Everyone knows what an NDA is at a high level, a contract preventing one party from disclosing information deemed confidential by the other party. However, I am interested in how to write an NDA from scratch DIY without a lawyer, and am having a hard time finding any examples online that seem respectable.
If one would like to share information with another party (either an employee of another company or just a friend or acquaintance), I am confused as to what exactly would count as a valid NDA.
From what I've seen, many of the example NDAs say something along the lines of "...confidential information will be shared orally, and followed up in 30 days in written form so as to be valid." I was initially under the impression that just having the NDA say everything was purely communicated orally -- with nothing in writing -- would be sufficient. But maybe perhaps writing down what is confidential that was talked about somehow makes it better.
Also, I don't see how you can write it down efficiently enough, so as to avoid essentially creating a detailed patent document lol. If you describe orally something for an hour, that could be the outline of a patent in principle, so it would seem that you would then need to "follow up with them in 30 days or less with a written form of the confidential information". This to me seems (a) hard and time consuming, and (b) a security leak. At the same time it would help clarify exactly what was talked about, that's for sure.
So my question is, what the key attributes are of an effective (software related) one-sided NDA.
It seems to me that you could simply have a generic NDA for all of potential software ideas, saying basically "Anything I share with you related to any legally allowable business activity or idea is confidential" and that's it, not needing to list anything in particular. Once you start saying you need to list particular things, I don't see how you can avoid going down the rabbit hole and writing a detailed patent-like document.
Also I'm wondering what sorts of edge cases you must cover. Or, in general, if a legal document must cover every possible edge case, or can somehow just cover the main ones and leave the rest as assumed somehow. For example, some NDAs say something to the effect of "You are free to reveal the confidential information to authorities if it comes down to it" or "You may disclose information to whomever if you first get written permission from me." I don't see why it's necessary to say this stuff. There's so much you could potentially say, I don't see why you can just leave this out. If it turns out that the situation comes up where they would like to disclose something in the future to someone, then they could ask you and you could come up with an amendment to the contract, or another contract specific to that. It seems better that way, rather than trying to cover every edge case, but I'm not sure what is the best approach.