Before you can copy and paste layout elements. You need to define the necessary tables, table occurrences and fields with exactly the same names as is present for the layout from which you are copying the layout elements.
Do you know how to define a new table with the fields you need?
Do you know how to link it to your file's existing tables in a relationship?
You can approach it in two ways.
 A separate Table or DataBase where each note will be a separate record, linked to a Contact with a unique ID. Each note can have a type field (emailed, called, appointment, todo) and can be searched and sorted by these fields.
 two Text Fields in the Contact Table - NewNote and Notes.
A button with attached script would set NewNote to TodayDate, Time, User spaces dash dash and set the cursor for entry.
Enter the text in the NewNote. Another button with script would append the NewNote to the top of Notes with a Set Field command.
This has the advantage of drop dead simple, but no sorting, just scrolling to view the notes on a contact.
I know how to create a new field, I don't know about a table. is that different? I know how to create relationships between fields.
I do not want a separate database just for the notes. I would just like to add it into my existing database. How can I do the Text Fields in the Contact Table?
You can have as many tables as you need in one file (database). In Manage | Database, there's a tab for tables just like you have a tab for fields. The process for creating a new table is much the same as creating a new field. Once you've created a new table, you can click the fields tab and define fields for it.
I see the button for creating a field, field/control, tab, and portal. i do not see anything that allows me to create a table. Do i need to set that function some how?
That's not a button for creating a field. It's a button for adding a field that already exists to a layout.
From the File Menu, Open Manage | Database | Tables and you'll find the section for creating a new table. Click the Fields tab and you'll see the section for creating a new field in any table previously created in the file. Click the relationships tab and you'll find the section for linking tables in relationships.
Ok, I see how to create a new table. I have created the new table. Now within the table I want date, user, and note. I have created those fields within that table. How do I get the table into the database? I am assuming that I will need to set who the users are?
If you have created the table, it's in the database. Your next step will be to link that table to one or more of your other tables on the relationships tab.
A typical approach is to define a serial number field in your main table (you may already have this). Let's say this field is called ContactID. Define a matching number field in your new notes field. Click on the relationships tab in Manage | Database and drag from ContactID in one table to Contact ID in the other table. You could use user names for this, but it's not as good an approach as names are not unique and are also subject to change.
Double click the line linking your two tables and select "Allow Creation of Records Via this relationship" for your new notes table.
Now you can place a portal to your new notes field and start adding notes.
This all looks like you are moving into unfamiliar territory. Be prepared to look things up in the help system to learn more and if you don't already have one, you may want to get a book on FileMaker to help you get up to speed.
Ok I see how this all works now. First I needed to create some fields, then I needed to create the table, and then I needed to make them relational. I have a questions regarding changing who the user is who enters the information. It seems to always enter the same user, even if I am logged in as a different user. How do I change the user name who enters the information?
What do you mean by "user name"?
Is this the name entered in Edit Preferences? Is it the account name used to open the database when you enter a password? This may be exactly the same name, but different functions are used to get either the user name (from prefereces) or the account name (set up in Manage | Security ) and enter it in a field.
What do you mean by edit preferences? The account name is the name used when we enter a password to open the account.
That's an account name and you can define a field to auto enter the account name and scripts can use get ( AccountName ) to check the Account Name.
If you select Preferences from the Edit menu, you'll find a box titled "User Name". You can set a field to auto enter a user name ( called just "name" in the drop down on the auto-enter tab) and scripts can use Get ( UserName ) to check the user name.
Just to make things more confusting, Filemaker automatically enters the User Name into the Account Name box of the Password Log on.
I see the edit box where I have two options, the first is the preset one, and the second is "other". If I choose other and leave the box blank it will the logged in user? I tested it on an external source and it still shows the preset user. Does this matter that I am using a Mac?
I'm not seeing what you are seeing. I'm on windows and I'd love to have an "Other" option here but don't see one on mine. You are in Preferences--not File Options, correct?
This setting just controls what account name is automatically entered in the password dialog--you can always enter a different account name during log in.
None of this answers the question I asked earlier. Which name do you need and how do you want to use it when recording notes?