It's official—we live in the future. There are video conferencing apps that support 100 different users or more. Tablets nowadays have more power and functionality than a supercomputer from a decade ago. Not to mention all the other inventions of the last ten years. The workplace has been truly modernized.
Everything has changed except for signatures. For some reason, many documents still need this archaic and insecure method of authentication. Exchanging signatures can be such a hassle. At best, you had to sign something then fax it over to the recipient who had to sign it before faxing it back to you. It could take ages.
Now, eSignature apps have taken the signature to the 21st century. Here are the six best options you should start using now.
A Note on Cybersecurity
The online world is often a scary place. It's full of hackers and cybercriminals trying to exploit your data and cause all kinds of harm. Fortunately, a little prevention goes a long way.
Anytime you use one of these apps or do anything else online that requires more security, such as accessing your bank account, use a VPN (this one, for example). VPNs encrypt your internet connection to prevent hackers and other threats from accessing your data. It's the best way to ensure that your signature and personal information don't fall into the wrong hands.
1. Best For Document Tracking: DocuSign
DocuSign is one of the most popular eSignature apps. It's easy to set up too. You sign up, upload a document, and then prepare it for signature. Then you securely share it with recipients who sign it when they're ready.
DocuSign shines because of its start to finish document tracking features. From the app, you can see when a document needs action as well as alteration requests.
Business plans start at $25 per month for three users.
2. Simple & Affordable: HelloSign
Most people don't have large digital signature needs. You may need to exchange signatures once a month or even less often. That's where HelloSign comes in. HelloSign is a handy browser extension and mobile app that enables you to sign documents in Gmail or on your mobile device.
It's straightforward to use. Type in a signature, add your initials, and you're ready to go. You can also use the timesaver feature to access your saved signature on file quickly. To request a signature, all you do is enter the recipient’s email address and hit send on the document.
HelloSign is free for three documents per month for one user. Its premium plan is $13/month for unlimited signatures.
3. For Professionals: Adobe Sign
Adobe Sign is the gold standard of eSignature apps. It comes integrated into Adobe's enterprise suite of apps, and it’s especially useful in Adobe Acrobat Pro. All signers and signatures stay with Adobe's highly secure and functional API.
It also syncs with users who don't have an Adobe account. They need to open and sign documents from any device in a web browser.
Adobe Sign starts at $29.99/month for up to 9 users and unlimited signatures.
4. Free if You're a Mac User: Preview
macOS comes with many great features you might not even know about. If you run macOS X Yosemite or later, check out the eSign tool in Preview.
To create your signature, you either use your trackpad/mouse or take a photo of your signature using your built-in camera. After this, you always have your signature available for future use.
It doesn't have all the security features of other apps. But if you have occasional signing needs, it's hard to beat this built-in free option.
5. Best High Level of Security: RightSignature
Like the other signature apps on this list, RightSignature makes it easy to upload and share documents for signature. Where it excels, however, are its extra security features. You can password-protect documents, set expiration dates, and void documents from the dashboard.
It also includes a sequencing tool to make sure papers are signed at the right time and in the correct order.
RightSignature starts at $12/month for one user.
6. Best For Team Work: Contractbook
Any document that requires a signature is often a team effort. You might need people from the accounting, HR, and legal departments to sign off on a document before it's ready. Or, you might expect changes along the way. Managing this type of collaboration is enough to make your head spin.
Contractbook is more than just an eSignature app, but also a contract management tool. It has built-in features designed around team working. It includes tracking revisions, requesting changes, and much more.
The dashboard displays the status of all documents and filters them by signature data, the date you sent or received them, and so on. Contractbook starts at $49.99 for a basic plan.