Lower Legal Bills: Real Value From Google Apps

One of the most tiresome and expensive aspects of contract negotiations is the “redlining” process that takes place as both parties wordsmith the legalese to accurately reflect the agreement and the intent of the parties.

As both parties, using “track changes” make modifications, the document becomes a rainbow of colored words with strike-through, underline, and change bars.  Multiple copies of each version — with and without changes visible (to keep the documents readable)  — zip back and forth as email attachments.  With each iteration, it takes more time and effort to understand, assess, and process the proposed wording.  As important, the history of what was written two versions or more in the past is often lost.

Both parties waste time — and money — keeping track of versions while trying to agree on wording, meaning, and intent.

Stop the Madness !!

Enter Google Apps for Business and the Comments feature in Google Docs.

One party creates or converts the initial draft agreement into a Document in Google Docs and grants the other party “Comment” permissions.  Both parties can now highlight text, suggest new wording, and make notes about intent.  As the parties add comments, the other party is notified so that the discussion keeps moving forward.

Each party can respond directly to the other’s comments in the document or by responding to the notification emails.  The owner of the document and make edits, solicit feedback, and get acceptance.  As the parties agree to intent and wording, they “resolve” each comment thread.  While the thread is no longer visible, it is a permanent part of the document.

When the parties are in full agreement, and all comment threads are inactive, the results are stunning.  The parties end up with:

  • A clean document ready for printing and signatures (physical or electronic)
  • A full record of all of the comment threads — discussions leading to agreement — on the wording, meaning, and intent of the document’s content
  • A full revision history of changes made to the document over the course of the negotiations

And, most importantly, these results did not require the time and money usually wasted managing multiple versions and files, figuring out file names and last modified dates, or playing with “track changes” and “compare documents”.

The results you want and need, more efficiently.  Real Value from Google Apps.