MacSparky Field Guide: Email

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I’m a geek. I spent over twenty years in the corporate tech environment. My career spanned from customer support, to customer installations, Exchange email administration, network administration, system analyst, and even technical writer.

All this geekdom means I’ve read and written my fair share of manuals, quick start guides, and how-to articles. You know the type. They’re dry. They’re enough to put you to sleep. There’s a reason manuals read like stereo instructions. Corporations like them that way.

You and I don’t.

Most tech manuals are like dementors: they suck all the happiness out of your geeky, gadget-loving soul. There are exceptions, though.

Enter the MacSparky Field Guide series written by one of my favorite fellow geeks, David Sparks. David understands the importance of putting the fun into a how-to guide. He gets it! Our Macs, Apple devices, and software designed for them are fun, so why shouldn’t books written about them also be enjoyable?

I recently read and loved David’s latest in his Field Guide adventure, all about email. Besides David’s conversational and easygoing writing style, the book is chock-full of tips, tricks, pictures, and video. It’s available in both PDF and iBook, but I’d like to suggest the iBook version. If you haven’t experienced an iBook, David’s Field Guides are a great place to start.

From David’s site: Email is relentless and, at times, overwhelming. Learn how email works so you can fight back. This book includes an explanation of underlying email technologies, best practices, and recommendations for the best software and services to help you conquer email.

And he’s not kidding. I’m a visual person. That’s how I learn best. But perhaps you like audio or the written word. David has you covered. The book doesn’t assume you are a rocket scientist, nor does it make you feel like a noob.

If you struggle with email, reading David’s book is like going from this…


To this…


I took away from David’s book a bunch of tips and tricks I’d totally either forgotten about, or didn’t see value in them until David included real-life examples. This makes busy and tired people (like myself) stand up and take notice. It makes it easy to get immediate results.

As a former tech writer, I appreciate the clean, uncluttered look and how the book is thoughtfully organized. As a fiction writer, I love the often witty and breezy flow. I love the tone, the voice. It’s almost like David is there with you, physically showing you things.

If you work on a Mac and you’re inundated with emails or you’d just like to get the most from your email, don’t think twice. Pick up David’s book today or gift it to your favorite geek for Christmas.

Where to find David:


Mac Power Users (it’s one of my favorite podcasts)

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