profiles if they're public. 
    • Users can't view private files uploaded to their profiles unless shared with them via a shareable link. 


What to store in user files

What you store in user files depends on your organization and the information you want to capture. For example, you can store things like volunteer evaluations or onboarding documents. These can be set to private so that only managers with access to the user's profile can view them or they can be directly shared with the user. 


How to upload user files

1. Go to Volunteerism > Users

2. Select the user you want to upload a file for. 

3. Click the Files tab from the Edit User page. 

4. Click +Add File.

5. You can either click Upload and select the file from your desktop or drag and drop the file to the Drag & Drop Files field. 

  • You can upload multiple files at once too. 

6. If you want the file to be private, check the box beside This file is private

  • The default for files is public, so be sure to check this box if you want the file to be set to private. 
    • When a file is set to private, it can't be viewed by the user unless it's shared with them via a shareable link. 
    • You can't edit a file's privacy status once it's uploaded. 
      • It must be deleted and re-uploaded if you want to change the privacy status for an uploaded file. 

7. When you're ready, click Save

✏️ Quick tips:

  • Clicked the wrong file? No worries! Just click Cancel and locate the correct file. 
  • Set the privacy to private on a file you want to keep public? You'll need to delete the file and start over since files can't be edited once uploaded. 


How to delete uploaded user files

You can delete a user file anytime by navigating to the Files area of the user's profile and clicking the X under the Options column for the file you wish to delete. 


How to share user files

Regardless of the privacy setting, you can copy the share link found under the Options column for a user file and share it.

  • Please note that other site managers and advanced program managers overseeing the programs the user is assigned to can access private user files at anytime.

The volunteer perspective

A volunteer can view public files uploaded to their profile anytime. If the files are set to private, then they won't appear in the Files area of the user's profile. Volunteers can access their public files by: 

1. Clicking their initials or profile picture from the top menu bar. 

2. Selecting My Files

  • This opens the user files area from the volunteer perspective.

3. To view their files, they just need to click the file title. 

  • This downloads the file to their computer where they can access it whenever. 
  • Volunteers can also share their files with the shareable link under the Options column. 


Let's talk about private user notes

User notes are a great tool for you, other site managers, or advanced program managers to capture and relay important details about volunteers privately. User notes are only accessible by managers with access to the user's profile. The volunteer cannot see any user notes posted to their profiles.  


What to store in private user notes

Much like user files, how you use private user notes is really up to you and your organization. These are a great way to capture important information you want to relay to other managers with access to that user's profile without the notes being shared publicly. 

  • Want to share how valuable of a team player a volunteer is? You can with a private user note! 
  • Are you trying to keep track of repeat no-show offenders and want to alert other managers? Mark it in a private user note! 
  • Need to capture important and sensitive information about a volunteer—e.g., restrictions or limitations, scheduling conflicts, etc.—you can with a private user note! 
  • Do you have a volunteer with a strong social media following and want to remember to ask them about sharing their experience with your organization on their platforms? Capture that in a private user note! 

You've got your hands full with keeping track of programs, managers, Opportunities, etc., so private user notes is one way to keep a running record of information that matters the most to you and your management team. 


How to add private user notes

1. Go to Volunteerism > Users

2. Select the user you want to create a private user note for. 

3. Click the Notes tab from their Edit User page. 

4. Click + Add Note

5. Type up your note in the Note field. 

6. Click Save Note

  • Not ready to create the note you started? Just click Cancel to close the Add Note window. 


How to edit a private user note

If you ever need to edit a private user note you can return to the Notes area of the user profile and click the pencil icon under the Options column for the note you wish to edit. 

  • Be sure to click Save Note after making any edits to the note.


How to delete a private user note

Is it time to clean up private notes on a user's profile? Maybe they've had a status change or maybe they are no longer a repeat no-show offender and you want to remove that note from their profile. You can delete a private note at anytime! Just return to the Notes area of the user profile and click the X under the Options column for the note you wish to delete. 

  • A popup appears asking you to confirm your selection—click Yes to delete the note and No to cancel.
    • If you click No, the note won't be removed from their profile. 
  • Once you delete a note, it's removed from their profile.