by Rhiân Davies
Published on 11 January 2017
As a former freelance English teacher in Spain, my bags were perpetually crammed full of teaching materials, class schedules, and homework that I would lug across a scorching hot city, on airless metros and buses. It was one of my least favourite things to do.
The companies and schools I worked for would insist upon giving me masses of paper at the beginning of each week, despite my protests - "can't we do these exercises digitally? Can't you send me this via email?". Alas, most of the businesses I worked at were paperless offices, and I needed student signatures after each class. Where were electronic signature apps when I needed them?
The business benefits of a paperless office have been touted far and wide, but doing business over the cloud requires robust solutions, and even more so when using smartphones and tablets. Here I've broken down some of the best electronic signature apps available for both iOS and Android devices to help you ditch the physical docs, and even your pens, in favour of the cloud.
If you're filling out and signing hundreds of documents every month but are worried about the cost of an electronic signature app, DocuSign offers a free 'no monthly signature limit' option with its 5 out of 5 stars iOS app. The app is also perfect for those who spend a lot of time out of a traditional office, with the ability to sign NDAs, waivers, sales contracts and more, even when offline.
DocuSign also allows you to send documents across multiple platforms such as email, Dropbox, Evernote, and Google Drive, enabling wider collaboration for a cross-business working environment. The app supports a variety of document types, including PDF, Word, and Excel, so there's no need to duplicate existing documents.
The app is also super responsive and intuitive, with "sign here" guides to help colleagues and customers know exactly where to sign, functionality for implementing a "workflow order" when working with multiple people, push notifications letting you know when a document has been updated, and a reminder function to notify signers that they have a document to sign.
Worried about the security of your documents? DocuSign is eSign compliant, and has both an audit trail and the encryption of documents to protect your documents.
Pricing: The app is free to download with a DocuSign account, with several upgrade options:
Standard plan: $299.99/year or $39.99/month for access to more advanced fields, reusable templates, and more.
Real Estate plan: $299.99/year or $39.99/month for real estate features such as zipForm(r), web branding, and reusable templates.
Personal plan: $119.99/year or $14.99/month
Aside from personalized signatures that can be drawn with your finger, typed, or uploaded, electronic signature app SignNow allows you to create reusable personalized templates, and create teams to manage and oversee different projects. The iOS app, which has 4 and a half out of 5 stars on iTunes, lets you archive and store documents on the cloud, is functional offline, and can easily turn pictures into PDFs.
Providing you with peace of mind, this electronic signature app is eSign compliant, with detailed historical audits of signatures, and photo IDs of signatories.
Pricing: The app is free to download and use for signing up to five documents per month, with two further subscription options:
Business monthly: $6.99/month
Business annually: $59.99/year
dotloop helps your teams and your clients work efficiently together by creating 'loops', which are collaborative digital workspaces, updated in real time for accuracy and productivity. With the dotloop signature app for iPhone and iPad, users can create an infinite number of loops, receive push alerts for tasks requiring attention or when a document has been signed, shared, or altered, and see a breakdown of signature workflows. With integrated task management, you too can truly stay in the loop with dotloop.
Pricing: The app is free download and to use for a limited number of loops. A dotloop Premium account is available for $29.99/month, while an annual account is priced at $299.99.
PandaDoc's real-time updates feature enables users to perform and manage tasks collaboratively-a must for a busy workforce, and even more so for those that travel frequently. Forget losing email attachments in long email threads, too, as PandaDoc's Android app allows you to send documents via Google Docs instead. Handy, eh? Users can also add fields for multiple requirements, including signatures, initials, dates, checkboxes, and notes, and can assign specific users to sign and update necessary fields.
You can also send and share your documents securely with PandaDoc's unique barcode identifiers and timestamp/IP address security measures.
With HelloSign, users can swiftly upload documents using just their device's camera, as well as import and edit PDFs and photos to include text, checkboxes, and/or signatures. The HelloSign Android app also allows you to sign unlimited documents, which are then imported back into your email, making forwarding completed documents a cinch.
One Android store reviewer says, "I've been using this at work for a year now to sign and get signatures on work orders. It allows you to add text for notes. You can also zoom in to read the documents easier. Honestly, it's the best free app I've tried and why I continue to use it."
Working with a large number of people and need to keep track of the signing process? Adobe EchoSign helps users define their workflow, predefine their signing options, and allows multiple users to add documents. The Adobe EchoSign android app lets you quickly approve or reject signatures, save incomplete forms, send reminder notifications, choose from a list of languages for each signatory, and store your documents in your online account. Pretty nifty, eh?
Don't know where to start? Check out our handy checklist to help you select the right solution for your business.
Looking for a fully-fledged electronic signature solution? Check out these independent reviews of electronic signature software from other GetApp users.