Adding a contract to a smart file allows you to book a client & get the electronic signatures you need exactly when you need them, while also offering the opportunity to build the experience out further with an invoice, questions for clients, and more. However you choose to build your smart file, the end result is a seamless experience for your clients and a contract that matches the look and feel of your other branded materials!


Your account look a little different? You might have a different version of files! Check out this article for more info on creating a contract with legacy files. Smart files are still in beta, but they’re coming soon and offering more power and customization than ever. Join the waitlist to get access ASAP!


In this article, we’ll review:


Adding a contract to a smart file

Once you’ve created your smart file, find or create the page where you want the contract to go. You can easily pull an existing contract into your new template to save time! If you make edits, they’ll take effect only in the template you’re working on.

To add a contract to an existing page:

1. Click the large Plus (+) button to add a new block.

2. Select Contract.

3. From here, you can:

  • Click + Start from blank to add a new contract block; OR

  • Select an existing smart file template to pull in its contract

  • HoneyBook Tip: If you used the old saved blocks feature, any saved contract blocks will appear in the list for easy addition, too!

4. Now, edit and format the contract as necessary. Feel free to take advantage of the text formatting options available in the tool bar—customize to represent your brand!

  • HoneyBook Tip: HoneyBook contracts are legally binding, so make sure to clearly include all relevant service information here.

If your smart file includes an invoice, you can also add a payment recap or a services recap to your contract—click the contract to open the sidebar, and select Insert next to the recap you’d like to add.

Once you've added a contract, skip here for more details on building your contract out and customizing it.

To add a contract to a new page:

1. Click the Pages icon at the top of the builder.

2. Click Add Page.

3. From here, you can:

4. Now, edit and format the contract as necessary. Feel free to take advantage of the text formatting options available in the tool bar — customize to represent your brand!

  • HoneyBook Tip: HoneyBook contracts are legally binding, so make sure to clearly include all relevant service information here.

If your smart file includes an invoice, you can also add a payment recap or a services recap to your contract—click the contract to open the sidebar, and select Insert next to the recap you’d like to add.


Using smart fields

Smart fields can be used to automatically pull in project details, or to request information. You can set smart fields up to:

  • Automatically pull info from project details fields, such as relevant dates, locations, client contact info, and more

  • Automatically pull in answers from questions you ask in your smart file at some point before the contract

  • Request (or require!) clients to fill out fields before they’re able to sign, perfect for things like requiring client to initial certain sections of the contract

  • Remind you to fill out certain client or project information before sending

To insert a smart field:

1. Place your cursor where you’d like the smart field to go, then click Insert next to Smart field in the Content menu of the right sidebar.

2. Select a field name (the information that will be populating that smart field).

  • Anything selected from the dropdown menu will dynamically pull in the information associated with that field name, if it’s available in HoneyBook (e.g. selecting first client email will pull in the email address for the first participant added to the project)

  • Or, type in a brand new field name to collect any information you need

HoneyBook Tip: You can also use smart fields to pull in answers to questions you’ve asked elsewhere in your smart file! From the Field Name dropdown list, find the smart files header — all questions from this file will be selectable there. When your client answers that question, the field in the contract will mirror their answer!

3. Use of the field content field will vary based on the situation.

  • If you want the smart field to dynamically pull in project information, leave the field content blank; that field will fill in automatically.

  • If you want the smart field to dynamically pull in answers from questions within the smart file, leave the field content blank; that field will fill in automatically.

  • If you’re using the smart field to request info from a client, leave the field content blank; the client will fill the field in before signing the contract.

  • If you’re using a smart field to remind yourself to fill out information, leave the field content blank (if you’re creating the smart file as a template), or fill it out with the appropriate information if you’re in the process of sending the smart file to a client.

4. Choose how your client can interact with this smart field under client permissions.

  • Client can edit gives them the option to fill out a field, but does not require it

  • Client must fill requires the client to fill in the field before they’re able to sign the contract

  • Client can’t edit does not allow the client to adjust the field content, and is perfect for smart fields that are pulling in project info or that include field content you’ve manually added


Using payments or services recaps

If you've included services and/or an invoice in a smart file that also contains a contract, you can pull information dynamically from those blocks into the body of the contract!

From the contract page of the smart file, click the body of the contract to open the Content menu in the right sidebar.

Click Insert next to Payment Recap to insert the payment schedule (pulled from the invoice), and/or Services Recap to insert the client's service selections.


Adding & editing signature lines

To find your contract signature lines, scroll to the bottom of the contract.

PLEASE NOTE: If you’re currently building this contract into a smart files template, you will not see the option to add any signature lines — since it’s just a template, we don’t know who’s signing yet! Once you add this smart file to a project, you’ll see signature lines added automatically.

Here, you’ll see two signature lines: one for you (or the creator of the project), and one for the first participant of the project. Click the signature line to open the settings sidebar, where you can decide whether that signature is required.

If you need more participants to sign, click + Add Signature. Then, from the Assign To drop down, decide which participant you’d like to add as a signatory (or click + Add to include a new signatory, which would also add that contact as a project participant).

To remove a signature line, select the appropriate line, then click the trash can icon. You are, however, required to keep at least one participant and one team member as signatories!


Sending your smart file

Once you’ve built out the contract and the rest of your smart file (check out more smart file- building tips here), click Share.

You can then share the smart file with your project participants via email, or click Create a Link to copy & share a link to the smart file via text, DM, or another avenue.

  • HoneyBook Tip: Want to make sure you know what your clients will experience? Select Send test file from the Send drop-down menu, then click Send Test. You'll receive the smart file in your email inbox, so you can review before sending to the client.

Then, when a client adds a signature, you’ll be notified right away. You can also track payments, contract signatures, and responses to questions right in the sent smart file.


Editing & resending a contract

If you need to make changes to a contract you've already sent out, that's easy to do, too! If your client has already signed the contract, editing and republishing/resending the smart file will automatically invalidate the original signature and prompt your client to sign again.

To make changes and resend a smart file that includes a contract:

1. Locate the smart file you need to update and click to open. You can find your previously-sent smart files within the project, via the Activity Feed or Files tab; or by using the search bar in the top left corner of your HoneyBook screen to search for the smart file itself.

2. Click to open the smart file, then select Edit file to return to edit mode.

3. Make any changes you need to your contract, or to your smart file as a whole.

4. Click Publish Changes.

5. Now, depending on your starting point, you may be required to alert your client to the changes via email.

  • If one or more clients had already signed the contract and you made changes to the contract itself, you'll need to send an email to let them know.

  • If no one had signed yet and/or someone had signed, but you made changes to content in the smart file without editing the contract, you can likely choose to send an email or not.

6. Complete the process by crafting your email (or selecting a different email template!) and clicking Send. Then, your client will simply be able to open the new version of the smart file, where they can approve the revisions and resign the contract!

As always, you'll be notified when your client(s) sign their contract.


And remember, the beauty of a smart file is that it can be more than just a contract! Add pages with text, images, and videos to introduce your company and showcase your brand; add questions to get more info from your clients (or allow them to ask more questions of you) without any back and forth; or round out the booking process by adding an invoice to the experience. Whatever make sense for your business and your process!

Not sure where to start? Check out examples in our Smart Files Template Gallery to find some smart files that work for you!

Want to learn more?

Still have questions? Feel free to send us a message by clicking the Question Mark icon on any HoneyBook page. Our team is always happy to help!

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