Last time you were asked to sign a contract, did you print it out, sign it, then re-scan? You aren’t alone. Every day we receive hundreds of thousands of documents in NeatCloud, including a mountain of signed documents from folks who are taming their paper monster by scanning their contracts, leases, purchase agreements, and other pages cluttering their desk. We’re glad to help, because every time you cut clutter the Neat way, we help you focus on your business instead of the overhead of shuffling paperwork. Still, it feels a bit old-fashioned to print and re-scan just to add your John Hancock to a signature line, doesn’t it? There’s a better way to sign a contract, and it doesn’t involve a pen. This article is for the Mac users amongst you, but we promise to get back to the PC crowd with an equivalent blog post in the future.
Step 1: Scan your Signature
If you are a Mac user on OS X Lion or newer, you are a few short steps from an easy digital signing process. And if you are a Mac user on an older version of OS X, it’s easy to grab a download of OS X Lion or newer, especially because you can upgrade to Mavericks for free. Got it? Next, do this:
- Open your PDF in the Preview app
- Click on the Preview menu, then Preferences. Click on the Signatures tab.
Getting Started with Using Preview to Sign a Document
- Scrawl your signature on a sheet of blank paper, click the “Create Signature” button, and follow the on-screen instructions that use your Mac’s camera to capture your signature (you only need to do this once):
Capture Your SignatureSee Your Confirmed Signature
- With your signature stored, you can easily apply the signature to any PDF that you open with the Preview app. Just open the PDF and click the Signature button in the toolbar, then drag your signature to wherever it needs to be applied:
Click on the Signature Button to Sign a Contract
The above steps get much easier the second time you need to sign a contract, because your signature will already be stored. That’ll put you just a click or two away from signing just about any PDF.
Step 2: Upload Signed Document to NeatCloud
Next, just sign into NeatCloud, and click the familiar “Import” menu to add your newly signed contract to Neat!
Once the contract is added to NeatCloud, you might want to move it to a folder of your choice. I like to keep a folder of contracts, with sub-folders for each party that I execute an agreement with. A little like this:
The reason I like this approach is that every time I sign a contract, I know that I can share the subfolder with the other party, for easy collaboration.
Step 3: Share the Signed Contract with the Recipient
Here’s the easiest part of all — when you sign a contract and upload it to NeatCloud, it’s easy to share. Just go step-by-step with the following screenshots to make quick work of sharing the signed contract.
Start by sharing the folder:
Type in the email address of the desired recipient, and perhaps a message that describes the contents:
Then, moments later, your collaborator will receive a personalized email invitation with a link to the folder contents:
It’s that easy. You’ve now shared the signed contract!
The Wrap-Up: Never Sign a Contract the Old Way Again
We’re hoping that the above steps will spring into action the next time you need to sign a contract. With a little bit of effort the first time around, it’s easy to get in the habit of skipping the whole “print, sign, scan” mess, and stay Neat instead! Want to try the above steps on your own? Just sign up for a free trial of NeatCloud, and you’ll be well on your way.