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Quick Start Guide

We are happy that you have decided to try out ContractZen. Even though we focus on simplicity, we recognize that our all-in-one solution has quite a few features for you to try out. The system has been developed over the years with demanding customers like yourself, so that it fits organizations of all sizes in different industries. Therefore, we created this short guide so you could quickly understand how the solution fits your needs.

As part of our effort to keep the solution as easy-to-use as possible, you can choose the features you need right now and hide others until you need them (e.g. Contract Management, Board Portal, Virtual Data Rooms, eSignatures and Entity Management).

Explore ContractZen with peace of mind: The solution is designed so that you do not have to worry about breaking anything. If you need any help during the trial, just click the question mark in the header and choose Ask for Help. Our support team will assist you with any issue you might encounter.

Step 1: Set your own user preferences

Click your profile picture in the upper right corner and choose User. Here you can choose your country (locale settings), time zone and the starting page

Optional: color theme (+dark/light theme), multi-factor authentication (MFA), Microsoft 365 authentication (SSO) and calendar integration, Google authentication (SSO), profile picture etc.

Step 2: Set user rights

Click your profile picture in the upper right corner and choose Account. Click Edit Users and Access Rights and set your own user rights for document and meeting categories, contract types and other features. Please find more detailed info here. Note: The categories that people do not have user rights to are hidden from the user interface to keep the solution easy-to-use.

Step 3: Account settings

Go back to the Account page and click Edit Settings: we recommend you add your organizational information right away. This way, if you decide to continue after the 30-day trial, all is set and you only have to add billing details.

Optional: in the Edit Settings page, you can turn on our machine vision based OCR (full-text search), set mandatory metadata for users to fill in, hide unnecessary fields, set additional tags to organize attached documents and more.

Step 4: Invite another trial user

Click your profile picture in the upper right corner and choose Add User. We recommend you invite at least one colleague of yours so you know how the process goes and what user rights you can give to a new user when inviting them. This will also help you in planning a wider implementation if necessary. When you have more people trying the solution, you will also get to know the system much quicker.

Step 5: Create some test documents

1) Contract Management

The easiest way to add documents is to click the plus sign in the header. In the pop-up, choose the category you want to add the files to. You can import as many files as you want in one go. If all the files are related to the same document, choose All files in one item. If you want the service to create separate documents from each file, choose Each file as a separate item. After that, you can add the metadata of the document(s). Please find a short video of adding a contract here.

If you add more than one file in one go and you add all of them as a separate item, a Mass Edit tool opens. There you can add the same metadata to all the documents you are adding. You can add, for example, all of your Sales contracts in one go: if the contracts have similar metadata (all of them are sales contracts), add the metadata with the mass edit, and then edit the files one at a time to add the rest of the metadata.

Alternatively, if you would like to add just one document, you can click the plus sign, choose the category and click Add. Then, a new metadata card opens up in the edit mode, where you can add attachments by drag & drop. You can also send documents via email: just forward an email with the attachments to inbox(at) and they will show up in your ContractZen inbox (the envelope icon in the header).

We have a predefined set of metadata based on countless benchmarks from companies and organizations across all industries. We have carefully chosen the ones that bring the best results for organizing even very large contract bases. As you know, too much metadata is just as bad as too little metadata. Here is how to add the typical metadata of a contract:
  • Edit the name according to your standard naming convention if needed. Note that titles are always indexed to the search so you can find documents based only on names.
  • Set a few preset types (in the contract category you can also set user rights based on these types).
  • Enter the parties, contact persons and other information you typically use to categorize your contracts.
  • Add your own Custom Type. We recommend choosing tags which the people in your organization most often would use to find what they need. You can later filter your searches based on the tags, and in the Folder view we automatically create folders for these tags.
  • You can also add Common Tags. These are used much like the Custom Types to organize and find your documents. The difference between Custom Type and Common Tag is just that the Custom Type is specific for the category whereas the Common Tag is the same throughout the whole system (incl. meetings and all document categories).
  • Set a reminder for expiry date or additional reminders.

2) Board Portal

Click the chosen meeting category from the main menu on the left (if the main menu is hidden, first click the “hamburger button” in the top left corner of the header).
Note: If you only have user rights to one category, for example the board meetings, you will always land there after you login.

You can add several past meeting minutes (e.g. as PDF documents) in one go the same way as explained above with the contracts (first click the plus sign etc.). Or you can use the drag & drop area on the right above the (still empty) list of yearly organized meetings.

Once you have added one or more past meeting minutes, you can open them and add the desired metadata. In the beginning, you can just add the date of the meeting, so you see how the meetings are automatically organized by date. If you have turned on the full-text search with OCR, you can also find anything you need from the meeting minute files! (Please note that the initial machine vision scanning of the imported documents typically takes at least a few minutes.)

Now, create a new meeting! Add the title and the metadata you wish (time, attendees, location, tags etc.), then go to the agenda page and try creating a new agenda. Please find a short video of creating a new meeting here.

And finally, try the Task List and the Document Library. Note that Meeting Secretaries can also add tasks automatically from their notes while keeping meeting minutes.

Step 6: Try out the different ways to find information

  • Perform a search by writing something to the search bar in the header.
  • Click a category on the left main menu. This will take you to the Folder view, where all the documents are automatically added to the relevant folders based on the metadata you have added (if you did not yet add any metadata, this view is quite empty :)
  • Click Search View on any category page and you will see a list of all the documents.
  • Open any contract and you will notice how everything is interlinked! Just click any word highlighted in the link color and the service performs a search.
  • In the Search View, click Select Filters. You will notice how using metadata helps you to drill down your whole contract base easier than ever so that you find exactly what you need in seconds. Try it now: filter your search using the different filtering tools, and try out the full-text search, which will find any word, name or clause inside the documents.
  • After you have chosen the filters, click the Apply Filters and you will see the results. You can even save the search filters so that whenever you click this saved search, the system performs a dynamic search and brings you up-to-date results.
  • Please find a short video of performing a search here.

Step 7: Visit the ContractZen in-app Store

Click your profile picture in the upper right corner and choose Store. Here you can connect your account to the eSignature provider(s) you want to use. You can also purchase the VDRs and other add-on services, like the Access Groups feature.

If you would like to see a live demo, just drop us an email at support(at)

Questions? We are here to help.
Just click the question mark in the header area in ContractZen and click Ask for Help to send us a message.

Enjoy using ContractZen!
The ContractZen Team

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