Work Notes Verses Additional Comments: Intended Uses and Best Practices


In ServiceNow, there are two types of notes that can be used to provide additional information about a task or incident: Work Notes and Additional Comments. While both serve the same purpose of providing additional context to a record, they differ in their accessibility and intended use.


Work Notes

Work Notes are internal notes that are not visible to the requester or the end-user. They are meant to be used by the support teams to communicate updates, progress, and relevant information related to a particular incident or task. Work Notes are stored within the activity stream.

To add a work note, users can click on the “Notes” tab in the Incidents work area as shown below. The Work Notes text box has a yellow bar in it to differentiate it from Additional Comments.

Notes tab selected with Work Notes text box highlighted.

Best Practices for using Work Notes:

  • Use clear and concise language to convey important information about the incident or task.
  • Be specific and provide details such as the steps taken to troubleshoot or resolve the issue.
  • Use proper grammar and spelling to ensure clarity.
  • Avoid using Work Notes to communicate with end-users or requesters. Use Additional Comments for such communication.
  • Ensure that all Work Notes are relevant and add value to the record.
  • In general, all licensed ServiceNow users can view any incidents on the Virginia Tech’s ServiceNow instances. Please be professional all the time as your end-user may be a licensed user who can see your work notes.
  • It is NOT suggested to copy information from work notes and use it to communicate with a requester or end-user if the information should not be shared with an end-user. 

Additional Comments

Additional Comments are visible to both the support team and the requester/end-user. They are used to communicate with the requester or end-user regarding the incident or task. 

There are two ways to add Additional Comments. First, under the Notes tab, select the checkbox before “Additional comments (Customer visible)”. The Work Notes area will become "Additional comments (Customer visible)". The yellow bar within the text box disappears so you can tell that this is for additional comments.

The second method is to select the “Show all journal fields” icon on the right of the Work notes text box.

Show all journals icon highlighted at the right of Work Notes text box.

Both the Work notes and Additional comments text boxes will show. Within the Work notes text box, there is a yellow bar, which differentiates it from the Additional comments text box. Be careful of where you put your notes so your work notes will not be put in the Additional comments and go out to an end-user or vice versa.

Additional Comments text box.

Best Practices for using Additional Comments

  • Use clear and concise language to communicate with the requester or end-user.
  • Be courteous and professional in your communication.
  • Provide updates on the status of the incident or task.
  • Ask for additional information or clarification if needed.
  • Avoid including sensitive or confidential information in Additional Comments.


In summary, while both Work Notes and Additional Comments serve the purpose of providing additional information about a task or incident, they differ in their accessibility and intended use. Work Notes are internal notes used by the support teams to communicate updates and progress, while Additional Comments are used to communicate with the requester or end-user. By following the best practices associated with using each type of note, users can ensure that all relevant information is properly documented and communicated, leading to a more efficient and effective support process.