By Ben Stegner
In the digital age, who has time for paper signatures? Maybe you’re a small business looking to keep all your documents digitally, or a freelancer who’s struggling with productivity. Whatever the case, electronic signatures are so much easier than keeping track of hard copies.
Stop trying to keep track of everything by hand and let apps do the work instead. Meet eversign, the only service you need to manage all your signatures.
Setting Up Eversign
Head over to eversign’s sign-up page to get started. Enter your email address and a password, then fill in some basic info like your name and address. After this, eversign will ask you which plan you’d like to try, but click the Skip for now button to try the free plan first. Finally, set your vanity URL using your business or own name. Confirm your email address, and you’re all set.
Your Dashboard shows you everything you need to know at a glance. You can see how many documents are waiting on a signature, how many items you’ve sent this month, and what’s happened recently with your account. It’s a good idea to get your signature right before you start sending out documents, so click on the My Signature field to have a look.
You’ll already see a default signature and initial set. Click Add New in the top-right corner to add a new one. Here, you can choose from three options for both your signature and initials. Whichever you choose, you’re acknowledging that it’s a legal representation of your signature:
- Type your name and select a handwriting-styled font to represent it.
- Draw your signature using your mouse or touch screen, if you have one.
- Upload a picture of your signature.
To complete your setup, you should also change some options by clicking your username in the top-left corner of the site. Then choose User Settings and you can change the date/time formats and set your time zone. You can also decide whether you want to receive notifications when people open documents and a daily summary of your outstanding documents.
Creating and Sending Documents
Once you’ve completed the initial setup, you’ll want to create some documents. The free plan can’t use any templates, so you’ll have to create a new document each time. Click Documents on the left sidebar, then New Document in the top-right to add your first one.
Eversign connects seamlessly with service like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Evernote, letting you import documents if you already have them ready. If not, type out your form in Microsoft Word or Pages and upload it here.
At the top of the screen, select whether this document needs signing just by you, you and others, or just others. Then enter each party’s name and email address. You can specify whether these people need to sign or are just receiving a copy for reference. If you want, you can also choose what order the recipients must sign the contract in. Finally, for extra security, you can set a PIN so nobody can open it unless they know the code.
Set a title and message for the document, then click the Prepare button. On the right side, you can drag and drop many fields for the recipient to fill. Drop spaces for signatures, date of signing, company name, and other similar options wherever you like. When you’re done, click Send in the top-right. You can also click Save Draft and return to it later.
Your recipient will receive an email asking them to sign the document. When they click the Sign Nowbutton in the email, they can read over the form and fill the highlighted areas with the information you requested. Whenever they click on the field requesting their signature, they can choose from the same options detailed above. Once done, they click Finish and you’ll get an alert that they’ve signed the form. Signers can also download a PDF or print it if they like, along with declining it if they refuse the contract.
After a few minutes, the document signing completes. You can review the final form at any time from the Documents tab, and the signer receives an email with a link to the document for their records. Either party can download a PDF copy if needed.
Chances are that you’ll send forms to the same folks many times. To save time, you can add people as contacts so you don’t have to enter their information every time. Click the Contacts tab on the left to add a new one. If you’ve already sent out some forms, you’ll see they were automatically added here. Hit the New Contact button in the top-right to create one.
The information you enter here is simple. Only a first name and email address are mandatory, but you can fill a client’s address, phone number, company name, and notes if needed. Click Save when you’re done to add them to your address book.
From the main Contacts tab, you can archive clients you don’t need any more. You can also quickly create a new form for a client, or see all documents you’ve sent them in the past.
Click the Business Settings tab on the left sidebar to customize some default options of eversign.
- Under General Settings, you can disable the requirement that all signers must sign to complete a document. You can also change the default tab on the Document page and adjust time settings.
- Signing Preferences holds options like preventing signers from seeing attachments that other signers added. You can also turn off drawn or uploaded signatures if you’d prefer clients to type them. This tab also allows you to require signers to add a reason when they decline to sign a form. If you have a unique business concern, you can add a custom disclaimer that signers will see before they access the documents you send them.
- Delivery Preferences lets you change whether eversign sends PDF copies to signers and if you want notifications when documents are first opened.
- In Expiration & Reminders, you can tweak how long documents stick around before they expire, and how long recipients have to sign their documents. If you want, you can also change the automatic reminder settings that eversign sends out.
- Branding lets you set your business icon logo, and change colors in the app.
The free plan limits you to five documents per month, and doesn’t let you create any templates. It also prevents you from adding any team members that can also work under your account. If you need more from eversign, check out the paid plans. The $9.99/month Basic plan lets you send unlimited documents, create three templates, add advanced integrations, and get dedicated support when you have an issue.
If you’re a developer, you can access eversign’s API to automate the service. You’ll need to sign up for a paid account to use any more than three API requests per month, though.
The Total eSignature Solution
We’ve taken a tour of eversign and found that it’s a customizable yet easy to use tool. In minutes, you can create an account, upload a document, and send it out to your clients. You and your signers can access documents from any computer or smartphone. Its eSignatures are legally binding and enforceable in courts of the United States and Europe. And it’s all protected with industry-standard security settings.
If you’re a freelancer who only sends out a few forms a month, you can get all eversign’s major features free, and the paid plans are affordable. It’s the easiest way to deal with the hassle of signatures and forget about all the paperwork, and we’d recommend it to anyone looking for a powerful tool for this job that’s also great-looking.
Have you tried eversign? Let us know what you think of it in the comments!