COVID-19 Pandemic Made Us Work Smarter

Work Smarter
The COVID-19 pandemic has made us work smarter and more efficiently.

2020 is a year we will never forget. The COVID-19 pandemic was and continues to be a devastating event that claimed lives and forced us to live and work like never before. The changes we have made because of the pandemic have made us work smarter and more efficiently in a lasting manner.

Work Smarter & Save Time

The pandemic forced most people to work from home. This remote working meant we gained time because travel for work was eliminated. With less travel and with working from home, there were fewer trips spent for things like gas, dry cleaning, and lunches. In fact, some employees found themselves working more productively from home!

Work Smarter & Technology Wins

One result from the pandemic is our reliance on technology. That reliance is a good thing because that technology enabled us to work from home and be productive in a safe environment. For example, video conferencing like Zoom became a constant presence. It allowed us to stay visually in touch with our coworkers and customers. Electronic signature software like eSignToday allowed us to keep businesses running without the need to physically meet in person. We no longer needed to rely on old fashioned pen and paper to get work done.

By adapting to change and the challenges brought by the pandemic, we learned how to work smarter. Technology helped and continues to help us along the way in making us be smart and efficient with our time.

Helpful Tools for Small Businesses

Tools for Small Businesses
There are many helpful tools that make running a small business easier.

Starting a business is not easy. Managing the day to day activity while trying to grow the business is not easy either. With today’s modern technology and innovative minds, there are many helpful tools for small businesses to make their lives easier. Here are a few to mention:

Accounting/Bookkeeping Tools

Keeping track of income and expenses is important for two primary reasons. First, you need this information to complete income taxes every year. Second, this information will give you an idea of how well your business is doing – Do you have profits? Are you growing? There is a variety of accounting tools available for small businesses. Some are free and focus on a target market like RentalIncomeExpense.com, which caters to landlords and rental property. Some are expensive but applicable to any business like QuickBooks. Whatever accounting tool you choose, know that this tool is pretty important and helpful, especially if you can run reports that summarize how your business is operating.

Communication Tools

Communicating with customers and employees is important. How you communicate and the ease in which you communicate can make running your business easier. Email is pretty standard and in many respects becoming more popular than telephone. Similar to accounting tools, there is a lot of choice with email providers. One of the most popular email providers is Google’s Gmail. For businesses, Google Workspace consolidates a number of tools, such as email and storage, enabling you to better manage operating your business.

Similar to email, electronic signatures are another paperless communication tool that can streamline your business. Whether you need signatures from employees or from customers, using electronic signature software will save everyone time. There are some esignature tools that charge a low flat fee like eSignToday and some that charge a recurring monthly fee like DocuSign.

The tools available make running a small business easier. Some are free and some are well worth the cost. Nevertheless, there is a lot of choice, and finding those that best fits your needs will put you on the road to running a successful business.

Esign Software Killer App: Many Signatures

Esign Software killer app: Many Signatures
Esign Software Makes Many Signatures Easy

In technology, a “killer app” is a use of a new technology that is far and away better than what existed before. With esign software, the “killer app” is the way many signatures can be handled quickly and effortlessly.

Many Signatures are A Lot of Work with Paper

When more people need to sign a document, the work to manage the signatures grows exponentially. Two signatures is relatively easy. When eleven signatures are required, it is a full time job getting paper to all eleven signers! Think of all the time spent mailing or carrying a document to different signers.

Wait! How likely is a document to have eleven signers? You’d be surprised how common multiple signers is. At eSignToday (an affordable esignature service), we witness leases and other legal documents with double-digit signatures all the time.

With leases, there can be many roommates occupying a large house. With business contracts, often many folks from different divisions need to sign.

Esign Software Makes Many Signatures Effortless

Why are multiple signatures so much easier to handle with esignature software? Using our eSignToday software as an example, with esign software:

  • Everyone signs when it is convenient. There is no one piece of paper to pass around. With eSignToday, people can sign on their smartphones!
  • Everyone receives a copy of the fully signed document. Everyone’s eSignToday online account contains the final signed document. No printers are required. What a time saver!

There are many great aspects of using esign software. The “killer app” of esign software, however, is handling documents with many signatures!

Are esignatures legal?

Are esignatures legal?
Yes, in most cases esignatures are legal!

Electronic document signing is fast and easy. It has come in particularly handy during the COVID-19 pandemic where physical distancing is important so signing in person becomes less of an option. However, many people have a nagging concern. Are esignatures really legal?

Yes, they are. They have been the legal equivalent of pen and paper for a surprisingly long time.

E-Sign Act of 2000

In the United States, the Electronic Signature in Global and National Commerce Act (the “E-Sign Act”) became law in 2000. This law made electronic signatures just as good as their paper equivalents.

Twenty years, later, esignature adoption is rampant. In the United States, taxpayers e-file the majority of tax returns. The IRS accepts esignatures on tax filings.

Esignature Laws Globally

Globally, countries have passed their own laws on the legality of esignatures. In many cases, esignatures are accepted as the equivalent of paper signatures.

Check with your own country’s laws on the specifics involving esignatures. For example, like the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand allow esignatures to be used in almost every case.

Esignatures are Safe, Legal, and Convenient

Esignatures are legal and save time. With services like eSignToday, esignature services are cheap (only $0.50/esignature) and easy to use. There is no reason not to start using esignatures today!

Esignature Service for Individuals

Esignature Service for Individuals
Individuals can use an esignature service for their signing needs.

In the beginning, most electronic signature software was geared towards businesses. The real estate industry was one of the first adopters of esignatures due to the number of documents that needed to be signed. Today, there is a lot of choice and variety of esignature services. Most are still geared towards businesses, but there are some that can be a good fit for individuals. Frequency and complexity come into play when addressing the needs of individuals versus those of a business.

Few Signatures

Compared to businesses, most individuals may need just a few signatures a year. For example, if you want to sell your car, you may want to draw up a bill of sale where the buyer and you sign it to confirm the transaction. Most electronic signature software charges users on a monthly basis whether you use the esignature service or not. For example, DocuSign‘s least expensive paid plan is $10/month, which is overkill for an individual who only needs one or two signatures a year. On the other hand, eSignToday charges a flat rate of $0.50/esignature. So there is inexpensive affordable esign software available for individuals.

Keep it Simple

Esignatures require users to be comfortable with technology. Most esignature services require the use of the Internet and email at a minimum. Since most individuals typically need just a few signatures a year, having the ability to use their own document and needing only a signature makes the process so much simpler. Some esignature services like RightSignature enable users to create fields within documents which can lead to complexity. Other services like eSignToday only provide signatures and nothing else. The simpler the service, the easier it is for individuals to use.

As individuals realize their need for signatures, many of the electronic signature software is available for individual use. Finding an esignature service that is cost effective and easy to use are wins for individuals and their needs.

Going Paperless with Esignature Service

Going paperless with esignature service
Take small steps and start going paperless with an esignature service.

Whether we are at home or the office, paper has traditionally played a large presence in our lives. At the office, reports, research, and contracts, for example, consume quite a bit of paper. At home, we see paper clutter countertops in the forms of mail, newspapers, and homework. There are a lot of benefits to going paperless, but change is not easy. Taking small steps makes change easier and longer lasting. Something as simple as using an esignature service for all of your signing needs will be a great first step in going paperless!

Documents to Sign

We don’t realize how often we sign documents until we have to think about it. At work, we are frequently signing letters and contracts. If you’re a parent, then you’re probably signing permission slips or other child-related paperwork. And if you run a small business, like a kayaking rental shop, you are probably having your customers sign forms like waivers. The selection of documents that need signatures are endless. With all of the documents to sign, you now have to figure out how to store them if you want to keep copies. Paper takes up space and can be a burden. We want to free up the clutter.

Esignature Service to the Rescue

Esignature services are the solution for your signing and storage needs. They eliminate paper, so you don’t have to think about storage as your signed documents are stored in the cloud or on your phone or computer. You can email your documents for signature and get them signed quickly on a phone while on the move. Signing up with an esignature service is a very easy first step to going paperless. Depending on your signing needs, you can pay a monthly subscription with a service like DocuSign or pay a flat fee per signature with a service like eSignToday.

There are a lot of esignature services to choose from so take a gander and find the one that best fits your needs. Once you start using one, you’re on your way to going paperless!

Pros and Cons of Electronic Signature

Pros and cons of electronic signature
Consider the pros and cons of electronic signature to see if it will meet your signing needs.

Electronic signatures (also known as esignatures or digital signatures) are gaining popularity as a more convenient method for getting documents signed. Before turning your back on the old fashion way of signing with pen and paper, it’s good practice to understand the pros and cons of electronic signature first.

Pro #1: Save Time

With electronic signatures, you eliminate A LOT of steps associated with pen and paper: the need to (1) set up an appointment, (2) print the document, (3) meet signers in person, (4) make copies, and (5) submit signed copies to all parties. The virtual transmission, signing, and storing of documents that are electronically signed generate significant time savings for all parties involved. Time is money, so saving time means putting money in your pocket.

Pro #2: Easy

If you are comfortable with using email and a smartphone, then you will find esignatures to be really easy. Most electronic signature software will have you email your document for signature. The receiver simply clicks on a link to sign on their phone using their finger. And that’s pretty much it. One of the easiest electronic signature software to use is eSignToday. You simply upload your document, add the email addresses for who has to sign, and that’s it. You can easily start investing in real estate, stocks, etc.

Con #1: Cost

There is a lot of selection when deciding which electronic signature software to use. Most services require a monthly subscription where you pay every month for a certain number of esignatures based on your subscription. One of the more popular esignature services is DocuSign. DocuSign’s cheapest plan starts at $10 per month, which is limited to five documents per month, so you’re already spending at least $120 per year. One of the, if not the only, electronic signature software that charges a flat fee is eSignToday. At only $0.50 per signature, you eliminate any monthly subscription, and you only pay for what you need.

Con #2: Comfort with Technology

Electronic signatures rely on the Internet and email to work, so all parties (document senders and receivers) have to be comfortable with technology. For example, if a signer does not have a smartphone or email, then an electronic signature is not possible. In this case, paper and pen trump electronic signatures. So there may be situations where you can benefit from electronic signatures while in other situations, you can still go the old fashioned way with paper and pen.

As you consider the pros and cons of electronic signatures, you will make the best choice for your signing needs. Whether you use paper and pen or an electronic signature software, knowing your audience will make the signing process easier.

Printer not working? Esign Instead!

Printer Not Working - Esign Instead
Printer Not Working? A good alternative is to use an esignature service.

Printing a document can be frustrating. There are many reasons that your printer might not be working. As an example, it could be out of ink or not connecting to your wifi. If you are printing a document to sign it, using a simple to use “esign service” is a smart way to eliminate your printing problem!

Reasons Your Printer Is Not Working

Your printer might be broken for many reasons:

  • You might be out of ink or laser toner. Unfortunately, if you’ve ever priced ink or laser cartridges, you know that these are costly to replace.
  • Your printouts look terrible. This happens a lot with color printers as the ink cartridges get old and start smearing ink. Again, this might lead to the costly purchase of replacement ink.
  • Your printer loses its network connection. This happens a lot with wireless printers. Troubleshooting this can be beyond frustrating.

Faster to Esign A Document

If the reason that you are trying to print a document is to sign it, there is an easier way. Ask the document owner to use an easy to use and inexpensive esignature service.

As an example, eSignToday (signup at eSignToday.com) is super-easy to setup. The document owner can set up a free account from the eSignToday homepage. Next, they upload a Word document or PDF that they want you to sign and enter the email address of everyone who needs to esign the document.

You’ll get an email asking you to esign the document (which you can view). You can do this on your computer or phone.

Best of all, using an online esignature service is cheaper than you might think. eSignToday costs just $0.50/esignature and there is never a monthly fee!

How to Esign a Word Document

You can esign Microsoft Word documents easily
You can esign Microsoft Word documents easily.

Microsoft Word has long been the world’s most popular word processor. Businesses and individuals have drawn up countless contracts with Word. But, how do you esign a Word document?

Word Does Not Have Built In Esignatures

Microsoft Word does not have built-in esignatures. Microsoft Word was first released in 1983, and – while it has been refined vastly over the decades – it predates the recent popularity of esignatures.

It is Easy to Esign a Word Document

Though Word itself doesn’t support esignatures, it is super easy to get your Word document esigned. The key is to use an online esignature service. You might be surprised by how easy and inexpensive these services are.

Often the process is two steps:

  1. Upload your Word document
  2. List the email addresses of everyone who needs to sign

While there are many esignature services that allow you to esign Word documents – such as DocuSign and Adobe Sign – one of the least expensive is eSignToday. eSignToday just charges a flat rate of $0.50/esignature with no monthly fee. In contract, DocuSign charges $10/mo or more whether or not you use the service in a particular month.

Microsoft Word has always been a great tool for creating contracts. Using Microsoft Word to esign documents is cheaper and easier than you think.

eSignToday is a Top Choice for Electronic Signatures

eSignToday for electronic signatures
eSignToday is a top choice for electronic signatures because of its affordability and simplicity.

As we’ve addressed in our blog, there is a lot of choice among electronic signature software. Finding the right solution for you can take time as each one is unique. We want to save you some time, so we will address the uniqueness of eSignToday for your esignature needs: Affordability and Simplicity!

eSignToday is Affordable (aka Cheap)

As you research various electronic signature software, you will quickly realize how eSignToday’s pricing is one of the few if not the only one where pricing is on a flat fee basis. Other electronic signature software like DocuSign or PandaDoc charge you based on a monthly subscription. Many times, you end up paying much more than your esigning needs require because of the monthly subscription obligation. DocuSign’s pricing for real estate starts at $10 per month for a single user, so you’re already having to pay at least $120 a year. There are no monthly subscriptions with eSignToday. You only pay $0.50 for each signature you need. That’s it. Yes, it really is that cheap.

eSignToday is Simple (aka Easy to use)

eSignToday is not laced with bells and whistles, which can be confusing, overkill, and complicated. Instead, eSignToday’s focus is strictly on getting esignatures on your document. Most other electronic signature software, like RightSignature, requires you to “drag and drop” fields throughout your document where the signer needs to complete, like date and name. With eSignToday, you simply upload your own document, which can be a PDF, Google Docs, or a Microsoft Word file. Then, you list the email addresses of those who need to sign the document, and then you send it off. In turn, eSignToday will put all of the signatures you need on the last page of your document. That’s it. Yes, it really is that simple and easy to use.

In addressing eSignToday’s unique qualities of affordability and simplicity, we hope we have saved you some time when considering which electronic signature software to use. Setting up an account with eSignToday is easy and free, so we encourage you to try it out for your esignature needs!