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Document Generation Software: Our Top 15 Picks for 2021

If we had to pick a single word that defines the list of document generation software solutions in 2021 it would be “extensive”. In this article, we’ve searched high and low to find not only the best-rated platforms out there, but also spent some time digging into each solution a little bit to understand what they’re really great at and who they’re for.

Benefits of Document Generation Software

Chances are if you’re already here you don’t really need a list of reasons why document generation tools are useful. You’re probably looking for a specific solution. Just in case you need to convince someone else though, if you were to embrace contract automation here’s a real world, bottom-line benefit. Let’s take a real world example involving NDAs as an example.

Manually drafting 100 NDAs takes up to 50 hours, with a potential cost of 1,250€. Automating that same process means your company needs to commit just 50 minutes and 20€ to the same workload. 

What’s more, manually creating NDAs can be prone to errors. With automated document production software, that’s no issue at all.

Picking the Right Document Generation Tools

To help you make the right choice, here’s a list of things to ask yourself when your window shopping:

  • Free trial or guided demo: Are you happy to try the product on for size yourself or would it be better to have a rep take you through how it can help?
  • Standalone or suite: Are you just looking to automate your document creation or maybe you’re looking for complete document management software solutions? Many of these platforms come as part of a wider suite of products, some available on their own, others not.
  • Pricing: There are solutions here for every budget. When taking a closer look, thing about how many user licenses you might need, as many platforms price per head.
  • Integrations: Speaking with other stakeholders across departments can help you understand what other tools you need to integrate with and if you can use pre-baked integrations or an API connection.
  • Export and handling: What document formats does your business need? Are you looking for a word document generator, pdf generation or both?

#1 Best All-Rounder: Avokaado

 

Avokaado at a glance

Avokaado gets our pick as the best all-rounder (and not just because we built it) because it takes care of the entire contract lifecycle. We often describe Avokaado as a contract lifecycle management tool. Rather like a CRM, but for contracts. Much like a customer relationship, contracts also go through a lifecycle and Avokaado takes care of each stage of that journey. From drafting, right through to digital signatures and electronic storage.

Capterra Score: 5/5 

Features

  • Advanced contract automation and pre-approved contract templates save time and cut down on repetitive busy-work.
  • Clause library so creating new contracts and legal templates is like Lego.
  • Code-free, automated document generation so you can start streamlining without having to bother your engineers and developers.
  • Custom branding, logos, and advanced formatting so you know everything looks exactly how it should.
  • Comment and collaborate on contracts within Avokaado, so you can keep track of feedback and changes.
  • Open API allows you to automatically populate fields in your Avokaado templates with data from virtually any platform.

Monthly Pricing

Freemium

Starter

Standard

Premium

0€

29€

49€

60€

 

Free trial: Yes, 7 days of Standard, then reverts to Freemium, so you’ll have access to a class-leading, free document generator forever. No credit card required.

#2 Best for Sales Teams & Business Proposals: PandaDoc

PandaDoc at a glance

PandaDoc is perfect for SMB sales teams looking to take the hassle out of creating pitch perfect business proposals. With a content library to get documents created fast and a wide range of sales-focused integrations to choose from PandaDoc allows sales teams to take control of their document creation and management easily and affordably.

Capterra Score: 4.5/5

Features

  • Document templates so your sales team can pick from pre-approved documents.
  • Content library to quickly drop in exactly the right elements for the perfect proposal.
  • Custom branding keeps all of your proposals, pitches, and contracts on brand.

Monthly Pricing

Free

Essentials

Business

$0

$25

$59

 

Free trial: Yes, 14 days of either Essential or Business plan, then reverts to Free. Free plan doesn’t include a free document generator, only for uploading documents then sending them for signing. No credit card required.

#3 Best for Salesforce Integration: Nintex

Nintex at a glance

If you’re using Salesforce, and have the budget, Nintex is a really strong business and legal document generation software, thanks to some super-tight Salesforce integration. Start cutting down on copy-paste errors, by creating and sharing documents from right within Salesforce. While not the most affordable document generator, Nintex offers an incredibly robust package at a price.

Capterra Score: 4/5

Features

  • Seamless Salesforce integration so documents can be created and sent right from your CRM.
  • Pre-approved templates so you know every document going out is fully compliant.
  • Automated document delivery and storage streamlines the delivery, approval, and signing process.
  • FedRAMP compliance so government agencies can automate document creation processes.

Monthly Pricing

Workflow Standard Nintex

Nintex Workflow Enterprise

(starting under) $875

(starting under) $1350

 

Free trial: Yes, for a whopping 30 days, but we didn’t get the chance to test it out because the invite email never arrived in my inbox. The trial registration process seemed simple enough though and never asked for my credit card details up front.

#4 Best for CRM Integration: Formstack Documents

Formstack Documents at a glance

With over 100 integrations available, right out the box, Formstack Documents promises to slot right into your business’ workflow without having to upend the way you do things. From productivity tools, like Google Docs, sales and marketing solutions, like HubSpot, right the way through to finance tools from Paypal and Stripe. If there’s a part of your business where you want to automate document creation, chances are Formstack fits the bill.

Capterra Score: 5/5

Features

  • Over 100 integrations so you can connect Formstack Documents to virtually any part of your business in a flash.
  • Create document templates or get up and running with a pre-built template.
  • HIPPA compliant, so you can create, share, and store sensitive documents automatically.
  • CRM document generation, so you can pull client data directly into your documents in moments.

Monthly Pricing

Starter

Pro

Business

$110

$220

$440

 

Free trial: Yes, 14 days completely free, but there’s no “free forever” plan. On the plus side, you don’t need to hand over your credit card details to start the trial.

#5 Best for Early-Stage Startuppers: Concord

Concord at a glance

Concord’s budget-friendly pricing makes it perfect for early-stage startups looking to optimize their processes without breaking the bank. Building a startup often means you’re short on time, so the time you do have is precious. Concord helps you handle contract management, so you can focus on what matters: growing your startup. 

Being at the more budget end of the pricing scale, does bring some limitations, however. Although Concord does allow you to create your own templates, the builder options are a little barebones, plus you’ll like find yourself having to make templates in Word, as Concord’s formatting can be pretty hit or miss.

Features

  • Free onboarding support to get you and your team up to speed ASAP.
  • Google Drive and Dropbox integrations so you can store your files wherever you need them.
  • Unlimited document storage within Concord so you don’t have to worry about running out of space when your startup takes off.
  • Automated contract templates speeds up the contract drafting process.

Monthly Pricing

Free

Standard

Pro

$0

$23

$46

 

Free trial: Yes, 14 days of Pro, then reverts to the Free plan. No credit card required.

#6 Best for Enterprise Legal Management: Onit

Onit at a glance

Taken as a whole, Onit’s suite of products are aimed squarely at the enterprise end of the market. Onit is less a legal-only tool and instead positions itself as a business process automation platform, with document generation being a tiny sliver of that overall functionality. This enterprise positioning is also born out by skimming across their list of clients, which includes the likes of AIG, NBC Universal, and Mattel, to name just a few.

Features

  • Conditional contract generation to automatically generate contracts with the right clauses based on rules and contract data.
  • Microsoft Word integration to draft, screen, edit and review contracts directly in Word and have them stored in Onit.
  • Automated risk mitigation spots clauses and terms which add risk and scores your contract repository as you generate documents.

Monthly Pricing

“Let’s talk”

Onit are one of the few platforms who prefer to play their cards close to their chest on pricing. You’ll need to reach out to them and schedule a demo with a sales rep.

Free trial: No free trial here, sadly.

#7 Best for Dealing With Lots of Source Documents: Conga Composer

Conga at a glance

If you’re struggling to grab data from multiple sources in order to generate a single file, look no further than Conga Composer. Although there are many “automated” multi-merge solutions out there, it often involves rolling up your sleeves in order to clean up either the input or the end result. Well, Conga Composer’s flagship data merge feature promises to make merging data into a single document as simple as clicking the merge button.

Capterra Score: 4.5/5

Features

  • Merge data from multiple sources to generate a single document.
  • Salesforce integration pulls data directly into your personalized document templates.
  • Complex parent/child relationships to control automated reporting and populating templates. 
  • Custom fields allow you to control how Conga Composer works, not vice versa.

Monthly Pricing

Conga doesn’t show any pricing on their website but, with a little bit of digging, we managed to find something. According to the Conga Composer listing on Salesforce Appexchange prices start at $20/user/month with a minimum of 10 users.

Free trial: Sadly, no. You need to sign up for a demo first.

#8 Best for In-House Legal Experts: HotDocs

HotDocs at a glance

With HotDocs, in-house legal experts (and, really, anyone who needs to generate legally compliant documents) can win back huge chunks of their day-to-day time by transforming run-of-the-mill Word documents into automated HotDocs templates. A word to the wise though: when it comes to actually setting up that automation, HotDocs may be a daunting prospect. If you’re tight on time (and developer resources) you might be better off with a no-code document generation tool.

Capterra Score: 4.1/5

Features

  • Integrates with Microsoft Word to quickly generate HotDocs templates using existing files.
  • Specialist data formatting options so, for example, if you enter a numerical value it will convert that to words.
  • Build your own interviews to gather the data you need to quickly generate your documents.
  • Conditional text areas that can be included or omitted based on one or many data points.

Monthly Pricing

HotDocs’ pricing isn’t the most transparent, but their Capterra listing provides a little bit of info.

The minimum user limit starts at 5 and the price per license is $25. So, $125/month total. However it’s also done on a “per feature” basis, with that price only being for a single feature.

Free trial: Yes, you can download HotDocs Developer and use it free for 30 days.

#9 Best for Niche Attorneys and Boutique Law Firms: Legito

Legito at a glance

If you’re a smaller, boutique law firm, although Legito may seem pricey at first blush, there are a few areas it can really add value. Firstly, thanks to it’s very simple setup process, Legito means you can automatically generate very complex legal documents, without having to rope in a team of developers. Secondly, boutique law firms can tap into Legito Marketplace to land more business.  Essentially it works like Upwork, so businesses and individuals looking for affordable legal docs can connect with the right legal experts.

While ticking a lot of boxes, Legito does seem to struggle in a couple of areas. Most notably email notifications, with several users reporting similar struggles hinting that the automated email functionality might be getting a bit long in the tooth.

Capterra Score: 5/5

Features

  • Batch generation from Google Sheets to cut down on repetitive data entry tasks.
  • Template editor to automate complex logical dependencies — no coding required.
  • AI-powered document conversion quickly turns unstructured Word files into structured Legito documents.
  • Auto extraction of dates & deadlines pulls relevant info from documents into Legito’s Document Management System.

Monthly Pricing

Single User

Small Business

$120/user

$96/user

There are a couple of caveats with Legito’s pricing: you can’t pay monthly, only 3 or 12 month renewal periods are on the table. The prices above are for the 3 month contract and paying annually will net you a 20% discount.

Free trial: Absolutely, a generous 30 day free trial no less.

#10 Best for Standard Agreements: Contractbook

Contractbook at a glance

One of the standout features of Contractbooks suite of tools is the Contract generator. If your business is creating a large number of relatively simple contracts and standardised agreements on a regular basis, then Contractbook is for you.

Features

  • Contract templates and template library so you don’t need to create documents from scratch every time.
  • Easy-to-use questionnaires speed up the data collection process.
  • 3000+ integrations so you can pull CRM data into your contracts on the fly or send alerts to apps like Slack or Teams.

Monthly Pricing

Core

Automate

Integrate

$115

$420

$1,445

Each of Contractbook’s plans include 3 user licences, with additional users costing $12/month. A word to the wise: if you’re after the bread-and-butter document generation software features, you’ll be looking at the more expensive plans.

For example, as the name implies, Automate allows you to automate document creation. If you’re  looking for the no code document template builder, you’ll need the top-tier Integrate plan.

Free trial: You can test the water for zero dollars down, with their free forever plan. It’s got a pretty limited set of features, but then, you know, it is free.

#11 Best for Multi-Department Collaboration: Precisely

Precisely at a glance

There’s nothing worse for scale-up businesses than the dreaded silo effect, where departments end up operating in their own little bubbles, independently of one another. It kills productivity and slows growth. Enter Precisely, a collaborative set of document generation tools that enables multi-function teams to draft, edit, and send contracts (and other legal documents) from a single platform.

Overall, Precisely is a strong solution to get the ball rolling. But if you’re looking for some more nuanced workflow optimization, Precisely might be a little bit on the simple side. For example, if you want to add metadata or reminders from contracts, you’ll need to add those yourself, as Precisely doesn’t have any AI-based assistance working in the background, smoothing things along.

Features

  • Smart, rule-based questionnaires simplify data collection.
  • User roles and detailed access policies give you granular control over who does what.
  • Pre-made templates make it easy for project managers and account managers to create agreements and contracts.
  • Version control means you’re never sending clients outdated documents.

Monthly Pricing

Starter*

Professional

Enterprise

$49

$69

$99

*The Precisely Starter plan wasn’t actually listed on their pricing page, so far as we could see.

Free trial: Yes, a 14 day free trial of the Professional plan, with no credit card details required up front. If you can’t make your mind up in that time though, you’re out of luck as Precisely doesn’t offer a free forever plan.

#12 Best for Mid to Enterprise Sized Businesses: Outlaw Draft

Outlaw at a glance

With larger businesses often employing complex contracts, covering everything from product types to discount models, creating these documents manually can be time consuming and prone to error. Thankfully, Outlaw’s intuitive template feature with conditional logic makes it easy to streamline the contract flow and close more deals, faster.

Features

  • Dynamic clause libraries speed up the document creation process.
  • Structured variables and metadata fields so you can assign parties, set default values, and limit ranges.
  • Automatic numbering and smart section references so you don’t need to worry about formatting.

Monthly Pricing

Core Users

Collaborators

$125/user

$60/user

Outlaw’s pricing seemed a little confusing, but after a bit of digging things became clearer. Core Users are, essentially, “owners” of the account. They have complete control of templates, reporting, and can manage their teams. In order to qualify for the Collaborator pricing though, your plan will need a minimum of 5 Core User accounts.

Free trial: No, no free trial or free tier. If you want to try before you buy, you’ll need to reach out to Outlaw’s sales team and have a chat.

#13 Best for DocuSign and Salesforce Integration: DocuSign Gen

DocuSign CLM at a glance

If you’re already using DocuSign for eSignatures and Salesforce as your CRM, then Docusign Gen will fit snugly into your contract workflow. DocuSign Gen is a Salesforce-native app, meaning you’ll need a Salesforce account, but the advantage here is that this document generator works right within Salesforce. From NDAs to Invoices, your team can create everything they need without ever having to leave Salesforce.

Capterra Score: 4.7/5

Features

  • Merge data from Salesforce to save time and cut down data entry errors.
  • Generate dynamic tables, so when you generate documents you don’t need to worry about formatting.
  • Conditional content so you can include or exclude content using factors like deal size and location.
  • Guided template creation for speedy, intuitive document generation workflows.

Monthly Pricing

Starts at $20/user but requires a paid DocuSign and Salesforce plan.

Free trial: Yes, but again, it’s a Salesforce-native application, so you’ll need a Salesforce account.

#14 Best for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Integration: airSlate

airSlate at a glance

If your business is using Microsoft’s CRM suite and you’re looking for document generation software to simplify things, airSlate really brings the good stuff. When Salesforce seems to be the big name CRM getting all of the attention, airSlate offers extensive two-way integration with Microsoft Dynamics 365 (oh, and airSlate offers a lot of Salesforce integration as well).

Features

  • Pre-fill fields from any standard or custom objects in Microsoft Dynamics 365.
  • Automatically generate documents from DOCX of PDF-based templates.
  • Transfer data between templates and Microsoft Dynamics 365.
  • No-code, drag-and-drop editor to quickly create document templates from scratch.

Monthly Pricing

Free

Basic

Business Cloud

$0

$36/Flow Creator

$50/Flow Creator
(10 user min.)

 

Free trial: Yes,30 days, no credit card required.

#15 Best Simple, Intuitive Document Generation Tool: Documate

Documate at a glance

If you’re just looking for a tool to handle document generation, without the need for a complete contract lifecycle management solution, Documate might be the goldilocks option for you. Doing away with a lot of the clunky, ugly UX choices made by many of the more “Enterprise-grade” tools, Documate makes automated document generation effortless. That said, Documate might be a bit pricey, given the limited post-generation features on offer.

Features

  • Easy-to-use interview builder to gather relevant data quickly.
  • Complex formatting options give you control over how your documents look.
  • Conditional logic and advanced calculations simplifies complicated contract creation processes.
  • PDF and Word document upload to quickly generate templates from your most used documents.

Monthly Pricing

Lite

Standard

$99

$199

Documate’s Lite plan is a great option to get you started, with a single template-creator seat and up to 10 different workflows. If you’re looking to get more team members involved, then the Standard plan includes 3 template-creator seats.

Free trial: Yes for 7 days, but you need to enter your credit card info up front.

 

In Summary

So then, automated document generation is a no-brainer. Your business can reduce errors, save money, and remove the stressful, tedious work of manually creating similar documents. It frees you and your people.

You probably already knew that if you’re reading this article, though. So then, what should the key takeaways be? 

There are a lot of options out there. So, it’s a great idea to take a step back and look at your own business first. Figure out how many licenses you might need, what areas of the business might also benefit from adopting document generation software.

Because if you think it’ll help one part of your business, chances are there are other areas it can optimize, too.

👇 Liked this article? Then you’ll love the Avokaado monthly newsletter. Freshly picked fruits of knowledge, just like this right in your inbox once a month. Oh, and no spam. Ever.

06.05.2021

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