Talk to creative professionals and they will likely tell you that the main reason they chose their profession is, well, a passion for art, design, editing, storytelling, or any other creative activity needed to realize their vision. What you won’t typically hear them mention is a passion for the business side of the creative process—things like dealing with contracts, NDAs, managing concept reviews, and the many other often less-glamorous activities essential to bringing great ideas to life.
According to an Adobe survey, 84% of creatives report spending more than five hours each week on administrative tasks that keep them from their creative work. We’ve written a lot about applying the right creative tools to the right project and how to manage a variety of projects. And that’s absolutely critical today, in a world with an insatiable demand for compelling creative content. But that’s just part of the story, as any working creative professional knows all too well. The business of creativity can make or break an agency’s or individual’s success.
On a positive note, most creatives already have a “business” tool readily available in their arsenal, and it consistently ranks as one of their most-used applications: Adobe Acrobat DC. Despite this, some of the most powerful—and useful—capabilities in Acrobat are under-utilized by the creative community.
To help you understand how Acrobat can better support your creative processes, and free up more of your time to do what you love, let’s take a look at some project elements from beginning to end.
1. Getting Started
Project kickoff typically involves creating and signing contracts, proposals, creative briefs, NDAs, and other business documents. With Acrobat, you can easily create, share, and even store these documents in the cloud, so you (and your internal or external clients) can access them from any location or device at any time. You can also convert a paper form or Word file into a fillable PDF form, making it easy to collect project information digitally. The Fill & Sign capabilities included in Adobe Acrobat can then help you secure the necessary approvals to get a project off the ground.
Creatives have embraced apps for creativity, but what about apps for productivity? Mobile apps are a regular part of a creative professional’s arsenal, and the Adobe Scan mobile app can be used to capture documents in PDF for distribution to the team. Want to send a PDF of an ad or notes from a meeting? Simply capture them with Adobe Scan and they are automatically converted to PDF. If you have multiple files to share, Acrobat makes it easy to combine and share them within a single package, reducing the number of email attachments to keep track of and the volume of paperwork that piles up on your desk.
3. Review and Tracking
Chances are, you’ve spent time trying to decipher someone’s hand-written comments on a comp, struggled to understand conflicting comments in a PDF, or had to follow up multiple times to find out if a client has even looked at a design. With Acrobat, you can keep the entire review workflow in the digital realm, and likely speed up the process. Creatives and non-creatives alike can use the Send for Shared Commenting function in Acrobat to send high-fidelity documents to reviewers, who can easily comment and collaborate in real-time using the built-in Commenting tools. Everyone’s input is captured in the same document, eliminating the need for multiple emails and version control. Using the Send & Track function, you can also see who has or hasn’t reviewed the document to keep projects moving.
You depend on your ideas for your livelihood, and clients want to keep their creative concepts out of the hands of competitors. Using Acrobat you can safeguard content with built-in controls to protect your client’s intellectual property—as well as your own—while maintaining continuous control of the quality of your output. Using the Protection capabilities within Acrobat, you can restrict editing, encrypt documents, and even redact content to protect the integrity and authenticity of your work. And with the e-signature capabilities in Acrobat, you can send documents directly to approvers who digitally sign off, with the process tracked and recorded in an audit trail.
With this primer, you’re ready to take advantage of the tools you already have at your fingertips to engage in the business of creativity—and actually enjoy it—using Adobe Acrobat in Adobe Document Cloud.
To learn more about how to take your creativity to the next level, be sure to join us at Adobe MAX in Las Vegas. We’ll be having a couple of sessions on how Creatives can get the most out of Acrobat and Adobe Document Cloud – and details are available at: https://adobe.ly/2vJyyeH