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Receiving contracts via Gmail and uploading them into your contract management tool often involves a multi-step process rife with the potential for distractions, delays, and costly mistakes. 

First, you will download the attachment (contract document) to your device, which might take from a few seconds to a few minutes, depending on your internet speed and the file size. Afterward, you'll switch to your contract management platform, where you might need to log in via a password or two-factor authentication before finding the tab for uploading documents.

Clicking the upload button takes you back to your device storage, where you'll navigate to the correct folder to find your downloaded document. This is then followed by an upload process, which can take time, depending on your internet speed and file size. After uploading, you'll need to assign metadata—contract name, date, involved parties, and so forth—before saving the record.

Now, imagine having to repeat this multiple times every day! Not only is this boring and exhausting, it is also prone to errors that can put your organization at risk.

In this guide, we’ve discussed how the SpotDraft Gmail plugin solves this challenge, offering an opportunity to take your contract management to another level.

What is Gmail?

Gmail is a Google-owned service that allows users to communicate and collaborate via email for free. Whether you’re sending a quick note to a friend, collaborating on a project with colleagues, or managing your daily tasks, Gmail offers a range of features to simplify your communication and boost productivity.

This includes:

  • Free storage—offers a generous amount of storage space for your emails, attachments, and other data, ensuring you never have to worry about running out of space.
  • Spam filtering—Keeps your inbox safe from unsolicited or potentially harmful emails.
  • Smart compose—Leverages machine learning to suggest words and phrases as you type, saving you time and effort.
  • Confidential mode—Protects sensitive information by sending emails in Confidential Mode, which allows you to set expiration dates, prevent forwarding, and require additional authentication for viewing.
  • Schedule send—Allows you to schedule emails to be sent at a later time or date.
  • Snooze—Temporarily removes emails from your inbox, allowing them to reappear at a later time. That way, you can stay focused on your most pressing tasks.

Using Gmail in Contract Management Processes: Common Challenges

Imagine you're working as a legal counsel for a large manufacturing company. Every day, you receive email notifications for a contract that needs reviewing, and the process is generally the same:

You open the email, click on the attached contract file, and download it to your computer. Then, you log into your contract management tool, create a folder, search for the downloaded contract, upload it, add relevant metadata, and save the document. Finally, you initiate the review process, inviting relevant stakeholders to add their comments and feedback.

This might seem like a straightforward process at first glance. However, when you're handling a large volume of contracts daily, every step begins to add up, eating away at valuable time and exposing you to a plethora of challenges, including:

#1 Disconnected workflow

Switching between Gmail and your contract management tool can be disruptive, making it difficult to maintain focus and potentially leading to oversight errors.

#2 Elevated risks of errors due to exhaustion

Imagine spending the bulk of your day downloading and uploading files between Gmail and your contract management tool. The repetitive nature of this process can lead to exhaustion, increasing the likelihood of errors such as uploading the wrong document or saving it in the wrong location.

#3 Version control issues

Email is not designed for version control. If multiple versions of a contract are sent back and forth via email, it becomes difficult to track changes and ensure all parties work with the most recent version. This can result in confusion and costly oversights.

“Another problem we face in contract management is version control - different departments may be using old templates and rolling contracts out manually. We want to implement a CLM solution to have better visibility into our contract pipeline, especially when our business is scaling in different countries.”

~Juliette Thirsk, Chief Legal Officer, Peach Payments
Streamlining Legal at a FinTech Startup

#4 Security risk exposure

Downloading contracts to your local device and re-uploading them introduces potential security vulnerabilities. If the device is lost, stolen, or hacked, contract data could be accessed by unauthorized parties, compromising its security.

Also read: Contract Workflow: A Step-By-Step Guide

Introducing the SpotDraft Gmail Plugin

SpotDraft is a revolutionary Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) platform that simplifies contract management for teams and organizations of all sizes. It offers comprehensive and intuitive functionalities designed to streamline every stage of the contract lifecycle, from initial drafting to post-execution tracking.

The SpotDraft Gmail plugin eliminates the manual processes associated with receiving legal documents via emails, allowing you to push contracts straight into SpotDraft without downloading them first or moving out of Gmail.

Here’s how it works:

SpotDraft Gmail extension
  • Log into your Gmail and open the email that contains your contract document. You’ll find the SpotDraft icon once you hover over the attachment.
  • By clicking on the SpotDraft icon, you’ll be able to upload the contract document for review or signing. Additionally, you can upload it as a new version of a previous contract or add supporting documents to the contract right from the Gmail interface.
Upload contracts
  • With the contract successfully uploaded to SpotDraft, you can now manage it as required using SpotDraft’s suite of contract management tools.

Click here for a quick demo.

Note that the SpotDraft-Gmail integration is only accessible via the Chrome desktop browser. You'll also need an account on SpotDraft to use the plugin.

“Leveraging a CLM has been key because it has reduced a lot of friction from handoffs between legal and business. Rather than going back and forth over email, Slack, Word, Zoom, DocuSign, and a whole tech stack, the CLM acts as a single source of truth.”

~Jonathan Franz, Head of Legal, Crunchbase
Navigating Economic Turbulence and Thriving in Chaos

Features of the SpotDraft Gmail Plugin

When you integrate the SpotDraft Gmail plugin into your Chrome browser, you'll get access to the following features:

#1 Direct upload from Gmail

This feature lets you upload contracts received via email directly to SpotDraft without downloading them to your computer first. Simply select the email containing the contract, click the SpotDraft icon in your Gmail interface, and the plugin will handle the rest

#2 Upload supporting documents for existing contracts

If you receive additional documents related to an existing contract in SpotDraft, you can easily attach them using the plugin. This keeps all contract-related information organized in one central location, making it easy to access and reference.

The plugin allows you to upload up to five supporting documents simultaneously.

“The importance of simply being able to locate all of the company's contracts and relevant amendments in one place without significant effort cannot be minimized."

~Sterling Miller, CEO and Senior Counsel, Hilgers Graben PLLC
Ten Things: Minimizing Risks in Commercial Contracts

#3 Collect additional contract information with intake forms

When uploading a contract, the plugin checks if a specific intake form is associated with the contract type in SpotDraft. If there is, you can fill out the form directly within the Gmail interface, automatically populating the contract's key details in SpotDraft.

#4 Assign a contract reviewer via Gmail

You can directly assign a reviewer to a contract while uploading it from Gmail. This frees you from having to send separate emails or notifications, accelerating the review process and ensuring that the right people are notified promptly.

#5 Version Management

The SpotDraft Gmail plugin allows you to upload new versions of existing contracts directly from Gmail. This helps maintain a clear record of changes and ensures that all parties work with the most up-to-date version of the contract.

Also read: 6 Must-Have CLM Integrations with Business Tools

Benefits of using the SpotDraft Gmail Plugin

The SpotDraft Gmail plugin might seem like a simple tool. However, it presents several benefits for both legal and business teams.

“SpotDraft's Salesforce and Gmail integration showcases their responsiveness to feedback for feature requests and product feedback - both are excellent. Not only is the tool intuitive and easy to use - the entire SpotDraft team provides exceptional support.”

~Charlene N. via G2

#1 Access to a more cohesive contract management process

By integrating directly with Gmail, the plugin eliminates the need to switch between applications or download attachments. This saves time and minimizes the potential for errors associated with manual contract transfer.

Also read: Tools & Tips to Automate the Contract Creation Process

#2 Enhanced collaboration

The ability to assign reviewers, collect information via intake forms, and manage contract versions directly from Gmail promotes efficient collaboration among team members. This helps to accelerate the review process and ensure that contracts are finalized quickly.

Also read: Enabling Business-Legal Collaboration: Advice from 7 GCs

#3 Reduced risk

The integration minimizes the potential for data loss or unauthorized access by ensuring that all contract-related information is stored securely in SpotDraft. Additionally, its ability to manage versions and track changes helps mitigate legal risks associated with outdated or incorrect contract terms.

Also read: Legal Risk Management: From the Playbook of 11 GCs & Leaders

#4 Improved organization

With features like version management and the option to upload supporting documents, the plugin helps maintain a structured and organized repository of contract-related information.

#5 Free time for more valuable tasks

By eliminating the repetitive process of downloading, uploading, and switching between apps, the SpotDraft Gmail plugin arms you with free time that you can spend on more creative and strategic initiatives, ultimately increasing overall productivity.

What’s next for you?

The SpotDraft Gmail plugin bridges the gap between email communication and contract workflow, bringing the power of comprehensive contract management right into your inbox.

This is an invaluable tool for legal teams and organizations handling contracts at scale. Not only can it eliminate distracting interface switching, it can also accelerate contracting processes, minimize errors, and boost overall productivity.

Ready for a personalized demo? Click here to send a request. Still curious about the integration? Click here to learn more.

“I have seen a demo of SpotDraft’s CLM technology and they should be on your short list of vendors to talk to about a contract management system.”

~Sterling Miller, CEO and Senior Counsel at Hilgers Grabens PLLC

Ten Things: “Cool Tech” For In-House Counsel (2022 Edition)
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