A one-of-a-kind e-course that teaches you
how to use Adobe InDesign like a pro.


In 2010, I accepted a job to design a full printed book, cover to cover, in Adobe InDesign. I took the job, but had one big problem. 

I had never opened InDesign in my life. As in, never clicked that little pink icon ever, EVER.

I spent hours upon hours upon hours designing this book, page by page, trying to learn InDesign as I went. I had no idea what styles or master pages were — the two most time-saving features of InDesign — and layed out every single page manually, one at a time.

I finally made it to the end of the book and felt super proud of myself for figuring it out.

Except I had one step left, and thanks to a rookie mistake, I royally screwed up the entire project.

I was prepping the file for print and accidentally turned ALL the text to outlines, saved my file, and closed it. And then I panicked. I realized my mistake right away, but there was no un-doing it. 

If you don’t realize my mistake, here it is: converting text to outlines makes the text uneditable. Since I had accidentally saved my file with the text outlined, I would never be able to go back and edit any text in the entire book. I had basically flushed all those hours of work right down the toilet.

Long story short, I never found a solution, and ended up hacking my way through 6 more editions of the book over the next few years. I re-typed entire pages by hand in order to change one small word. I felt so unprofessional every time I had to explain to a printer that no, I didn’t have the original, editable file. 

It was embarrassing to have made such a rookie mistake, and I vowed never to let InDesign get the best of me again.

Since that embarrassing mistake, I've been working with InDesign nearly every day on a wide variety of projects for tons of clients, big and small. I've quickly realized how many other creatives aren't comfortable using InDesign — for lots of reasons . . .

  • you feel like you're missing out on a big pocket of clients + projects because you don't know the program, and you're embarrassed that you haven't been able to figure it out yet

  • you're scared to open the software, thinking you'll make a costly mistake like I did

  • you're overwhelmed by the tools, buttons, icons, menus, and ALL THE THINGS you see when you open InDesign

  • you've messed around in InDesign for fun, but you're not confident enough to take on real projects that require it

Whatever the reason for keeping InDesign buried deep in your computer, I want to help you bring it back to the surface and see what an impact it can have in your business. I want you to avoid making costly and embarrassing mistakes like I did, so I'm opening my playbook and teaching you everything I know about the program.

I personally know the value of having a working knowledge of InDesign in my arsenal. It’s helped me land jobs, book clients, and create my own passive income digital products —all with the confidence that I know what I'm doing.

Translation: InDesign makes me money.

And it can make you money too, if you know how to use it . . .
so I'd love to teach you.

Enter The InDesign Field Guide.

I went from not having worked in InDesign at all because I was overwhelmed by it, to feeling very confident that I can figure out and design anything I need to for my business.
— Jennifer Elwell, designer + blogger (fall 2015)


The InDesign Field Guide can teach you the
skills necessary to take your business to the next level.


With InDesign in your back pocket, you can create...

Downloadable PDFs like lead magnets, opt-in incentives, content upgrades for your blog, free downloads, worksheets, cheat sheets, checklists, etc.

Digital products like e-books, guides, workbooks, printables, course content, planners, templates, etc.

Printed products like books, magazines, booklets, planners, lookbooks, stationery, etc.

Sales + promo materials like portfolios, catalogs, brochures, sales sheets, order forms, invoices, contracts, proposals, resumès, media kits, pricing guides, sales slides, questionnaires, etc.

On-screen graphics like social media profiles + covers, promo + announcement images, website graphics, email headers, blog post graphics, slideshow presentations, etc.



This is not your typical, run-of-the-mill online course. 

I’ve designed this course with unique teaching methods to show you only the tools you’ll actually use — and I'll teach you in a practical way so you'll remember what you learn.

InDesign is overwhelming on it’s own. I’m breaking it down into bite-size pieces delivered in a very specific order to help you learn the software faster and hands-on, so you walk away with a money-making skill you can start using right away. Here’s how:

  • 8+ hours of easy-to-follow video tours and tutorials

  • 50+ pages of complimentary PDF guides, cheat sheets, and checklists

  • a real-life project you'll practice on + complete by the end of the course, which you can start using in your business right away (keep scrolling to see exactly what it is and how it can help you)

  • 10 demonstration videos showing you exactly how I design page layouts from start to finish, and how I make design decisions on the fly

  • a private discussion forum to interact with fellow InDesign nerds, learn from each other, and get feedback from other students on your course project

  • the exact workflow I use for nearly every project in InDesign to automate your process and reduce duplicate work (plus a project planner you can use over and over)

  • learn how InDesign integrates with Photoshop + Illustrator, and when you should be using each program

  • my personal InDesign tips + tricks to work smarter + faster

  • loads of bonus materials including extra videos + guides, ready-to-use templates, and quarterly live webinars with me to get all your questions answered

  • every piece of content housed in an easy-to-navigate members-only website that's available immediately and 24/7, so you can learn at your own pace

  • the best part – save thousands of dollars by learning the exact software you would normally hire a designer to use



Ready to take the leap with The InDesign Field Guide?

all 5 core lessons + actionable homework + loads of bonusES + 24/7 ACCESS FOR LIFE


The InDesign Field Guide by Paper + Oats




The most well-rounded, practical, comprehensive way to learn Adobe InDesign. 


This class made me feel like an InDesign master! My favorite part was the thoroughness of all the videos and the companion project — I felt like I was actually learning how to apply what I was hearing. I’ve used the program for years, but I still learned tons of new tools and tricks that will make every document I produce from now on easier, faster, and better.
— Tera Lynn Childs, author (fall 2015)


So what's this course project thingy?


When I started creating this course, I wanted to teach the tools and techniques of InDesign in a way that would be applicable and easy to understand. To do this, I decided to create a real-life document to practice on.

Every student is going to work on one single project throughout the entire course, and you’ll finish the course with a tangible, functioning product you can use in your business right away.

Every technique you learn in this course will be applied to this project. We’ll practice on it, try out tools on it, and polish it into InDesign perfection with every lesson you complete.

The course project is called Your Business Guidebook, and it will serve as the central hub for all your internal business documents.

Here's how it'll work:

  • You'll have access to my entire finished InDesign file right from the start, so you can see exactly what you'll be working on.

  • You'll create your own document in Lesson 1, and practice every tool we cover on your own file.

  • You'll perfect your InDesign file with each lesson to create your own guidebook, unique to your business.

  • You'll complete homework for each lesson on your own guidebook file, so you know exactly what things to complete before the next lesson.

  • At the end of this course, you will have practiced all your new InDesign skills on this file, so you’ll be able to turn around and work with real clients and get paid real money for it.


This gives you a tangible, finished, 20-page PDF to walk away with, plus see how the program’s tools apply in a real setting, not just on a blank screen.


The InDesign Field Guide by Paper + Oats

I think this is a wonderful way to learn InDesign and finish with a product that I am certain I will continue to use. It’s also helping me figure out exactly how I want my brand to be portrayed, so this comes at a great time in my business.
— Amanda means, designer, teacher + blogger (fall 2015)


What's covered in this course?

The course is self-paced, but it takes on average about 4-6 weeks to complete.




Get your first taste of InDesign by learning about workflow and some introductory settings.

  • Intro to InDesign — when to use each of the Adobe programs, plus basic terms + tools to be familiar with as you start using InDesign

  • Preparing Your Workflow — my personal systematic approach to working smarter in InDesign, especially for longer projects

  • File Setup — how to setup a new document, and a quick tour of the InDesign workspace and preferences




Learn all about working with pages and the famous master pages in InDesign.

  • Page Setup — how to set up margins, bleed, grids & guides, a tour of the pages and master pages pane, adjusting your page count, and organizing your content

  • Master Pages — what master pages are, how they can streamline your workflow, plus how to create and design on a master page, and how to apply it to the rest of your document

  • Page Numbering + Sections — how to setup automatic page numbering, adjusting the page order and sections of your document, and how it affects page numbering, and a quick way to navigate your document with bookmarks




Learn everything you need to know about typesetting in InDesign – the biggest lesson of the course!

  • Text + Typefaces — how to create and properly flow text boxes across multiple pages, how to add in breaks to start organizing your content, basic typography terms and how they apply to InDesign, and how to properly choose typefaces and fonts for any project you work on

  • Characters — a tour of the character and paragraph panes and how to access the tools from multiple places, plus custom typography features like OpenType, glyphs, and special characters

  • Paragraphs — the big world of paragraph settings, including some cool features you may not have known about, plus standard typesetting guidelines used by real publishers

  • Styles — what character + paragraph styles are and how they can help you streamline your design process (seriously, these are going to change your life!)
  • Footnotes + Endnotes — how to create, format, and edit footnotes with InDesign's automated tool, and how to manually set up endnotes
  • Demonstration Videos — learn how I make design decisions on the fly and create a page design from start to finish in my styling demonstration videos




We’ll cover a variety of layout tools + techniques to refine your Business Guidebook design even more.

  • Working with Shapes + Color — how to add new elements to your layout like shapes, lines, and other objects; how to work with color and gradients and create your own swatches from them; how to apply special effects on your objects in a tasteful way; and how to work efficiently with some unique transform tricks

  • Linking Outside Files — how InDesign integrates with Photoshop and Illustrator, what linked files are, and how you can add and edit them in your document

  • Other Layout Tools — some interactive tools InDesign has to offer and which ones are actually worth the work; plus some lesser-known tools to help you refine your design

  • Tables — how to use tables in your layout, and how to design them attractively for things like worksheets, pricing guides, or catalogs




Finalize your workflow and prep your InDesign file for print and web.

  • Finishing Your Workflow — what final workflow steps you need to take to proof and refine your document; what the preflight tool is and how to use it most effectively

  • File Prep + Organization — how to organize your files and folders for an easy-to-navigate InDesign package that’s a breeze to edit later; standards for prepping your file for print and for web/on-screen use; and what other file types InDesign can create from your final document




But wait, there’s more! You know I couldn’t just stop there, so here are a few bonus items to help you perfect your InDesign magic even more:

  • Discussion Forum — chat on the members-only website with fellow students + get feedback from each other

  • Bonus video + PDF guides — topics include creating editable forms, creating ebooks + published books, using Adobe Typekit, plus an InDesign project planner with workflow checklist

  • Pack of 12 Ready-to-Use InDesign Templates — for common projects like e-books, style guides, mood boards, social media profiles, and paragraph styles

  • Live Q+A webinars — quarterly scheduled group video chats to get all your straggling InDesign questions answered

  • Workshop Recordings — watch past workshops I've hosted with Jamie from Spruce Rd. teaching you how to design a lead magnet PDF from start to finish (including the mockup!) and our tips for designing for digital products.



Start learning InDesign today with The InDesign Field Guide.



The InDesign Field Guide by Paper + Oats



Enjoy lifetime access, so you can come back for a refresher anytime.


The INDFG is the real deal. Clear instruction, essential checklists, and best of all, hands-on. You get to watch over Kelsey’s shoulders as she helps you design your project and you have a useful document in your hands by the end of the course. Kelsey is an awesome teacher. I knew nothing about InDesign before I started, but now I can tackle any project in InDesign. Thanks Kelsey!
— Tim Matsuda (fall 2015)


Who's teaching this course?

The InDesign Field Guide by Paper + Oats

I’m Kelsey! I’m the owner and designer behind Paper + Oats, where I help creative entrepreneurs design their digital products through online courses and blogging. I've built my business making the outside of e-courses, e-books, and other digital products look as good as the content that’s inside, thus I’m hanging out in InDesign almost everyday. Before taking P+O full time (and shortly after that big blunder you read about earlier), I worked for 5 years at a design agency where I was designing everything under the sun in InDesign – including laying out 20+ published book interiors, averaging 250 pages each... so that's like 5,000 pages, right?! After the first few projects, I figured out my own workflow to make my InDesign projects go faster with less duplicate work and fewer errors for the publisher to catch. InDesign became second nature and as I was taking P+O full time, it helped me create countless graphics, land new clients, and create digital products to help propel my business forward.

I’m also a single mom, with a slightly crazy story of how I got there, which you can read here. I live in southwest Missouri with my stubborn 2-year-old daughter Poppy, and a thinks-he’s-smaller-than-he-is border collie named Cooper. When I’m not in InDesign, I’m probably remodeling my 84-year-old bungalow or catching up on Grey’s Anatomy. 


I’ve written a lot about InDesign on my blog (including some free resources you can snatch up!), so here’s a rundown of those posts if you’re curious:


ZOMGZ I love it so hard! I can actually open up InDesign now without feeling panic and dread...that has literally never happened to me before. It has been so crazy valuable for me, and totally worth the investment. I honestly feel like this is going to be my bible. I’ve re-watched some of the videos already, and it’s SO nice to know that I can always go back and refer to them.
— Erica Reitman, interior designer (spring 2016)



How does an online course work?
An online course is a complete digital learning experience. Immediately after you purchase this course, you'll be sent an email with details on how to login to a members-only website where you'll be able to access every lesson. This course allows you to work through each lesson at your own pace. All lesson materials are delivered via video tutorials and PDF downloads, all of which is housed in that members-only website. Nothing physical will be shipped to you, and no in-person events will be included.

How long does it take?
You’ll have immediate access to every single lesson as soon as you purchase this course, so you can work through everything at your own pace. On average it takes students about 4-6 weeks to complete all the lessons, though some have been known to binge on all 5 lessons in just a few days.

What if I hate it?
Online courses can be an investment, I totally get it — though I'm pretty confident you won't hate it :) So let's make this easy on you. If you decide within 7 days of purchasing this course that you're not loving it and not finding it useful, shoot me an email and I'll refund every penny. I want The InDesign Field Guide to teach you a specific skill, not collect dust on your computer. I will, however, ask lots of questions about your request for a refund so I can make sure this course is the best it can be.

Do I have to have Adobe InDesign?
Obviously this course is all about InDesign, so it'll be most beneficial to have access to the program. You can now purchase a monthly subscription to the software via the Adobe Creative Cloud website for about $20/month. This is not included in the price of this course. There is also a free 30-day trial for new users.

What if I have an older version of InDesign?
No problem. Most of the tools you'll learn will still be accessible in previous versions of InDesign. How old is too old? If you have anything prior to CS4, I would highly recommend upgrading to a newer version to get the most out of this course.

Can I ask you something else?
Yes! Ask away — send an email to kelsey@paperandoats.com and I’ll respond as soon as I can.


The InDesign Field Guide by Paper + Oats
The InDesign Field Guide

What are other students saying about INDFG?

The only course you’ll ever need to take if you want to use Adobe InDesign for your business! I think you covered everything I am going to need and am glad you didn’t waste any time on features I probably won’t ever use.
— Jessica Alonso, designer
I just landed my first freelance client a couple days ago! This was ONLY made possible because of what I learned in Kelsey’s INDFG course because it’s the platform I’ll need to use for the project! The course is extremely comprehensive and thorough and I know I’ll be referencing it a ton as I continue to learn and grow. Worth every penny! I’m feeling so blessed and excited for the new opportunities ahead of me!
— Lindsay Ellis, blogger
Still loving the InDesign course, BTW. It made me confident enough to try out Photoshop and Illustrator too. Woohoo! I ditched Canva last month. Thanks so much!
— Sarah, mom + health blogger
The InDesign Field Guide that Kelsey offers was worth every penny I paid for her insider tips and tricks (for both beginners and veterans alike). The course is extremely organized and clear (including cheat sheets, homework checklists, and videos for visual learners). Although I have completed all of the lessons, because I have open access, I have already begun referring back to both the materials and videos to solidify the information further! I would recommend this course to anyone who is interested in learning this program for use for a new business, working with clients on design projects, or is in the world of publishing. Thank you Kelsey for creating this course, it has definitely given me more confidence working in InDesign!
— Christine, spring 2016 student
This course is one of the best investments I could have ever made for my business. The material is so detailed and so comprehensive and I love that it instantly gave me the opportunity to utilize my knowledge of the program by creating a business guidebook! I definitely know my way around InDesign now and can’t believe how many content design opportunities I have been missing by not having knowledge of this program.
— Jessica Alonso, designer
Being able to “look over your shoulder” to see how you designed pages was awesome. Also the checklists, guides, templates and other PDF’s accompanying the videos lessons are super helpful & handy. The Bonus lesson for Adobe Acrobat to make forms was also super helpful.
— Tim Matsuda, fall 2015 student
The InDesign Field Guide is one of the most beneficial courses that I have ever purchased. Packed with incredibly useful and practical information, insider tips and tricks, and best practices for design, you get so much more out of the INDFG than just learning InDesign! I feel so much more prepared for the next stages of my business with all of this knowledge and teaching under my belt. I can’t wait to implement all that Kelsey taught me to take my business to the next level!
— Jennifer Elwell, designer + blogger
This is a great course. I feel so much more comfortable using this program now. Easy to follow instructions, and I can go back and review if I need to.
— Happy Notes, online stationery shop
Even if you think you can get around in InDesign fairly well, I promise you, this course is worth it. It completely revolutionized my workflow. I *thought* I had a pretty good handle on InDesign, but there’s a difference between surface level knowledge and mastery. There is SO much you can do with InDesign, so if your skills need sharpening, I’d highly encourage you to check it out!
— Lauren Carns, brand designer
This is by far the best online class I have ever purchased. Bar none. I can honestly say dollar for dollar your course has been the best value for money that I’ve bought. I truly believe that every creative entrepreneur who wants to create products for their business needs this class!
— Debs Thompson, photographer + food blogger
I am forever grateful for how much I’ve learned through your InDesign course (and blog). I’m incredibly proud of the products I’ve made and am so eager to share it with the world. This class transformed my company.
— Christina Conner, behavior analyst
I am working through this course already and it has been so beneficial! I had some basic knowledge on InDesign from design school, but your course was the most thorough I’ve ever experienced! Thank you!
— Caitlyn Creative Works, designer
Ahhhmazing! This course allows you to understand InDesign in a way that allows for application and personal benefit right off the bat. Kelsey is thorough, she reiterates keyboard shortcuts, verbalizes exactly what she is doing and keeps her videos short enough to watch in one sitting, but still packed with content. If you’ve never used InDesign before in your life (I hadn’t), this course will allow you to understand the basics, and then some in a very well thought out way.
— Sheree Clark, life coach + blogger
Y’all, Kelsey is an InDesign wizard and in this course she shares all of her magical secrets. Invest in yourself and your business by taking the InDesign Field Guide and I promise you won’t regret it! I can’t wait to see where this priceless new knowledge takes me!
— Jessica Alonso, designer
This is the class you need to leverage your blogging game and start creating digital products as lead magnets and for sale. This course will give you the straight talk on the tools and techniques to create a variety of documents with InDesign.
— Debs Thompson, photographer + food blogger
I feel totally confident working in InDesign now and I had never used it before. This course will teach you everything you need to know to get started in InDesign as well as some advanced information that it would take you a long time before you mastered. Even if you know InDesign I would recommend purchasing this course just for the extra information about industry standards, design workflows, and bonus content!
— Jennifer Elwell, designer + blogger
I truly appreciate how thorough you are during the course. It has already changed my approach to creating documents, and I love how clean and organized my documents are now. This course has certainly made me more comfortable with the “major” programs for the Adobe suite, and for that I am very grateful. As a teacher, I commend you Kelsey on a job well done. This course is worth every penny!
— Amanda Means, designer, teacher, + blogger
What I loved about this course and what made me purchase was that Kelsey states plainly that not everything in InDesign will be covered. That made my day. I know how huge and powerful the Adobe programs are and I really wanted to steer clear of anything that was going to overwhelm me with TMI. I wanted to get the nitty gritty on how to make lots of stuff with InDesign, but I didn’t want to spend the next 6 years doing it! Ah-mazing course!
— Debs Thompson, photographer + food blogger
Kelsey’s InDesign course was Ah-mazing! She completely helped me get over all of my InDesign hang-ups. I’ve watched the whole thing multiple times now, and it’s such a fantastic resource that I’m so darn grateful to have.
— Erica Reitman, interior designer
It was so worth the time and notes to take your course!! I thought I knew InDesign but I learned SO much. Everyone reading this – sign up for this course. Kelsey hit it out of the park.
— Nora Conrad, productivity coach


Ready to learn Adobe InDesign once and for all?



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