Why file attachments should have died along with Windows 95

Kathleen Smith Kathleen Smith
Why file attachments should have died along with Windows 95

It wasn’t so long ago that technology seemed dubious at best. Dial-up internet, printers that never worked, CD-ROMs that were easily scratched or lost... these were the standard struggles of 90’s technology. 

But there’s one holdover in our workflows which hasn’t seen very much improvement: document technology.

Many professionals are still using the same ol’ document workflow that they’ve been using since Kramer was posing as Moviefone.

They create a document in a word processing software and attach the file to an email. The recipient must then download the file, review or sign it, save it and attach it to another email to send back or on to another recipient to review or sign.

The problem is that the old way of creating and sharing documents is full of potential for human error, compatibility issues and productivity hiccups like version control mishaps and communication misfires.

The good news is that you and your team don’t have to work like this! 

Welcome to the new era of the Smart Document

Enter PandaDoc’s document management platform: a new approach to creating, sharing, managing and tracking your documents.

CREATE | OLD: Word processing; NEW: Document builder

Word processing software is expensive, and there are dozens of different brands and versions. With PandaDoc, you can create your documents right within the platform -- no extra software needed. Our document builder is browser-based with drag and drop functionality so that you can build a professional-looking document from scratch or your own document templates.

You can embed images, video, and interactive elements like a pricing table for a customized document with polish. You can even set up a library of reusable content blocks so that you can quickly assemble new documents from commonly-used sections. And of course, you can import your existing .doc and .pdf files if you’d rather use what you already have.

SHARE | OLD: Email attachment; NEW: Share by web

Sending an attachment for review and execution by multiple parties is a dangerous proposition as people spin off their versions of the document, signing out of order and possibly creating versioning issues. Leveraging PandaDoc’s sharing functionality means you’ll be able to send the same document version to multiple parties who can sign in tandem while eliminating version issues. You’ll also benefit from an in-document chat so that anyone can send and share messages about the document in real-time, empowering context and discussion. 

MANAGE | OLD: Lost files and documents; NEW: Automatic storage and organization

Storing and organizing standalone .doc and .pdf files is a nightmare. They’re all-too-likely to get lost in the someone’s messy hard drive or forgotten in a dusty corner of a shared network folder. PandaDoc makes it easy to view any document created, manage user permissions and organize in a meaningful, searchable system with tagging, folder structure and search. You’ll gain access to a document dashboard with the current status of any document: draft, viewed, sent, voided, or signed. No more hassles from files being lost on former employees’ hard drives or confusion over the status of a document.

TRACK | OLD: Cross your fingers and wait; NEW: View analytics in real-time

Email attachments are the 90’s equivalent of carrier pigeons. Hopefully your documents will find their way to the recipient, and nothing happens to them along the way. Otherwise, you’ll never know if the recipient successfully received your message. PandaDoc empowers your documents with data-driven insights. You’ll have instant access to a document’s status as well as real-time notifications to your email and/or mobile device letting you know exactly when a document has been viewed or signed. Sales reps can follow up in real-time and eliminate any guessing as to whether the recipient has received or signed a document.

So, there you have it… the old way of creating, sharing, managing and tracking documents is not only a time-consuming hassle, but it can lead to a longer sales cycle, lost productivity on your team, decreased visibility for managers and even lost revenue when something slips through the cracks. Sign up today for a complimentary 14-day trial of PandaDoc’s document management platform to see for yourself why we’re the future of documents.

Here's a little more about our new era of the smart document workflow: 

File attachments are dead 

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