If you have ever been in a situation where one of your clients needed to get your signature on a document and you were on the road, you haven't had many good choices until now. For years, I have been a big proponent of J2's eFax service, which sets up a virtual fax machine in the cloud (of course, they didn't really use those words back then). Once you sign up for an account, your received faxes go to your email inbox where you can download the attachment and view them as PDFs. You can also send documents from your computer too.
This week, they have added a special new feature to their iPhone app that allows you to sign received faxes from your phone and send them out, with a very simple user interface. The complicating factor is coordinating the Web and iOS clients to get things set up properly. Sadly, the online docs are lacking but once you see what is involved it is relatively straightforward.
There are some caveats before I show you how to do this. First, you need a paid eFax account. eFax offers a free account that is good just for receiving faxes (and this is one of the big bargains around, if your faxing needs are modest, such as fewer than 20 monthly faxes). The paid plans start at $14 a month if you pay for an entire year's service. Second, you need the latest v2 of the eFax iOS Mobile client, which you can download for free. Finally, you have to use the Web eFax client to capture your signature. You send yourself a page with your signature on it and it should be the last time you ever need to be near a "real" fax machine.
Once you receive the fax, you bring up the Web client and login to your account. There is a simple image-editing program that allows you to crop and save the signature block to the system. Now you are ready to sign your documents using the iOS app.
On its main menu page, as you can see in the screenshot, you can click on the sign faxes button, place the signature block in the appropriate place on the page, and send it forth. It is somewhat clunky to go through these steps, but it does work.
There are other document signing solutions out there, such as Adobe's Echosign.com, RightSignature.com, and Signnow.com, among others. But if you are already considering replacing your aging fax machine with a complete service, you might want to look at what eFax Mobile is all about.