Between keeping up with the market and ensuring that you have the right tools and systems to succeed, professionals are now faced with more challenges than before when it comes to growing and scaling their businesses.

Documents shouldn’t be one of those challenges.

This article will show you best practices for maintaining quality and control over your business documents inside PandaDoc.

Anatomy of a document

Get familiar with the key parts of a PandaDoc document:

Document Anatomy

– Blocks

Blocks are all the pieces of content that make up your template.

– Fields

Fields are places you designate for a recipient to enter in some information.

– Roles

Roles are placeholders that will help you pre-assign Fields to future recipients. Additionally, you can easily populate information about your recipient into the document using variables associated with a Role.

– Variables

Variables are placeholders in a template that are easily filled in when a document is created. They can be associated with a Role, pull in information from a database or CRM, or simply act as a reminder to fill something in.

Get more familiar with Blocks, Fields, Roles and Variables:

Types of blocks

Creating a document

There are two ways to create a document in PandaDoc:

Create a document from a template

1. Create a document from a template

To create your document from a template, you’ll simply click the ‘+Document’ button in the top menu bar to get started.

Then select ‘Document’. If you have a CRM integrated, you can also launch a template from inside the CRM.

2. Upload an external file to create a document

If you have a PDF, Word doc, or other source file type you’ll be starting from, you can upload it easily after clicking the ‘+New’ button.

Customizing a document

After you’ve created your document from a template or uploaded external file, you can customize it in the following ways as needed:

– Add new blocks or fields

Add new Blocks or Fields

It’s easy to add more blocks and fields if you need to. Just drag and drop.

– Fill or change text in variables

Fill or change text in Variables

Make sure all your Variables are filled in correctly at a glance in the sidebar.

We’ll stop you with a pop-up if you try to send your document with empty Variables so you can make sure they are filled in before you send it.

– Format text

Format Text

Change font styles, sizes, colors, alignment, spacing, and more from the top formatting bar that pops up when you click into a text block.

– Finalize the Pricing Table

Finalize the Pricing Table

You can quickly adjust products, pricing, quantities, discounts, and more as needed in the Pricing Table.

– Add from the Content Library

Add from the Content Library

Add pre-created content from your Content Library in a few clicks.

– Add + attach external files

Add + Attach external files

Have an external file you want to add to the document? No problem! Select Upload File to add it seamlessly as extra pages to your document. Select Add Attachment* to add your file as a clickable link that can be downloaded and viewed separately.

*Add Attachment not available on all plans

– Reassign existing fields

Change of plans? No worries, it’s easy to reassign fields in just two clicks.

– Replace images

Swapping out images is easy. You can choose one from your Image Library or upload from your device.

– Check the title

Make sure the title of your document is specific to your recipient so it will be easy to tell it apart from your other documents.

Sending a document

Before you send your document, you’ll want to make sure the following settings are to your preference:

1. Add recipients

You can add recipients at any time before you send. Anyone who doesn’t have assigned fields to complete will simply be cc’d.

2. Set Signing Order

Toggling on Signing Order gives you control over the order a document goes out to each recipient. Put cc’d recipients at the end if they only need to know about completed documents or put them in the beginning if you want them to get the document at the same time as the first signer.

Add Recipients

3. Set Document + Signature Forwarding

Turning on Document Forwarding allows your recipients to add other recipients. You’ll be notified when this happens and the new recipient will be added to the list that’s viewable by all.

Turning on Signature Forwarding allows your recipient to reassign their signature field to a new recipient. This can save you time and hassle.

Set Document + Signature Forwarding

4. Set Expiration

Setting expirations on a document can incentivize your recipients to complete their fields in a timely fashion and helps you enforce any conditions or promotions that are time-bound.

Set Expiration

5. Set Auto Reminders

Auto Reminders help you stay on top of outstanding docs without needing to lift a finger.

Set Auto Reminders

6. Choose your Sending method

Sending via Email is recommended since it’s the easiest and most secure method, but you have the option to Share via Link that you can copy and paste into an email or text. Signing in person* is also a great option when needed.

Choose your Sending method

Getting documents completed

We have features designed to help you get documents signed faster:

– Send a Manual Reminder

You can send a Manual Reminder to a particular recipient at any time in addition to or instead of Auto Reminders.

Send a Manual Reminder

– Chat with your recipient

Make the reminder more personal by sending a Chat with a message instead of a generic reminder. Your recipient will receive an email with your message and link to the document. They can reply to your Chat and you’ll be notified as well.

Chat with your recipient

– Use the Audit Trail

See the history of a document’s changes in real-time from the Audit Trail.

Use the Audit Trail

– Check the Analytics

The Analytics go even deeper! Here you can see activity for each recipient and each page. This helps you know when it might be the right time to send a Reminder or Chat.

Check the Analytics

Keeping track of your documents

Keep track of all your documents from Draft to Finished on the Home page and keep them organized in the Documents Tab.

– Home

The Home page lets you see the status of documents at a glance and keeps you up to date with the live Timeline sidebar.

Keeping track of your documents

– Documents Tab

The Documents Tab makes it easy to organize and locate documents using folders, tags, and filters.

Documents Tab

Conclusion & next steps

As your work continues to evolve, we recommend you revisit your document workflows regularly to maximize your usage of PandaDoc.

We encourage you to continue your learning journey through the PandaDoc Learning Academy courses and office hours.