By Steven G. MehtaSteve Mehta

One of the problems of long-distance mediations is the difficulty in being able to communicate with each other. Sometimes, you would like to share documents or work on the same document together and are unable to do so because of the fact that you are not in the same place. Well, there’s a new program that makes it very easy for you to be able to share documents, collaborate on documents together, or simply use a whiteboard together to work out concepts. All for free! That program is Show document.

Show document works similar to programs such as Go To Meeting or WebEx. The advantage of show document, however, is that it is free. In addition, you don’t even need an account with show document to start a collaborative meeting. However, if you want to eliminate any promotional writing on the document, you will need to register, which is free.

Show document provides you with four options: to share document, to share a whiteboard, to share a text editor, or to share a website.  This allows you to be able to take a document on your computer and show it to the remote participant. Or for example if you want to explain the concept on the whiteboard you can do so. Finally, if there are pictures or items on a website, you can then review those pictures and items together.

 For example, let’s say you’re in the middle of the mediation and one of the parties is in a remote location. You want to work on a settlement document and have both sides review the document together. You can simply log on to show document and initiate the session. You simply press the “shared document” tab and upload the document and start your session. You will then be given an ID which you can then tell the remote participant to use to log into your shared joint session.

Once both of you are logged in to the joint session, you can then work on the same document together. The remote participants can make changes to the document, identify issues on the document and highlight areas that are of importance.

Once the document has been completed, you can then save the new document as a PDF.

One additional way that I’ve been able to use Show Document is when the remote participant doesn’t have a fax machine.  I can have them sign the document at the end of the day right online. I will use Show Document and have them sign the document on the computer and then once they have signed the document, I will then save the document as a PDF and print it.  You can see an example of the signature below

showdocumentThe beauty of show document is that it is free. It can be opened as quickly as a couple of seconds and it doesn’t require complicated methods for your remote participants to sign up. All that is necessary is that your participants be connected to the Internet.

Happy Collaborating.  

Show Document