The Paperless Field Guide

I’m so pleased to announce the release of the all new Paperless Field Guide. The Paperless Field Guide takes the mystery (and fear) out of going paperless with your Apple technology. The video course includes 95 videos with nearly seven hours of content to turn you into a paperless ninja. The material is accessible to beginners and power users alike, with a thorough explanation of all the hardware, software, and workflows necessary to finally conquer paper.

The course is available now with an introductory price of $24 (the normal price will be $29). I can’t do upgrade pricing on this one because the prior Paperless Field Guide was on a different platform, so I am making it $5 off for everyone. 

The Paperless Field Guide, by the numbers:

  • Paperless geekery deciphered

  • Nearly seven hours

  • 95 videos

  • Nearly 7G of video files

  • PDF and ePub transcripts

  • Downloadable scripts and shortcuts

  • Fully captioned

  • Combined videos for easier download

This course covers all of the critical components of a successful paperless system on your Mac, iPad, and iPhone.

Discover how you can capture paper and other digital information with the Mac, iPad, and iPhone. This chapter also demystifies optical character recognition and explains how you can put it to work for you.

Learn how to reliably name, index, and store your paperless documents with various systems and options.

Now that you have created a paperless workflow, learn how to access, edit, and sign your paperless documents from anywhere on the Mac, iPad, and iPhone.

One of the advantages of keeping digital documents is the ease of sharing them. Learn how in this course.

The Paperless Field Guide is broken down into 19 sections and 95 videos. It covers all of the major topics on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac independently, so you can learn to go paperless on your platform of choice or combine the best tools on each platform to build the paperless workflow that’s right for you.

All videos are captioned, and there is an additional ePub and PDF with transcripts of all of the videos. I’m really happy with how the Paperless Field Guide came out. There is a 45 minute sample on the sales page. I hope you dig it.

The Paperless Field Guide Second Edition Is In Production

I am currently hard at work on an all-new second edition of the Paperless Field Guide. I am already deep in production and pleased with how it is coming out. While the curriculum is pretty thorough, it isn’t in stone just yet. If you’ve got ideas or problems you’d like to see solved with a new Paperless Field Guide, please send me an email ( with a subject line “Paperless Ideas”. While I can’t include everything, I promise to read your emails and consider them. It looks like the new Paperless Field Guide will release in late August/early September.

As part of this, I’ll be taking the old version down from the Apple Book Store. (If you already purchased it, you will still have access.) I can’t wait to share the new version with you.

Paperless Turns 1.4

Today my most recent update to the Paperless Field Guide went live in the iBooks Store. Updates include:

  • Added new section on hybrid-cloud storage
  • Added discussion of using the Transporter for personal cloud storage
  • Added a new section and gallery for PDFpen Scan+ and added a PDFpen Scan+ screencast
  • Added new section for and gallery.
  • Updated section on Hazel with Auto file naming and created a new Screencast 4.5 showing off the new features.
  • Re-Wrote the section on tagging in light of OS X Mavericks new tagging support and added new screencasts 4.6, 4.7, and 4.8.
  • Updated for PDF Expert 5.
  • Added explanation of the PDF/A Format.
  • Tweaked discussion of scanning with the iPad. (The iPad camera is a lot better than it used to be.)
  • Removed the BlackBerry picture just because.
  • A ninja now runs free through the pages of this book.

All of the Field Guides include free updates for at least two years following initial publication. Have I said lately how much I love that I can update these books and keep them relevant?

Paperless Version 1.3

Paperless version 1.3 is available for download in the iBookstore and via PDF. This update includes the new Scansnap iX500 scanner, including a new movie. There are also updated sections on NeatCloud, PDFpen for Mac version 6, and some additional services. Since I finished this update, there have been even more new improvements (like yesterday’s Hazel update) so version 1.4 is already in the works. 

To download this new version in the iBookstore you need to delete the book and re-download it. (I know. It is a big file.) Because Paperless pre-dates the book-updating mechanism, it appears there are issues. (I’m working on this for 1.4.)

Thanks again everyone for supporting me. My plan is to keep doing incremental updates for free with the Field Guides and then do a second edition a few years after original release. Enjoy.



Screen Shot 2013-03-22 at 7.34.24 AM.png

Yesterday was a great day for the MacSparky Field Guides. Markdown launched with a lot of success. I really enjoyed the twitter stream and feedback about the book. I particularly liked the tweets and email from people who always wanted to try Markdown and found this book the way to get them over the hump.

When Eddie and I first decided to do a book on Markdown, several nerd-friends told us we were nuts and that Markdown was such a niche topic that nobody would care. I think just the opposite. I think Markdown is a technology that needs to find its way to non-geeks and that’s why we wrote the book.

At a deeper level, I enjoy writing and distributing these books so very much. In a lot of ways, it feels like the best work I’ve done of my lifetime. Thank you everyone for supporting me in this.

What’s up next?

I am going to issue an update to Paperless. Several technologies and workflows have changed since the last update last September. You can expect that pretty soon.

As for the next big Field Guide, I’ve already got a big pile of words towards it and I’m looking forward to really digging in. The subject is another one of my personal crusades and I can’t wait to share it with you. You’ll probably see it sometime in the summer (hopefully early summer).

Thanks again everyone for supporting me on the MacSparky Field Guides.

GeekDad on Paperless

In addition to providing a very kind review of Paperless, Jim Kelly at GeekDad interviewed me concerning Paperless and new workflows. The update is still on track. Everything is nearly ready to publish. I need to work out a few kinks and then it will be ready to roll. If you haven’t already, signing up for the Field Guide Newsletter is a really good idea.