Client Journals and Journal Search

Client Journals in SupportAbility refer to any notes or evidence that is recorded and saved in the Client record. This article is for any Staff needing to record notes or evidence in Client records. Information regarding each section of the Client Journal record is covered, as well as all options available including additional privacy layers, as well as where Client Journals can be accessed.

A search can be performed on Client Journals filtering by a range of search criteria, and the Journal List results can either be printed in summary or detail, and a detailed CSV file export is available for download.

Audience: Team Leaders, Support Staff, and anyone tasked with creating Client Journals.


The following list summarises the content within this article. Click on the links below to take you to the relevant sections:

Sections of the Client Journals record

A Client Journal record is comprised of four sections as follows:

Journal Details

Journal Notes



Journal Actions

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Where can Client Journals be created?

Journals can be created from a number of places in SupportAbility as follows:

  • Directly from the 'Journal' tab of a Client record:

  • Within the 'Goal Details' section of a Goal:

  • Within the 'Goal Strategies' section of a Goal:

  • Within the 'Clients' section of an Activity:

    N.B. Multiple Journals may be added for each Client within an Activity.  Once a Journal has been created from the Activity, a number icon will be visible to indicate the number of Journals which have been created within this Activity for that Client:

    When this icon is selected, a list of these Journals is displayed, along with the date and title of each and a link to access each Client Journal as required. Hovering over the title will display the full text (as above). 

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Adding a Client Journal

To add a Client Journal, select the Add '+' icon from the Client's Journals tab for example: 

The Site and Service the Journal is related to must be selected: 

The Site/Services displayed for selection are based on your Staff Account privileges and not the Client's Service Participation. The status of the Client's Service Participation in these Site/Services is listed next to each: 

  • Current - Client currently participating in Site/Service.  
  • Historical - Client participated in Site/Service historically.
  • Not Used - Client has never participated in this Site/Service.

Once selected, the 'New Journal' record is created: 

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Whilst the title of 'New Journal' will appear, we recommend typing in the applicable 'Title' for the Journal evidence: 

Once the Title has been updated: 

This will update the name of the Journal also: 

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The Notes field is where the Journal evidence is recorded: 

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Journal Types

When a Client Journal is created, whilst a Journal Type appears by default:

The most appropriate Journal Type may be selected e.g. Goal Evidence: 

N.B. A default list of Journal Types is included in every SupportAbility installation, these can be configured by your organisation as outlined in the Configuring Journals article linked below. 

Journal Templates

If Journal Templates have been created by your organisation, they will populate in the notes field when specific Journal Types are selected. For example, a template has been created for Goal Evidence Journal Type: 

This template has been created to ensure Staff record the following information when creating a Journal of this type. 

When the 'Goal Evidence' Journal Type is selected, this template populates within the notes field e.g:

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Additional Privacy Layers

The additional privacy layers of restricting Client Journal entries for 'Managers Only' or 'Team Leaders Only' is available for selection when entering sensitive information that may require further restriction:

N.B. Once this is selected, if the author does not have either of these Staff Account privileges, you will no longer be able to see this record. 

Similarly, if a Staff member is assigned to a Journal Action, but does not have the required privileges, they will not see this notification on their Dashboard, or be able to access this Journal once this privacy setting has been saved. 

There are additional inbuilt privacy barriers for Journals which have been assigned to specialised Services such as NDIS Financial Plan Management or Support Coordination. More on this can be found in the Journal Permissions article linked below. 

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Adding Standards

There are several in-built Standards available in SupportAbility, including: 

  • Each of the NDIS Practice Standards,
  • the National Disability Standards, and the
  • DMI Codes (Disability Maintenance Instrument), specific to providers of Supported employment. 

To add a Standard to a Journal, simply select the +Add Standard button in the 'Standards' section of the Journal, which will open the Search function:

For example, to search for a Standard from the NDIS Practice Standards, (which are prefaced with 'QSF' in SupportAbility), you can either type 'Q' in the search field to access the full list of these Standards, or more specifically type a keyword e.g. 'Core' to narrow your search:

Once a Standard has been added, it will appear in the Standards section of the Journal record:

Further information regarding Standards in SupportAbility can be found in the Standards in SupportAbility and the Adding a Standard Knowledge Base articles linked below.

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Adding Goals and Goal Strategies

If Goals and Goal Strategies have been entered in the Goals tab of the Client record, they can be added to the Client Journal entry as a way to record progress in the 'Goals' section of the record: 

N.B. Adding or editing Goals and/or Goal Strategies is only possible before the Journal entry has been locked. 

How to add a Goal and/or Goal Strategy

To add a Goal and/or a Goal Strategy, select '+Add Goal': 

N.B. Only one Goal or Goal Strategy can be added at a time. 

Step 1: Goal

This opens the 'Add a Goal to Client Journal' window for the relevant Goal to be selected first. Each of the active Client Goals is displayed in the 'Goal' column and a numeric value indicating the number of Goal Strategies associated with each Goal is displayed in the 'Goal Strategies' column:

Select the relevant Goal first by clicking on the 'Select' button: 

The selected Goal will be displayed. If there are Goal Strategies associated with this Goal, you will be prompted to select a Goal Strategy option next:

 If there are no Goal Strategies associated with the Goal, you will be prompted to Save this selection instead: 

Step 2: Goal Strategy

The selected Goal is displayed and the associated Goal Strategies are listed for selection where required. If you do not wish to add a Goal Strategy and just the Goal itself, you can select the option of 'Goal Strategy not required':

Once the relevant Goal Strategy option has been selected, select 'Save' to add this to the Client Journal record:

The Goal and/or Goal Strategy added is displayed with a link to the associated Goal record, any Standards which have been the ability to enter a Goal Progress Assessment score, and the facility to record any notes specific to this: 

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If Standards have been added to the Goal, a button will appear in this column as above. Selecting this button will display a summary: 

Selecting this again will show the detail: 

Additional Standards, specific to the Journal itself, can be added in the 'Standards' section of the Journal. Please refer to the section above for more information.

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Notes can be added to explain how the Client Journal evidence relates to the Goal or Goal Strategy e.g: 

When printing a Client Goals Report and 'Show Journal Detail' is selected, this will display the Journal Notes for any Journals created pre-v6.8 of SupportAbility. From the upgrade to v6.8, any notes entered against the Goal or Goal Strategy (as above), will be displayed as the 'detail' instead of the Journal Note e.g: 

N.B. The Assessment Score will be displayed here also where applicable. 

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Goal Progress Assessment

A Goal Progress Assessment score can be recorded against any added Goal or Goal Strategies by selecting the '+' Assessment Score icon: 

This opens up the available Assessment Score options to select from: 

To check the Evaluation Criteria, select the icon to the right of the '+' with the three lines: 

N.B. The Goal Progress Assessment Evaluation Criteria is customised by your organisation in System Preferences, please see the Configuring Goals article linked below for more information. 

Once an Assessment Score has been added, it will appear as follows: 

N.B. Assessment Score colours are as follows: 

  • 1 - 3 amber
  • 4 - 7 blue
  • 8 - 10 green

If this needed to be changed, the Assessment Score can again be selected, and updated as required provided the Journal is not yet locked. This may also be cleared if necessary: 

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The Client Goal or Goal Strategy may be deleted if required by selecting the contextual menu to the right-hand side of the goal i.e. the icon with the three dots: 

You will be asked once if you wish to confirm this selection: 

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Journal Actions

Journal Actions can be created within a Journal entry e.g. 

A Journal Action is effectively a task that requires action and can be assigned to a specific Staff member for follow-up.  This Journal action  default s to populate on both the assigned Staff member's dashboard and the dashboard of the Staff member who created the Journal action so that the author can monitor its progress.  

It can then be marked as Completed in the Journal e.g. 

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Where can Client Journals be Accessed?

All Journals relating to a Client regardless of where they were created can be accessed via the 'Journal' tab of a Client record.

The list of Journals on this tab displays all Journals relating to a Client by default, however, the filter at the top of the list, allows you to filter the list by 'From and To Date, Service Type, and/or Journal Type:

N.B. If Client Journals for specialised Services exist that you do not have access to, the red warning bar appears alerting you to the fact that the list of Journals you can see is based on your privileges. 

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Journal Search

The 'Journal Search' is accessed via the Dashboard:

A range of search criteria are available to select from that can be used independently or in conjunction. 

The primary search criteria to be selected is the Type of Journal to be searched for, i.e. Clients, Staff, or Contacts:

For the purpose of this article, we are focusing on 'Client' Journals.

Journal Search Criteria

The search criteria available in the Journal Search relevant to a Client Search are as follows:

  • Client Name
  • Journal Type (The options available for selection will be as per the List configured in System Preferences relative to the Journal Type selected in 'Find Journals For:' , in this instance 'Client')
  • Journal Date: From and To
  • Sites
  • Services
  • Authoring Staff Member (Primarily the Staff Member who created the Journal, or who was logged in at the time the Journal was created)
  • Title (Journal Title as entered by the Author)
  • Tag (If Tags are being used by your organisation for Journals, the options available for selection will be as per the options configured in System Preferences for Journals)
  • Notes (Journal Notes. Specific keywords could be used here to refine the search)

The Journal List

Once the Search has been generated, the Journal List will be displayed which includes the following columns of information: 

  • ID
  • Journal Date
  • Type
  • Title
  • Staff Member (not relevant in the Client Journal Search)
  • Client Name
  • Contact (not relevant in the Client Journal Search)
  • Site Name
  • Service
  • Created By

N.B. It is important to note that only those Journals which a Staff Member has access to either via the Site/Services and/or privileges they have in their Staff Accounts, will be visible in the results list.

This includes Journals which have been set to 'Managers Only' or 'Team Leaders Only', whereby only Staff with the relevant privileges will be able to view these Journals.  This means that Staff Members who created a Journal and applied one of these settings but do not have the relevant privilege themself e.g. 'User is a Manager' will not be able to see that Journal in the Journal List.

When a Staff Member does not have the relevant access or privilege/s to view all results generated from a Search, a Warning notification will display at the top of the Journal List to indicate this:

Sorting the Journal List

All of the columns in the Journal List can be sorted by ascending or descending order based on how you wish to view the results e.g. 'Created By': 

Printing the Journal List

There are two options for printing the Journal List, both of which can be accessed via the 'Print' icon:

The ' Journal List - Summary' prints exactly the list as displayed onscreen:

The ' Journal List - Detail' prints the Journal Notes in addition to the onscreen information in the format displayed below:

Exporting the Journal List

The Journal List can be exported into a CSV file, by selecting 'Download Journal List' from the 'Actions' menu:

The 'Journal Export' file contains more information than is displayed onscreen, specifically the Journal Notes, and contains the following columns of information:

  • Client
  • Contact (this column will be empty for a Client Search)
  • Staff (this column will be empty for a Client Search)
  • Type
  • Site
  • Service
  • Date
  • Author
  • (Journal) Title
  • Notes

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