The ability to send over documents to clients for their electronic, legally binding signature is a crucial part of running a business—which is why we've added enhanced contract features in the new smart files builder.
To save you the time and effort of recreating your legacy files as smart files, we've already updated your contract file templates. But not to worry—you can also find your original legacy contract templates in the Legacy Files tab of your Templates section.
In addition to having updated templates ready for you, you’ll still be able to quickly create new, simple contracts as you know and love them, adding in contract language, inserting smart fields, asking clients for additional information, and managing signature lines—even with all the enhancements of smart files.
This article references smart files, our newest file experience offering more power and customization than ever. Click here to learn more about smart files and add them to your account!
In this article, we’ll review:
Legacy contract files vs. smart files
Just as you could with your legacy contract files, you can easily create simple, beautiful contracts with smart files (or, simply send out one of the templates we've already updated for you).
When creating a contract, smart files will allow you all the same options as legacy files, including the ability to:
Add a header image
Add custom contract language
Customize the formatting of contract text
Add smart fields
Pull in signature lines for project participants
What’s new with smart files? Instead of being limited to individual documents and emails, you can create a smart file that combines elements of your process (think service selection + contract + invoice, for example), as well as customizing the look and feel of the file with additional branding options and more opportunities to add in content.
But, of course, you can also keep things simple and send over a file that contains a single action—such as a contract to review and sign—just like you were used to doing with your legacy contract files.
Locating & sending your updated contract templates
You can access your updated templates in your Templates section—we've automatically updated all of your legacy contract templates for you!
To find your updated templates:
1. Click the Tools menu in your top navigation bar.
2. Select My Templates.
3. Click Filters and select Contract.
This will filter your templates to only show those that include a contract. All the templates you see here are your own, and they'll each have the same name as they did when they were file templates.
4. Click to open the template you'd like to review or adjust. From there, if needed, you can make changes to the contract or other elements of the file—or, you can simply keep the document as-is.
Either way, when you're ready, you can click Use Template to send the contract in a project, just as you would with a legacy contract file.
HoneyBook Tip: Want to start organizing your updated templates into folders? Learn how here.
PLEASE NOTE: Your original file templates are still there, too; you can find them in the Legacy Files tab of your Templates section.
Making changes to smart file templates
You shouldn't have to make changes to these updated templates (since they'll come complete with all of your original content and branding), so you can always simply send them out as-is. That said, you can certainly add in some of the new smart file features.
Make small changes like updating the font and color scheme, adding an image or two, or including a couple questions you'd like clients to answer; or, take it up a notch by adding a few more actions to the file (like invoice, scheduler, or service blocks).
Each file template can be as simple or as detailed as you'd like, and just as you could with legacy files, you can make adjustments for specific clients before you share a smart file with project participants.
Recreating traditional contract formats with smart files
Want to start from scratch and create a brand new contract or contract template in the smart files builder? Here’s what you’ll add to match the components of the contracts that you’re used to.
1. Start with a custom (blank) smart file:
To create a contract template: head to Templates, click Create New, and select Custom Smart File.
To create a contract in a project: open the project in question, click Create New, select Custom Smart File, then + Start from blank.
2. Select the Contract block.
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
4. From the Pages menu, click the first page title to customize (you can simply rename it "Contract").
You'll also notice a "thank you" page. If you'd like to keep your contract short and sweet, feel free to delete that page by clicking the 3-dot icon next to the page title and selecting Delete.
5. Build or edit your contract as necessary.
HoneyBook Tip: If you don't need to add a header to your contract, you can simply skip the remaining steps and share your smart file when your contract looks good.
6. To fully replicate the look of legacy contract files, you can also add a header image, with or without your company name and/or logo. To add, hover over the contract block and click the Add a block button at the top.
7. If you'll be adding your company name on top of the header image, select Text from the block options. Otherwise, you can simply select the Divider block.
Either way, click the block container (outside of the boxes that contain the elements) to open that block's settings.
8. Click Choose next to Background Image.
9. Select an image from your Library, or click Upload to upload something brand new. From there, you can click Replace to choose a new image, Crop to adjust the view, or change the opacity of the image.
HoneyBook Tip: You can adjust the height of the header by changing the Top & Bottom Padding settings in the block's settings.
10. If you'd like to add your company name, click the text box in the block to add & format your text.
HoneyBook Tip: You can also add your logo next to you company name in the header, or add the logo by itself. Just add an image element and resize as necessary; and, if you'd like the logo and company name side by side, make sure you've formatted the block with two columns.
When everything looks good, click Preview at the top of the builder to preview the client-side view of the contract. Then, click Update Template to save it. The result will be a contract that looks very similar to your legacy contract files:
Then, you can send your file off when you're ready.
Next steps to customize your smart files
Now that you know how to create a simple contract, you can start thinking about how to add on and continue to customize your documents in this new builder—and in ways you never could before.
Once you've added a contract to your smart file, you can:
Add an invoice (essentially recreating a legacy proposal file)
Add services, so clients can quickly select services, then sign the contract
Then, you can send your beautiful smart files out to your clients.
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!