Life Hacking Blog & Articles

Lifehacking the Print, Sign & Scan Debacle

By Jonathan Roseland  Connect    

Getting what we want in life at crucial junctures requires applying ink to paper and when we are not in physical proximity to the other signatories of our endeavors it can be damned inconvenient. For the longest time remedying this situation was a frustrating combination of fax machines, downloading PDFs, killing trees by buying reams of printer paper, and the dreaded refilling of the printer toner. Below are several free and freeish digital tools that will liberate your valuable time permanently from this unpleasant experience.

Hello Sign for Gmail

This free App for Gmail is the first tool in my the line of defense against documents requiring my John Hancock. It takes about 3 clicks and 45 seconds to install on your Gmail account, after which whenever someone sends you an email with a document attached next to the View & Download links.
If you are originating and emailing the document that needs to be signed:

  1. Send it to your yourself: Just enter one of your email addresses that forwards to your Gmail as the recipient.
  2. It will show up in your email inbox with the sign option
  3. Sign it with Hello Sign and then download to your computer.
  4. Re-upload it with your signature and attach to an email to the other signatory.

Slightly more clunky, is this free website that allows you to upload, sign and initial PDFs, JPGs and even PNGs.
A freeish option for hosting signable forms. It requires a Paypal plan agreement to start hosting.
For several years this was my favorite tool for digital signatures, then they started charging (actually quite high) monthly rates for their PDF hosting and signatures tool, but it does a bunch of cool stuff that the others don't and it works consistently - I've actually never had a problem with it! So if you are looking for a business class solution, this is it!

I personally like to use these tools even when I am meeting someone in person to sign contracts. I do this because sometimes when you meet someone to sign contracts you still need to negotiate some fine points of the contract. If you are using hard paper contracts you will either need to reprint the contracts or write on the paper contracts. With these tools and digital contracts all you need to do is make the changes on the actual contracts and sign them.

What kinds of uses have you found for digital signatures?  

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