Have you ever wanted to add a few notes to a WordPress post or page? Tired of leaving notes for yourself in the content area, only to delete them before publishing the post? What if you want those notes to remain, even after you’ve published your article?
Personally, I like to keep some SEO notes & keyword information with each article I write. This is helpful to see what WordPress users like yourself are searching for, so I can write more useful (and searchable) content. This helps you (the reader) find answers to your questions, and it helps me reach a wider audience.
I tried all the WordPress notes plugins that add notes to the editing screen, and have come up with a list of features, screenshots and solutions for you. At the end, I’ve included the plugins that you should stay away from, as they are buggy and/or have not been updating in a LONG time.
Custom Implementation – After reviewing these WordPress notes plugins, none of them did exactly what I was looking for. If you’d like to learn what I did to manage my editorial notes, and/or you already use the Advanced Custom Fields plugin, check out How to Add Author Notes to WordPress with Advanced Custom Fields.
Recommended WordPress Notes Plugins
There aren’t a lot out there, and each of these plugins offer different solutions. One is better for client notes, one for author collaboration, one is more generally just for admin notes. Please read the descriptions to figure out which one best fits your needs.
1. WP NoteUp
The WP NoteUp plugin would be my top recommendation if you’re looking for admin-only notes on individual posts/pages. If you’re looking for a way to show notes to clients, see “Admin Page Notes” below.
WP NoteUp was developed by Aubrey Portwood, who is a WordPress core contributor and member of the Theme Review Team. That’s some serious street cred, so you know this plugin is legit.
WP NoteUp Features
- No settings or options; works out-of-the-box
- WYSIWYG editor allows for notes to contain bold, italics, bulleted lists, links & images
- Insert images into your notes using the WordPress media uploader
- Move the meta box to your desired location on the post editing screen
- Note area is adjustable, allowing you to view longer notes, even when displaying it in the sidebar
- You must save or update the post itself in order for your note to be saved
2. Admin Page Notes
Admin Page Notes is a super-simple WordPress note plugin, but it does a nice job. There are no settings, so if you’re looking for something with options, look elsewhere. Used best for WordPress developers that want to display a note to their clients who are editing the site. It’s not for writers who are looking for a way to store notes/references along with their posts.
Upon activation, a meta box is added to all WordPress post, page & custom post type editing screens.
This information is then displayed at the top of the editing screen (in the sidebar, by default).
Admin Page Notes Features
- This is for developers to display notes to clients, NOT for authors/editors who are looking to manage editing notes
- No settings or options; it works “as is”
- Only Administrators can add notes
- Notes can be added to every post, page & custom post type
- The “Important Information” meta box can be moved around on the editing screen
- HTML is accepted in the notes field; add links, heading tags, etc.
- Built by the BeardedGinger… and who doesn’t love a ginger beard?!
3. Peter’s Post Notes
The Peter’s Post Notes plugin is geared more towards collaboration amongst authors. It has a settings page with a fair amount of customization options. If you’re looking for something that allows multiple authors to post an unlimited number of notes on a page, post or custom post type, this is a solid option.
You can set all your options under Settings > Peter’s Post Notes. Find several screenshots below which show you the plugin in action. Click the images for a full-size preview.
Peter’s Post Notes Features
- Lots of options for which users can add & view notes. He uses WordPress capabilities to allow for ultimate customization here.
- Dashboard widget that displays most recent notes (on posts/pages), as well as general site-wide notes
- Multiple notes can be added to the same page/post
- You must update the entire post/page in order to save the note; not ideal if you are also making changes to your post content that you don’t want to go live yet.
4. Simple Post Notes
Here’s a super-simple WordPress notes plugin that is actively maintained (as of April 2017). It was suggested by one of our readers, George, over at WP Guidance.
- Add text-only notes to posts, pages & custom post types
- Settings page has 1 option: choose which post types the notes will appear for
- Adds a new column to the “All Posts” screen, which is also sortable to see which posts do/do not have notes.
A WordPress Notes Plugin w/ Other Features
The Edit Flow WordPress plugin has a ton of features. I’m including it in this list because one of those features is “Editorial Comments.” This provides a way for multiple authors/editors to add comments to individual posts/pages, reply to each other, and collaborate on articles. If you’re a fan of simple interfaces, and plugins that do one job well, this is not the plugin for you.
It’s also worth mentioning that the plugin hasn’t been updated in over 2 years; however, it is currently maintained by Automattic (the makers of WordPress). This is a bit odd, as typically, plugins maintained by WordPress and/or Automattic are kept up-to-date. There’s a github repo that has been updated fairly recently, and WordPress confirmed they still use it with some WordPress.com VIP customers.
- Has not been updated in over 2 years
- Throws a handful of errors upon activation: “Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /Users/davewarfel/Dropbox/mamp/wpsmackdown/wp-content/plugins/edit-flow/common/php/class-module.php on line 564”
- Includes LOTS of other features that you might not want or need. — However, you can turn certain features off, and they are removed from the admin area.
Editorial Comments Features & Screenshots
Here’s a list of features that the “Editorial Comments” part of the plugin provides, along with screenshots.
- Enable/Disable notes for certain post types
- Reply to an editor’s note, or write a fresh one
- Add an unlimited number of notes about each post/page
- There is NO WAY to edit or delete comments
Try These Note Plugins With Caution
This WordPress plugin prides itself on being “the very simplest of notepads for your Dashboard.”
It only allows you to add Dashboard notes (not on individual posts/pages). However, I was not able to type anything in the textarea on the Dashboard. I’m not sure if this was due to my WordPress setup, or an issue with the plugin.
The Dashboard Notepad plugin hasn’t been updated in over 2 years, but it does have 10,000 active installs, and looks promising for a Dashboard-only note plugin… if you can get it to function properly.
Do Not Use These WordPress Notes Plugins
I would not recommend using any of these plugins to add notes to your WordPress admin area. Some have errors. Others haven’t been updated in several years. Please use one of the previously mentioned alternatives above.
Post & Page Notes
The Post & Page Notes WordPress plugin causes multiple errors upon activation. It hasn’t been updated in over 6 years. And above all else, it is not for notes in the WordPress admin area. This plugin was designed to show simple notes or HTML on the posts/pages that your visitors will see. I recommend not installing this plugin under any circumstances.
Sticky Notes Plugin
This plugin has not been updated in over 5 years, and it is known to cause errors when WordPress is installed in any other location than the root folder of your server. I would not feel comfortable using this plugin on my site.
Kahi’s WP Notes
This plugin hasn’t been updated in over 6 years. When it was in it’s prime, it only added a single “Notes” page to the admin area to add one set of site-wide notes. I would not recommend this one.
Similar to the plugin above, this one hasn’t been updated in over 8 years, and only gives you access to one site-wide notes page. No beuno.
In Context Admin Notes
This WordPress plugin creates a shortcode for admins to use inside of posts & pages. It will display a message on your actual website (not on the editing screen) that only admins can see. If you need this type of functionality, I recommend the Restrict Content plugin by Pippin Williamson.
The WordNote plugin hasn’t been updated in over 7 years, and displays errors upon activation. All it does (or, rather, used to do), is add a textarea field on the Dashboard to add notes. They are saved in a text file inside the plugin’s folder on your server. I’d stay away from this one.
What are you using to display notes in the WordPress admin? Have you come up with a custom method? I’d love to hear about your experience, or any plugins that I left off the list.