Contracts suck. Everyone hates them, but we can’t live without them. It would be great if all business could be conducted on a handshake and goodwill, but unfortunately there are too many variables that make this impossible.
So, its a reality that for any commercial relationship, a contract must be in place that outlines the important things like payment terms, key deliverables etc. as well as covering those unforeseen circumstances that only lawyers think about.
The traditional way of signing a contract is through the old paper and pen. I hate paper and pen. I love any piece of tech that eliminates paper and pen, and replaces it with a virtual clone that can be easily created, transmitted, stored and accessed.
Enter Docusign. I’ve been using Docusign for over a year now, and always get positive feedback from clients and anyone else I send contracts to.
Docusign doesn’t have the most user friendly interface, but it certainly works well. It can be used online, or via the Docusign Ink apps for iOS and Android.
The first step is, as usual, create your contract in Word/Pages and save as a PDF. A PDF or Word version can always be emailed through to someone else to review first, so they can easily provide you their feedback and request any changes. After you’re both happy with a final draft, you create a new ‘Envelope’ with Docusign, and upload your final PDF.
Next, enter the recipients contact details, including name and email address. You can personalise the email they will receive as well, which provides a link through to Docusign with the document to review. If the recipient doesn’t have a Docusign account already, it only takes a matter of seconds for them to easily create one.
Then it’s a matter of drag and drop – you can add things like Name, Title, Address, Date, Signature (of course) and lots of other fields you can customise.
Final step is to add yourself in to sign as well, and hit send. You will be prompted to sign the agreement (which is actually just 2 mouse clicks rather than any actual signature.) Docusign lets you select from a few different signature styles, which basically just stylises your name and turns it into a virtual signature. Once you hit the accept button, an email will notify your recipient and prompt them to follow the same process.
Done! It only takes a moment now for someone to sign, emails are automated, both parties have a copy, and there’s no need to print, sign, scan, staple etc.