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Paperless - David Sparks


By David Sparks

  • Release Date: 2012-04-23
  • Genre: Internet
Score: 4.5
From 327 Ratings


Version 1.4, Updated February 2014

Paperless was selected as one of the "Best of 2012" by the iBooks Store.

Paperless takes the mystery (and fear) out of going paperless with your Apple technology. The book includes 32 screencasts, 4 movies, over 26,000 words, and other rich-media assets 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.

Chapters include:
1. Why Paperless
What is the big deal with paperless and why do so many of us struggle with it?

2. Paperless Overview
Get an idea for the big picture before diving into the nitty-gritty.

3. Capture
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.

4. Process
Learn how to reliably name, index, and store your paperless documents. This chapter also covers your questions about cloud storage and backup.

5. Use
Now that you've created a paperless workflow, learn how to access your paperless documents from anywhere on the Mac, iPad, and iPhone. This chapter also explains how to sign digital documents on the Mac, iPad, and iPhone.

6. David's Paperless Workflow
The author explain his "go-to" applications, hardware, and tricks for managing paperless documents.

7. Appendix
Learn more about Apple Automator, cloud storage, and other helpful resources.

This is the first book in the MacSparky Field Guide Series. This book is a large file (850 MB) and includes over 1.5 hours of video and screencasts. This books runs on all versions of the iPad.


  • Very Helpful

    By OKWirebender
    Love MacSparky! I own all of his Field Guides, but this one is my favorite. (Email is my second fav!). It was very important in helping me create a system for dealing with email and paper documents. I switched from Evernote to nested folders after reading this. This is a fabulous value as you will surely get so much out of it. Thanks again Max Barky. :-)
  • Passionately practical

    By Appreciative in Memphis
    David’s book comes from his passion for using technology, using resources wisely, and helping those that need to do both. I spent many years training teachers how to use technology, David’s book is a wonderful guide to assisting you in becoming paperless in your life. He provides wonderful suggestions with multiple videos for you to watch, review, and use productively. One last thing, BUY this book. This is the first review I have ever written for a book, and I can promise you will not be disappointed. Thanks, David.
  • Great tool — Author continually updates!

    By MyName_is_Taken
    David (the author) just won't leave well enough alone! He keeps updating his book's info!! I suspect the same is true of his other works. As companies update their scanners and software, as new techniques come to light, etc., David updates his content! The book has updated several times for me (downloads new and updated content). I really appreciate his dedication to ensuring we have the best and most current info. possible. This book is a great tool!
  • Poor font choice

    By Bill Dragon
    I like the author's writing style and the material is very well thought out but the font is incredibly difficult to read on the iPad Air. I begin to feel a migraine coming on after a few pages. I would prefer to have an even stroke font that doesn't require a lot of eye strain to read than a nice aesthetic.
  • Very Helpful Resource

    By LCocco
    About 2 years ago I got a ScanSnap and started trying to go paperless. I wrote some Hazel rules and on an irregular basis scanned some of the growing pile of paper. This book has inspired me to complete my paperless adventure. The book is pretty Mac-centric, but the author is MacSparky after all, what do you expect. The information is well organized and the videos are very helpful. I learned a lot.
  • Paperless A MacSparky Field Guide

    By B. Jay S.
    It provides so much more than how to go paperless. It shows off some of the software and hardware that David Sparks and Katie Floyd discuss on Mac Power Users. This work really shows off the potential power of iBooks Author. Keep up the good work.
  • What a resource!

    By JakeSteele
    What a great resource for learning to go paperless. Especially if your a Mac user. The book is beautifully laid out in iBooks and if you don’t know how to do something, you can just watch any and all the how-to videos included in the book. Simple and clean, everyone will get something from this book. Well worth the money!
  • I wish I would have read this book when I bought my MAC.

    By T2nu
    The title of this book should have been: LEARN HOW TO USE YOUR MAC. I don’t normally rate books because I really believe that when it comes to books, it’s mostly an “opinion” when you rate it. This is not my opinion, this is hard fact: So far, I’ve learned about OCR, Duplexing (which my printer has & I didn’t know it), the MAC Automator & how to use it, various other MAC shortcuts & items that I had bought a whole book to learn about & never did. I’m still not done & I’ve gotten all kinds of insight into printing, new thoughts on filing, I could go on & on & I’m not done with the book yet. I’m looking forward to reading his book EMAIL next! I’ll have spent $20 on 2 of his books and learned more than I did with the last 3 books I bought at $20+ each from the bookstore! Well, I’m not going to be able to finish this if I keep writing. $10…you can’t lose.
  • Excellent Description of a Paperless Workflow

    By Paul Schwan
    David Sparks does a great job laying out his case for a paperless workflow. Then, he goes on to explain in great detail each piece of that flow. Finally, at the end of his book, he reviews the whole workflow and tells what HE does, and why. Through it all, though, he doesn't attempt to say we should do it his way. He goes out of his way to give alternative methods, apps, and approaches. He even tells us why he chooses to use a different way, but leaves it to his readers to decide. David's MacSparky Field Guides -- the videos sprinkled throughout the book -- make it a snap to "see" how to do the things he also describes in words throughout the text portion of the book. Reading on an iPad and viewing these videos throughout was a pleasant experience. This book is one I'll refer back to over and over again as I revise and update my own paperless workflow. I've taken David's advice: this summer I'm working my way through two 3-foot deep file cabinets of paper -- old tax returns, instruction manuals, memorabilia, and more -- and reducing everything to digital files that can be easily found and reviewed as needed. By summer's end I'll be able to remove the file cabinet if I like and put something else in its place. Take David's advice and buy a document scanner. Watching 25 sheets of double-sided paper get scanned (both sides!), and run through OCR in a matter of 2 minutes is nothing short of amazing. Within 3-4 minutes I can file the resulting .pdf document and shred the paper that previously cluttered up my home office. It's a satisfying feeling. Thank you, David Sparks, for your great ideas and top-notch, well-researched book(s)!
  • What's Not To Like - Passion always shows through

    By TommyBoyChicago
    It may be difficult for some to feel real "passion" for the process of going paperless, but that's exactly what David is - passionate. And when anyone is passionate about anything, it always pays big dividends. I truly enjoyed this book having been a long time fan of going paperless, but wanted to see how somebody that was clearly an expert on the subject did things. While some of what he goes over I did already know, he filled in many gaps in my knowledge but also made me rethink the way I was doing some things. The fact that he was able to produce the book in such a rich-media format was also a bonus. This is by far the best example of what you can do with the iBook format and I was very impressed with how he used the tools to his advantage. And not just because he could, but because sometimes the best way to explain something was to show you, which he did through a screencast embedded in the book. Nicely done David. I always love people who let their passion show though.