In this article, we will show you how to automatically create a new contract draft.
With the help of our automation builder, you can now automatically create a new draft from a specific template when another draft is updated (as an example we will uncover within the article, but you can use other trigger events such as signed contract as well).
Here is a short video tutorial of the automation setup, and a step-by-step guide follows right after.
Click on Automations tab from the main menu and then on the blue button Create new at the upper right-hand corner.
You will be redirected to a pop-up window where you can customize the automation's setup.
How can I configure the trigger event?
The first thing you need to do is to set the trigger event which must occur in order for the automation to be executed.
To begin with, in our example, select the Draft is updated trigger from the drop-down menu. This will automatically open a configuration window to the right in which you can define which contract draft should initiate the automation.
You can assign the trigger to every Contractbook draft you create in general or only a draft created from a specific template. For our automation flow, we will use Every draft from a specific template:
If you have selected the second option as we did, you can then use the search bar below to find the template you want to use as a base for the automation trigger event:
If you have several templates sharing the same name, you can click on the small eye icon and the document will directly open for your review:
After choosing the correct template, confirm by clicking on Save and the next step in the automation setup will be displayed.
How can I configure the action event?
This step covers the action that the trigger event you have just defined will automate. You can use the search bar to locate the option Create a draft.
Then select the template you want to base the new draft on - you can choose one of your own, shared, or one of Contractbook's predefined templates. In our example, we will pick "Payment agreement" from the Contractbook templates library:
This means that each time a new update in "Payment agreement" draft is made and saved, a new contract draft will be automatically generated.
A new configuration window will appear on the right side of the screen. Here you will be able to define the new draft configuration including parties and signees details, signature method and flow, and customized recipients message.
How do I use the Details tab?
The first configuration type is under the Details tab. Under this tab, you can start by naming the draft, then filling out the parties and signees details:
You can type in any text input or use variables both from the template used in the trigger event step ("Update a draft") and the template used for the following automation step (the new draft's creation).
You can do that by searching and populating the variables across the party and signee fields.
This is the example of our first draft's party and represented by it Signee:
And here is the second party and associated with it signee for the same contract draft:
Once you have filled in the contact details you want to add for a given Party, click Save.
Note: One Party can be represented by multiple signees and you can customize that by clicking on the blue button called Add signee under the relevant Party:
How can I control the signature methods for each Signee?
After you add a Signee to a specific Party under the Details tab, you will be able to select the signature verification methods for that particular contract Signee.
You can easily modify the signature type for each Signee individually which will automatically apply to the new contract draft which will be created. Just as in the draft itself, you can select multiple different types of signatures per Signee and allow your collaborators to choose one of them on their own:
Click on Add new party to include an additional party to the already defined ones. You have complete control over the parameters and can define as many parties and signees as you need per automation.
Here is how the Details tab can be used to define each Party's details and add customized signature methods for all Signees representing it:
How do I utilize the Details tab to use Party or Signee variables in my automation?
You can also use any of the pre-existing Party and Signee variables to auto-populate the Party and Signature fields of the automatically created draft.
Another possible use of the variables is to display the names of both Signees directly in the new draft's title, by automatically fetching their properties.
Here is a link to our article that can help you with the needed details of using Party or Signee variables in Contractbook in-app Automation Builder.
How do I use the Data tab?
Once you are done with the Details tab of the configuration, you can then move to the Data tab.
The main purpose of the Data tab is to allow you the creation of complete drafts by automatically populating editable fields from the template chosen under the automation setup:
How do I use the Attachments tab?
After the Data tab has been configured, you can proceed with utilizing the features of the Attachments tab:
You can use this tab to provide any number of direct URLs to files that will afterward be added to the draft created as a result of the automation setup.
This means that all relevant previews will be auto-generated, and the attached files will furthermore run through OCR.
What type of files can I attach?
The attachments can be up to 48MB each, and you can add a direct link to any of the following formats: csv, doc, docx, jpg, jpeg, pdf, png, txt, xls, xlsm, or xlsx.
How do I use the Other tab?
The last possible configuration of the new draft creation automation step is placed under Other tab and represents the customized message which will be sent to the recipients. You can use the field to customize your message by combining text input and editable fields from the template:
You can also control the exact signing order by turning the toggle on, as shown below:
Finally, you can customize all details of the signature fields by matching them up with variable data input (based on editable fields from the template you use for the draft creation):
Or by manually inserting the values of each field. This customization includes the data populated into the Representative name, Title, and Email address:
When you are done setting up the signature details, just click Save and the configuration step will be successfully linked to your automation workflow:
Who becomes the owner of the new draft once the automation is run?
If a draft is created by the Create draft automation action, the automation creator will be automatically assigned as the owner of the new draft, disregarding if the chosen in the automation trigger event template is one of Contractbook premade templates or a template shared with you instead of the one you own yourself.
In case you need to change this generic setup, you can do that by creating an additional automation step Share document right after the Create draft automation step.
In this extra automation step, you can grant any collaborator full edit rights and privileges to send the new draft for signature.
They will then have almost the same permissions as the document owner themselves.
How can I start using my new automation flow?
Once you have all the tabs you want to customize completed, click on Save to confirm the configuration of the complete automation and then Publish in the upper right-hand corner to set it into active use.
How can I rename the automation?
You can always rename the automation and each of its steps as you find fit by clicking on the small pen icon next to the generic title in the upper left-hand corner. In the example we are working with, let us call it "Vendors - Create a payment agreement":
How can I make changes to published automation?
Note: If at one point you need to make any changes to the automation, remember to unpublish it first, then make the needed edits and click again on Publish to put the flow into practice. You can control that by turning the Status toggle bar on or off:
How can I use the Activity feed of my automation?
If you click on the three grey dots next to the status toggle bar, you will be able to open, rename, delete, duplicate or see the activity feed of the automation.
Remember that the automation must be active (published) in order for the activities to be available and inactive to be deleted.
In the activity sidebar, you will be able to see all the details of when the automation was used and the steps which were taken before it was triggered. Just click on the small arrow next to the date and time to expand the details. You can also click on both drafts from this view - this will automatically open them for review:
In addition, you will always be notified in-app in the Notifications at the top navigation bar, as soon as any of your automation flows has been executed:
Note: You can adjust the email and in-app notifications under Profile Settings for your account.
How can I test Contractbook create new draft automation?
As soon as the draft is created and saved with any update, go back to your documents overview and check the notifications under your account. The status of the automation will be listed there as either successful or failed.
How can I fix a failed automation?
In case the automation has failed, you can access the detailed view by clicking on the failed notification in the list under your profile notifications:
In this view, you can identify the reason for the failure by expanding the failure to run details. You can then use the information found here to change the automation back from the configuration settings.
In the case above, we need to go back and change the email address of one of the parties. Each party and their signature are identified by email address, the value of this attribute must therefore be unique.
How can I check the automation runs successfully?
In case the automation has run successfully, you can now find the new draft created with the exact same properties as you have configured under the three tabs of the second automation step. Click on the draft's name from the activity feed to open the draft and review its details.
The contract draft is now completely ready for the signature process initiation and includes the specified by you Signees, their details, signature types, and the order of signing you would like the contract to follow.
Now that you have tested the automation workflow, you are ready to start using it to save time, reduce errors and scale your business by automatically creating a new draft ready to be signed by the relevant parties.
Note: In-app automated workflows are available for users on Foundation plan.
If you still need additional information or assistance, reach out to us at any time via our Online Support Chat or by sending us an email.