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Quick Trick: Attaching General Project Notes to the Project Summary Task

Perhaps you are aware that you can use the Task Notes feature in Microsoft Project to attach work details, update history, or other notes to individual tasks in a project schedule… but what if you want to store general notes in a project that are NOT specific to an individual task? You could store a general overview or description for the project, information describing usage of the 11 baselines, or other types of information describing the project in the Project Summary notes field. Here’s how…

Open your project and display a Task view such as the ‘Gantt Chart’ view:

Adding General Project Notes to Microsoft Project

Display the Project Summary task (task ID #0) by clicking the ‘Format’ ribbon tab and selecting the ‘Project Summary Task’ option:

Adding General Project Notes to Microsoft Project

 

Select the Project Summary row in the left task table, click the ‘Task’ ribbon tab, and click the ‘Notes’ button (double-clicking the Project Summary task also works here):

Adding General Project Notes to Microsoft Project

 

Under the ‘Notes’ tab in the ‘Summary Task Information’ dialog box, enter your general project notes, then click the ‘OK’ button:

Adding General Project Notes to Microsoft Project

 

Notice the format that I use for each entry that I added to the notes:

– [ENTRY DATE] — [MY INITIALS] — [NOTE ENTRY].

This allows you to neatly add multiple entries into the notes area, while historically tracking when each entry was made, as well as who made the entry.

After adding notes with the ‘Summary Task Information’ dialog box for the first time, you see a yellow note icon in the ‘Indicators’ column on the Project Summary row:

Adding General Project Notes to Microsoft Project

 

Good luck!

 

Written by Tony Zink

Tony Zink is Vice President of Learning and Innovation at Houston, Texas-based EPMA, a Gold Microsoft Project and Portfolio Management Partner that provides PPM implementation, integration, development, training, and support services to large and small organizations world-wide. Tony volunteers his time to the Project Management, MS Project, and SharePoint user communities through organizing and presenting at conferences, user groups, and round table sessions, publishing articles, and answering questions in online forums. Tony co-authored two of the best-selling books in the Project and Portfolio Management field, ‘Implementing and Administering Microsoft Project Server 2010’ and ‘Managing Enterprise Projects with Microsoft Project Server 2010’, and he developed the entire training curriculum for EPMA Institute. In Tony’s spare time, he is a bass slapper, a quadcopter pilot, and a karaoke superstar.

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3 Comments
  1. Great Idea – will definitely use – suggest entering notes in descending order so the newest notes are on top.

  2. I have been using the notes field for the project summary task for several years. I like the idea adding a format to it. However, when the notes get to be too long, I get an error when I open the file from project server: “There are multiple lines of text in the existing note. Multiple lines of text can only be entered using the Notes tab of the Task Information dialog box. If yo uchange the note in the table, all lines of text except the first line, and all formatting, wil be removed. Do you want to change the note in the table anyway? …” All I did was open the file in MS Project 2010 from project server (2010?, older than 2013). I haven’t tried to change anything. Any ideas? Have you seen this?

  3. Like others, I’ve used task notes but didn’t think to add a summary note. Excellent idea!

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