Nothing can replace your email inbox. Despite all the productivity tools out there, from instant messaging to CRMs, everyone returns to their inbox at the end of the day.
What’s more: A ton of valuable documents pass through your inbox each and every day, which is why Google has gone out of its way to connect Gmail with G-Suite, Chrome, and Google Drive.
But no process is perfect. If you need to send or sign documents, capturing and creating electronic signatures in Gmail can be tedious.
Today, we’ll take a closer look at how electronic signatures and Gmail can work better together.
Capturing electronic signatures in Gmail
By itself, neither Gmail nor any of the tools in Google Drive (Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc.) can capture authentic electronic signatures.
If you receive a PDF that you need to sign, you’ll need to download the attachment, upload it into an e-Signature platform like PandaDoc, add a secure digital signature, and send it back to the intended recipient.
It’s a complicated and tedious process, especially if you’re a Gmail user who likes to stay productive. Switching between tools in this way can also limit your productivity since you’ll spend a ton of time manually preparing and downloading documents outside of your email client.
Without additional tools, this process is a necessary evil. Secure digital signatures are different from the email signature that you see at the bottom of a new message and an image insert of a signature is not a substitute for a true electronic signature.
However, there is a solution: Email add-ons.
What are email add-ons?
If you’ve never used an add-on before, you may still be familiar with the concept from other software solutions that you’ve used.
Simply put: Email add-ons are integration tools for email. In the same way that you can connect different online tools, you can also connect those tools to your email.
Google Marketplace has a full selection of integrations that you can use inside your Gmail account. If you’re already using the service, you can link your productivity tools together for greater inbox efficiency.
Integrations cover almost every service you can imagine. You can find tools to assist with mail merge and document uploads all the way to contact information exporting and, of course, electronic signature capture Gmail.
Introducing the PandaDoc for Gmail add-on
If you’re looking for the best way to sign and send secure electronic documents using Gmail, we recently launched an add-on to help users streamline this process.
Our Gmail app is designed to take the hassle out of the sign and send process that business professionals deal with on daily basis. Whether you need to add a signature to a document or make changes to a contract before you send it to signers, PandaDoc can help.
Here’s a closer look at how the signing process works with the PandaDoc for Gmail add-on.
Step 1: Sign up for a PandaDoc account
In order to accelerate your signing process and take full advantage of our signing integration, you’ll need to sign up for a free PandaDoc account.
Both the account signup and the Gmail app are always free, so you’ll be able to use all of the basic tools in the PandaDoc toolkit at no charge.
Step 2: Install and connect PandaDoc for Gmail
From within Gmail, you can get additional add-ons by clicking the plus (+) button on the right sidebar. From there, use the search bar to find the PandaDoc app.
If you’re already signed into your Gmail account, you can also use this link to locate the app within Google Marketplace and install it directly from there.
Once you’ve installed the add-on, you’ll need to connect it to your PandaDoc account. Do this by selecting the app from the right sidebar within Gmail.
Follow the walkthrough to authorize access and authenticate your account. Once this process is complete, PandaDoc will be available to you anytime you open Gmail in your browser window.
Step 3: Select an email with an attachment
To sign an attachment, select any email inside your inbox that includes a .PDF attachment. When you do this, a drop-down menu will appear in the right sidebar.
From here, you can select which documents you need to sign and export them directly to PandaDoc where you can prepare the documents for signing.
Step 4: Prepare your document inside PandaDoc
Once you’ve imported your document to PandaDoc, preparing it for signature is easy. Using the content blocks in the right sidebar, drag and drop a signature field onto the document.
This field can be placed anywhere, but it’s most often placed at the bottom of the page on the final page of the document.
Clicking on the signature field will open the signature editor, where you can add a new signature by typing your name or signing with a mouse or stylus. Select your desired signature and style from the box.
After you complete this process, click “Finish Document” at the top of the screen and sign to complete the document.
Note: Note that this button only appears if you are the only signer on the document.
If other signers are present, you’ll need to send the link to those signers via link or email before retrieving the completed document in Gmail.
Once this process is complete, you can close the document and return to Gmail.
Step 5: Sending your signed documents
Inside Gmail, select the vertical ellipses within the PandaDoc add-on and select “Refresh.”
Once you’ve done this, the add-on will update. Select Attach .PDF to email to add your newly signed document to your reply.
From there, all you need to do is type out a quick reply and send your signed document back to your intended recipient.
Going further with PandaDoc for Gmail
Our Gmail app comes with a variety of features to help you handle more complex tasks, as well.
Using the add-on, you can prepare documents for multiple signers, send signature requests to multiple recipients via new emails, or move the entire signature process completely to PandaDoc.
Take a look at our support documentation for additional details.
Better signature workflows with PandaDoc
PandaDoc can be accessed through a browser on a Mac, PC or through our mobile apps on Android and iOS. Add PandaDoc to your Gmail workflow and take your e-signatures to the next level directly from your inbox.