This article describes how to create a new contract draft automatically. It contains the following topics:
- Creating new draft based on contract changes
- Setting up the automation trigger
- Setting up the automation action
- Details tab configuration
- Adding a signature method
- Using parties and signees variables
- Using the data tab
- Using the attachments tab
- Using the other tab
- Draft ownership rules
- Using the automation workflow
- Renaming the automation
- Making changes to a published automation
- Using the automation activity feed
- Testing the automation workflow
- Fixing a failed automation
- Checking the automation workflow
Automatic draft creation based on contract data changes
- Select the "Draft is updated" trigger. You can automatically create a new contract draft every time you finish creating another draft, for example, by adding the signees' details and clicking on Save changes.
- Example: Every time a team member has finished preparing a new Vendor contract draft, you will initiate a Purchase agreement to be automatically created with the fetched from the vendor draft Data fields, Signee, and Party details you want to include in the new following agreement automatically.
With the help of our No Code automation builder, you can automatically create a new draft from a specific template when another draft is updated (as the example in this article, but you can also use other trigger events such as signed contracts).
- Click on the 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 of my automation?
- The first thing you need to do is set the trigger event 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 can 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 search and populate the variables across the party and signee fields.
This is the example of our first draft's party and represented by its 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, you can click Save.
Note: Multiple signees can represent one party, 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 can 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 that 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.
- Below, you can see 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 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 to help you with the details of using party or signee variables in the automation builder.
How do I use the data tab?
- Once you finish the Details tab of the configuration, you can move to the Data tab.
- The main purpose of the Data tab is to allow you to create complete drafts by automatically populating Data 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 direct URLs to files that will afterward be added to the draft created due to the automation setup.
- In the new draft created by the Automation Builder, all attached in this tab files will look as if the attachments were manually uploaded through Contractbook Editor.
- All relevant previews will be auto-generated, and the attached files will 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 the Other tab and represents the customized message that will be sent to all document recipients.
- You can use the field to customize your message by combining text input and data 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 data 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, 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 the automation gets executed and creates a draft, the automation creator will be assigned as the owner of the new draft, disregarding if the chosen template is one of Contractbook premade templates or a template shared with the team space.
- 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 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 can open, rename, delete, duplicate, or see the activity feed of the automation.
- Remember that the automation must be active (published) for the activities to be available and inactive to be deleted.
- In the activity sidebar, you can see all the details of when the automation was used and the steps taken before it was triggered.
- Click 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:
How can I test Contractbook to create new draft automation?
- You can generate a new draft from the template you used in the first step of the automation setup and then update it, which is also the trigger event of the automation.
- When the draft is created and saved with any update, go back to your documents overview and check the notifications under your account. The automation status 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 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?
- If the automation has run successfully, you can find the new draft created with the 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 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 can use it to save time, reduce errors, and scale your business by automatically creating a new draft ready to be signed by the relevant parties.