We review Sign-N-Send, an iPhone app that helps you achieve a paper-free office while still adding that essential signature to your documents
Offices made a special effort to reduce the amount of paper following through their cubicles a few years ago, but going electronic is more of a requirement than a choice these days. The majority of business correspondence is handled via email, instant messaging, online shopping, phone calls and even social networks, so there’s little in the way of a paper trail generated by the modern business.
And as much as everyone relishes the notion of electronic documents, which essentially file themselves, there’s still something of a sticking point when it comes to trading paper for digital docs: the boss’s signature.
Decisions need a name against them, and typing it out still isn’t enough to confirm that the higher-ups have committed themselves to a course of action, or that your customer agrees to the detail of work you’ve supplied them with. Without a bit of scrawl on the bottom, we’re all a bit cautious that a document isn’t official.
Sign-N-Send looks at trying to remedy the situation without bringing printouts or fountain pens into play. The app is accessible from the iPhone’s (or iPad’s or iPod touch’s) email client, and can open PDF or Word documents that are sent as attachments.
Once open, you can look through the doc until you reach any particular signature lines, and then sign on the dotted line using your finger. A variety of different pen nibs are available to give your moniker a bit of flare, and there are multiple undo levels in case you need a bit of practice writing on the touchscreen.
As much as the whole purpose of Sign-N-Send is to add a fluid, digital signature, you can also bring up the keyboard and type it out. Although this defeats the purpose of signing, it can be quite useful for the other authorisation aspects of a document, such as adding the date, or initialling.
Once signed, the document is sent off to a secure server where it’s converted to a PDF that you can return to any other parties, or email to your office. If version 4.2 of the iPhone’s firmware is installed, you can also fire off a print out, though, again that seems a little contrary to its purpose. Nice to know the feature’s there if you need it, of course.
All in all this is a great step toward a genuinely paperless office, and could prove invaluable to any business types who spend a lot of time out and about while a document is sitting on their desk waiting for a signature. With Sign-N-Send, it needn’t wait any longer than it takes to send it to your inbox.