Question: "What's the difference between the Action Item Description and the Action Item Note?"
An Action Item Description tells the user reviewing the action item what the situation is, while the Action Item Note is additional information being shared in regards to the Action Item Description.
When we talk about their relationship to an action item, it's easier to think of them as similar to the parts of an email. When you send an email, you enter in the address of who it goes to, a brief description of what it's about on the Subject line, and then the actual message being communicated is in the Body of the email. When creating an action item, you have the option of typing in a Subject, but the message that needs to be communicated lies in the Body or the Action Item Description.
Going back to the email analogy, after the email has been sent, the individual receiving it has the option to reply to the email. Even though they're typing into a similar-looking field, or body, in their email message, it's additional information to the original message. Therefore, it can be seen as a note to the description. When an action item has been sent out, and another user is stepping it to the following step, and they want to add information, that will be placed into the Note field of the action item. It's in the same location as the Description field once was, but since it's a reply to the original, it's in the Note field.
This distinction between Description and Note is important when considering letter template merge tags and what kind of information will be pulled into the letter. For example, if sending out an Approval letter on an ARC Request, the action item description, via the Action Item Description merge tag, would be the request originally made by the homeowner when they submitted it, and any notes made by the management company, or the board, will pull into the letter in a separate spot via the Action Item Note merge tag. The Action Item Description never changes throughout the various steps, but Action Item Note is just for that particular step.
Note: As far as Merge Tags are concerned, on the FIRST step only, the Description and Note are the same things. So, if you have a letter that tags both of these assigned to the first step of an Item, you will see that information displayed twice. Avoid using both tags on a First Step letter.