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organize recipes

How do you keep your recipes organized? I have my old fashioned wooden recipe file box, way to many cookbooks with sticky notes sticking out of them, recipes saved on several internet sites, a small collection in the MasterCook software from Siera and finally several file folders of recipes I have printed. and we won't even mention my multi-year binders of Bon Appetit and cupboards full of other magazines. I keep telling myself this would be a great winter project but I don't know where to start.

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  1. I have added recipes to Paprika, an Ipad app that an adult child introduced me to. It is at its best when you can directly dump the recipe from the website. But you can enter the recipe manually as well.

    I still have a few recipes in my Google mail account. I emailed them to myself and filed them in a recipe file with subheadings. I haven't transferred all of them to Paprika yet.

    I also still have some old recipe cards with recipes, but I doubt I will ever do anything with them. I have the most important recipes in the email file or the Paprika app.

    I also subscribed to Eat Your Books for awhile, but I finally cancelled because I simply never used it. http://www.eatyourbooks.com/

    This is really great for accessing recipes from indexed cookbooks. It works well. It indexed several of my cookbooks and the search mechanism was good. In addition, it indexed recipes from several food blogs and websites.

    1. I use a program called Evernote. I use it on my laptop and have the app on my phone and tablet so I can access my recipes from everywhere. I can copy and paste recipes in there or I can take a photo of the recipe (from a cookbook, for example). I then am able to add tags to each recipe so I can search via tag if I am looking for something to cook (like "vegetarian" or "Thai" or even by ingredient, like "eggplant"...very handy when my CSA is in full force). I started off with the free version but am now a premium user and pay a fee for more storage. I have expanded and no longer just store recipes in Evernote...I have moved most of my filing cabinet's contents to Evernote and now have folders for receipts for home repairs, car repairs, travel documents, etc.

      4 Replies
      1. re: mels

        Yes, to all of this. My story was pretty much the same. Evernote started as a way to organize my recipes and have them available everywhere and now we use it for just managing all the paper that life generates. It's indispensable.

        1. re: mels

          I love this idea! I use Evernote mobile for list making, but have never used the home based website. I added the evernote web clipper button yesterday (works similar to the pinterest "pin it" button). I now have all of my Thanksgiving recipes in saved in one spot as opposed to recipe boxes from many different sites. Genius!
          I'm going to grad school this spring and the possibilities seem endless!

          To OP, I also use Eat Your Books to keep my cookbooks organized. I use the ingredient search to find every cookbook recipe I own using that specific ingredient. I find this very valuable and time saving. It also has me actually using all of my cookbooks.

          1. re: mels

            True confession: I haven't been able to figure out Evernote. I have the recipe app, but to me it just looks like a blank page.

            1. re: sueatmo

              I don't bother with the "Evernote Food". I just use the regular version- create new note, give it a title, add tags, save to folder of choice.

          2. What worked for me was:
            1) Think about how I now look for/decide what to cook. Focus on centralizing other recipes there.
            2) Reclaim cupboard/shelf space by donating least-used cookbooks to a charity and giving away (via Craigslist) magazines. This isn't an all-at-once deal. A few books/magazines at a time is fine. I chose to keep the holiday edition of several magazines, giving away the rest of the year.
            3) Spend an hour a day/evening going through the printed/clipped loose recipes. If they still look appealing, get them into your preferred search method (per #1) and toss the printed version.

              1. re: MidwesternerTT

                thanks you all have not only given me some valuable info but some much needed motivation. I'm sorting! (lol)

              2. I email them to myself and keep in a Recipes folder in my gmail. Easy to find via a word search.

                1. I also subscribe to eatyourbooks and I live by it - I have over 150 cookbooks and it allows me to search by ingresient, course etc. It works best for cookbooks though and saves me a ton of time (and money if i want to use up something in my fridge!)

                  I have binders that I have divided by course for my other recipes from magazines and such. I tear out the ones I want to try, file them away and then either keep them or toss them once I've made them. Not terribly efficient - I like the Evernote idea so I might give that a shot.


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ladyberd

                    That's exactly how I use Evernote, except I don't bother to divide by course. I have one file called "Recipes to Try" and another called "Recipes I Like." Once I try a recipe, I either move it to Recipes I Like or delete it. I try to only save recipes that really seem worth repeating, and I also occasionally go through that folder and delete recipes that no longer interest me. This way the size of the folder stays manageable. Then when I find myself stuck without an idea for dinner, I can search or scroll through the folder and find something that I know everyone will enjoy.

                    And I do have a few other folders in Evernote, for example, I have a separate folder for Baking and one called Pantry Emergency, which is just ideas for when I need to make dinner fast based on pantry ingredients.

                  2. I find EYB very usefull for cooking from my cookbooks and also to search for recipes on my blogs that I like and that are indexed.

                    For recipes that I found electronically I use Pepperplate.

                    I also have lots of paper recipes and thinking about organizing them in binders - one to keep and eventually transfer to Pepperplate and another for recipes I want to try. Once I try them, I'll either put them into Pepperplate or toss.

                    I am also thinking about making a cookbook for my children and maybe a handful of friends. Once I manage to do this I might organize my paper binder and Pepperplate into printed books keeping e-versions intacked.

                    1. I use a combo of paprika (iphone app) and epicurious (website). Pretty much all my recipes are electronics and for the few that I come across and aren't, I just type them in.

                      1. Eatyourbooks and Pepperplate, for starters. But I have four large card boxes, too.

                        1. this might not work for you but my method has served me for years..
                          1. i went to the art store and got itoya portfolio presentation binders. they are plastic and come in several sizes. they are not cheap, but i've only ever replaced one. i got one that fits 3x5 index cards years ago (don't know if they still make that size) and the others i've added through the years. "the others" are 3 other itoya binders which hold 8 1/2 x 11 paper. they have a sheet in each one, so you can use both sides. i just slip in the recipes i want to keep. I have 3 -- mains & drinks, desserts (i bake a lot) and raw food & smoothies. I slip in the recipes in the front of the book throughout the year… whenever i find i have a good cup of tea, i can take some time and go through them. I rarely save any I've not cooked and gotten raves on: life's too short to save mediocre recipes! if my family loves it, it's a keeper.
                          2. i also have 2-3 recipe boxes with 3x5 cards that are antique. those recipes stay together. they are heirlooms, so they really aren't for cooking from! if i need a recipe from them, i can recopy it to my 3x5s and slip it in the itoya. i learned long ago that we don't eat the same today as we did 50 years ago, so mostly they are just silly to look at.
                          3. i went through ALL my cooking magazines years ago: if i haven't cooked from it by now…it's just taking up space. feel the same way about my cookbooks. unless there is some compelling reason, it gets donated. i go through the shelves about 2x yearly, then wait several more months for the library sale to donate. i go through a few at a time… whatever i have time to look through.

                          then I wait for christmas and birthdays and see what exciting new cookbooks appear!
                          ...and then i do it all over again...

                          1. Like many others here, I use Eat Your Books to keep track of recipes in cookbooks. And, because I feel guilty about buying too many cookbooks, I do try to cook from my books most of the time. EYB can help with this.

                            For online recipes, I keep them in Evernote. I also tried Pepperplate for a while, but Evernote works better for me, and I prefer it.

                            If you commonly use recipe sites such as Epicurious, Allrecipes etc., then Pepperplate is good because it is very easy to import recipes from those sites into Pepperplate.

                            Most of the online recipes I use come from the NYT or random food blogs, and it is not so convenient to get these recipes into Pepperplate. The Evernote web clipper is better for this. Also, I find that Evernote has better syncing between online and mobile devices and a more robust search function than Pepperplate. This works well for me because I don't like to spend time categorizing recipes, I just rely on searches.

                            I also use Evernote for menu planning (I like to keep a simple running list of meal ideas). Lots of folks use Pepperplate for that but it drove me crazy because you have to assign each dish to a specific day on a calendar, and that doesn't work for me at all.

                            I don't have family recipes to keep track of, so the combination of EYB and Evernote works well for me.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: Westminstress

                              Doesn't eat your books allow you to "capture" recipes from any web site to add to your recipes?

                              I do have the problem of old Bon Appetit recipes that aren't on line, but EYB covers everything else.

                              1. re: Madrid

                                I've never tried that feature on EYB. I find that Evernote works very well for me, and it is available offline, which EYB is not. If EYB added an app with offline access, maybe I would switch everything over there, depending on the functionality. Until then, I will stick with evernote.

                                1. re: Madrid

                                  I actually just tested that feature with a random recipe from the NYT website (where I tend to get a lot of recipes). It wanted me to fill in all the info to index the recipe, then it would go to EYB for approval, then I could have it on my bookshelf. But if I want to see the recipe, I would have to go to the NYT site. No, thanks. Too much work for me.

                                  1. re: Westminstress

                                    I like that feature. Some web sites work better with it than others. Epicurious is almost automatic, you don't have to add anything. Other sites do require you to provide the categories and main ingredients for indexing. It's not really all that much trouble once you have done it a couple of times.

                                    I like having the links to on-line recipes right in with my cookbook and magazine results in all EYB searches.

                                2. re: Westminstress

                                  Epicurious now has a feature like pepperplate called epiclipper, so you can import any recipe you happen across on the internet into your epicurious recipe box.

                                  1. re: Shrinkrap

                                    and epicurious importation is a feature on pepperplate... you just use the url.

                                    1. re: mcf

                                      I just use the "add to pepperplate" button on my tool bar.

                                3. Nothing works any better than a cardfile, in my opinion. For recipes in books and magazines, the card simply references the source. The software never needs updating.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: GH1618

                                    I actually tried that approach. I was pretty confident about keeping cards about recipes I had tried from magazines but was pretty confident I could remember the cookbook ones. I didn't and now the file box sits ignored in a drawer.

                                    1. For recipe organization I use Pepperplate. I've manually entered many of my handwritten, clipped and Word document recipes into Pepperplate. For meal inspiration I use Eat Your Books.

                                      1. I love pepperplate
                                        it also has a menu planner so you can save favorite combos or holiday menus and a shopping list

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: cperry

                                          I am a big fan of pepperplate, too, but wish for a couple of changes. One, I hate waiting for more recipes to load. Two, when I print a recipe, it is in a small, light gray type, which is annoying.

                                          1. re: sandylc

                                            I had no idea that printing was an issue! I used it first on my phone, now on a Kindle I keep in the kitchen. Can't you change your font color and customize your print job?

                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                On your printer interface, you should be able to choose "preferences" or "properties."

                                                1. re: mcf

                                                  Thanks, I'll look at that next time!

                                        2. I'm thinking of buying an I Pad .. I want to be able to read recipes on it in the kitchen. Right now, I have recipes in different folders, takes time to find the one I need.

                                          Should I buy a scanner and put my recipes on desktop and then transfer them to I Pad? Someone told me I probably need a certain kind of scanner in order to have an index or something. (Sorry, there's a lot I don't know about this.)

                                          7 Replies
                                          1. re: walker

                                            By folders do you mean they are printed and then in a actual physical folder or an electronic folder?

                                            1. re: chocchic

                                              I put printed recipes inside plastic sheet covers then into 3 ring notebooks or just enclosed plastic file things.

                                              I don't yet have an I Pad nor a scanner.

                                              1. re: walker

                                                I asked for years about a scanner or some sort of software. I don't know how you would organize or index it. I'm opting for the two popular suggestions in this string. Pepperplate looks to be a good choice for recipes that are on internet. You can bookmark them and then retrieve on your ipad.. Then you take your ipad to the kitchen - find a place to safely use it. Will eliminate some of the folders but if you are like me some of your recipes are from newspapers or hastily jotted notes from a cooking class or any number of other choices.

                                                1. re: chocchic

                                                  I scanned in my old clippings, cut and paste into pepperplate as needed.

                                            2. re: walker

                                              I use my kindle and pepperplate. Just sync them, no scanning required.

                                              1. re: mcf

                                                Mcf, how do sync kindle and pepperplate? I have both and some cookbooks are on kindle.

                                                1. re: herby

                                                  Just dl the free pp app to your kindle, then when you open it, use the sync function and your kindle will update with your new recipes on file.

                                            3. Get whatever software works for you. Sounds like it could be MasterCook.

                                              Start by putting cookbook titles and page references along with whatever personal notes are important to you. You'll only have to remember a recipe name to find it wherever it may be.

                                              Next capture whatever links to online recipes. Add your own notes.

                                              Now start typing in your wooden file box and you've got all your recipes in one place.

                                              Now you can start refining and completing. Go back to those online links and start importing the recipes. I don't use MasterCook but I'm sure you can do that.

                                              Now google all those cookbook recipes. Eight chances in 10 someone has done them and put them up on a site. Capture them.

                                              Finally, take one recipe at a time from the references you listed in MasterCook and type that one in. You'll have a complete database on your phone before you know it. Then you'll just add a recipe at a time as you come across new promising ones.

                                              When you're doing all this, keep the links, page references, etc. in your database. If you're like me you're going to be monkeying with things all the time and someday you may want to go back to the original recipes. Also, add as many keywords to each entry as you can think of.
                                              • Do you do something at holidays? Put the holiday name in there.
                                              • Is something the favorite of a family member? Attach their name to it.
                                              • Is there something you can whip up in 20 minutes? Find a keyword for that.
                                              • Do some things make good gifts? Mark 'em.
                                              • Use keywords for the most important ingredients so you can look them up that way. Make another for the items you're least likely to have in your pantry because you're probably going to have to buy them before you're ready for this recipe.

                                              Good luck with the project! It takes time and work to be sure but once you do it you have a FABULOUS resource for cooking, shopping and sharing.

                                              1. If you are just talking about recipes that are online, how about just creating a bookmark folder, maybe with sub-folders, and storing recipes there? Bookmarks often include tags, to be used as you wish.

                                                Actually, I use stored recipes less and less, and just do a new online search for whatever I want. Youtube is my favorite recipe book now.

                                                9 Replies
                                                1. re: andabien

                                                  But what do you do, then, when someone decides to fold their online site?

                                                  I am *completely* IT ignorant. I just assume things can't be there forever or will become buried under a ton of more recent and desirable info so I want my own database that's backed up on a variety of devices. Maybe it's a silly fear but I feel better.

                                                  1. re: rainey

                                                    No, you are completely correct. If the site goes away, so do all the recipes. But, if the site is still there, it never gets buried, either.

                                                    I don't have any recipes that are so precious that I would never want to loose them. Or, if I did, I could always just save the web page to my own computer. Under the "File" drop-down menu there is an option to save the page.

                                                    On the other hand, new recipes are posted everyday, and some might be better than the ones I have, or know about.

                                                    1. re: andabien

                                                      You're right in that great recipes keep rolling in. But when you come across one that's right for your family's palate it would be sad to lose it. Especially since by the time you've made it several times and added variations, improved technique and someone's coming home and expecting just that it can really feel like a loss. I would't even want to guess how many Thai peanut sauces I tried out before I settled on the one that was "right" to me. (That was particularly tough and the one I use may not be muy authentico but I'd be broken hearted to lose it.)

                                                      Starting out a database can be real work. I won't deny that. But by the time you've got it done it's a sensational resource and most of them will outlast us if food is important in our families. There won't be any quibbling about who wants and gets custody of my recipes. Everyone gets to print out and duplicate the database and keep personalizing it according to their evolving family's tastes.

                                                      Foolishly or not, I think of it as one of the best things I get to pass along. It embodies so many holidays and occasions and a part of the backbone of our family.

                                                      1. re: rainey

                                                        Pardon my gift for veering off course, but would you be willing to share with me the peanut sauce recipe?

                                                        1. re: ccmccall

                                                          As I said, I went through a lot of them. This is the one that appeals to me. But because there's so much variation you may prefer a different one.

                                                          This one works for me as a dip, as a hot sauce for chicken, a cold dressing for a spinach salad or a Thai salad with noodles and sprouts.

                                                          In any case, here you go:

                                                          Spicy Peanut Sauce
                                                          makes about 2 cups

                                                          • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
                                                          • 3 green onions (white and green parts), chopped fine
                                                          • 1 clove garlic, chopped fine
                                                          • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, peeled and finely grated
                                                          • 1 cup water
                                                          • 1/2 cup peanut butter, smooth or chunky
                                                          • 1/4 cup soy sauce
                                                          • 1/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
                                                          • 3 tablespoon brown sugar, firmly packed
                                                          • 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

                                                          1. In a saucepan heat oil over moderate heat until hot but not smoking and cook green onions, garlic, and ginger, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer, stirring. Simmer sauce, stirring, until smooth and cool to room temperature.

                                                          NOTE: Sauce may be made up to 3 days ahead and chilled, covered. If sauce is too thick after chilling, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons hot water until sauce reaches desired consistency.

                                                        2. re: rainey

                                                          +1 for the Thai peanut sauce, please, Rainey.

                                                          1. re: SusanaTheConqueress

                                                            Another thing I love about having a DB is that I can share without a worry of having a typo in the amount of an ingredient when I can neither type nor proofread for ^%&#.

                                                            ; >

                                                            Hope you will enjoy it.

                                                        3. re: andabien

                                                          Actually, there's a very handy website called The Wayback Machine that has archives of websites, extant and vanished, from, well, way back. Not to say that it will be there forever, but while it lasts, it's a great resource for finding the info from long-gone websites. I think it just goes through the internet periodically, so has snapshots of the same websites at various points in time. Plug in a URL, say from an old bookmark or another broken link, and voila! I lost my university account without remembering to collect the recipes I'd put on there from a party we'd had, and now I have them back.


                                                        4. re: rainey

                                                          I find that my Pepperplate recipes are available to me even without an internet connection.

                                                      2. Well, I save LOTS of recipes. I copy & paste into a word document. I buy bulk 8.5x11 sheet protectors, group recipes into categories, print on both sides of the sheet of paper, put them into the sheet protector and categorize them in binders. I'll never get them all tried in this lifetime but I have a great selection. I group them into categories that make sense to me - "soups & stews", "beef", "ground beef", "salads", etc.

                                                        1. I use Google Drive to store my recipes as pdf's. Most online recipes have a "print" option so I use a pdf printer to create a saveable document. (There are several free pdf maker programs available online.) On Gdrive I have them in a shared folder so friends and relatives can use them too, as well as share their discoveries with us all. I don't organize but rely on searching for an ingredient since that is often the way I cook, farmers' markets being so seasonal. And Gdrive is available anywhere there is an Internet connection.

                                                          1. I've been keeping track of my recipe collection for Years with an old DOS program called Meal-Master. It's freeware & since it runs in DOS (pre-Windows) it never gets tangled up with all the goobeldy goop under the hood.

                                                            Anyone up for the challenge can find instructions for running with Windows 98 through XP from Microsoft's site for running programs older than your operating system. For those in the Vista, Windows 7 or 8 world can run it with something called 'DOSBOX' (again a freeware program). I'm sure it can run on a Mac with Windows capabilities.

                                                            I'm running Vista on this machine & have a shortcut on my desktop that starts it right up. New entries can be made a number of ways. Meal-Master has an import function but the files need to have been generated by other recipe programs from back then. Some still exist today. Or they can be entered manually or by importing a properly formatted .TXT file.

                                                            My mentioning the programs below should not be considered an endorsement as I only have experience with Meal-Master.

                                                            The programs listed in the Import/Export function of MealMaster are: "MicroCookBook", "Micro Kitchen Companion", "Mastercook" & "Chef's Accountant".

                                                            My personal method is as follows:
                                                            1) find recipe on line or in print form.

                                                            2) Cut & paste on-line entries into a Notepad file & save it as a .TXT file.

                                                            If it's in print form, I either type it directly into the Meal-Master program or use my speech-to-text program to create a .TXT file by dictating.

                                                            3) If I have the .TXT file I use another freeware program (Recipe Buster) which will format the data so it can be imported into the Meal-Master data base.

                                                            4) Using the Import function of Meal-Master I add the new recipes.

                                                            Sounds like a lot of work, right? Once you get the hang of it I think you'll see it's well worth it.

                                                            What I get in return is a wide variety of search functions based in categories that I can create (i.e. gluten free, vegan, raw, etc.), searches by ingredient or direction (braise, saute), the ability to scale up from 1 serving to whatever, to add my own notes, export into various file types to share or print, etc. There is even a 'negative' search function (Say I want a stew but without rosemary in it. I use stew as the category with a "-rosemary" in the ingredients area.)

                                                            I have been using this program for over 15 years. My initial entries were for some Gourmet Magazine recipes from the 40's, 50's & 60's. When I started, I was using only periodicals so by searching for "soups" from sources from "November" I would primarily be dealing with seasonal ingredients & hearty fare.

                                                            Setting this up is very much like following a recipe (but a bit stricter) & the results can save you hours & hours.

                                                            I should also mention that I have been able to transfer this program & data through a series of computers I have been using over that period of time. Once installed, it can work without internet access. Pre-cloud.

                                                            Here's a few views. Final search was for a "stew" with "chicken thighs" without "-rosemary" appropriate for "Jan"uary.

                                                            Private E-mail me if you have questions or need help. This is a free program & as is any assistance I can be.

                                                            1. Big Evernote fan, originally because of the web clipper that runs as a one-click add-on in web browser. Recently acquired a scanner that offers the option to scan directly into Evernote. Am slowly scanning a couple decades of photocopied recipes from binders into Evernote, which means I now actually search and use them. Back in the day I scanned a large batch of recipes into PDF, which I moved into Evernote soon after I downloaded the software. The search tool is terrific and works both with HTML and PDF. Terrific software.

                                                              8 Replies
                                                              1. re: edbattle

                                                                Could I ask which scanner you bought? I read reviews for some of them and got turned off, just thought it'd be another system to learn and have trouble with.

                                                                I bought an I Pad and am learning how to use it. Apple people have me taking photos of the recipes (sometimes with Genius Scan) and then putting them in Evernote. (I'm very much a beginner in Evernote, too.)

                                                                1. re: walker

                                                                  Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i Instant PDF Sheet-Fed Mobile Document Scanner:

                                                                  People have very different ideas as to what is 'difficult'. I set up the Evernote scanner profile in a few minutes and it now simply runs. No problem scanning to other software and/or folders, eg, Google Drive. However, I use it almost exclusively for Evernote input. IMHO, 'easy'.

                                                                  Amazon reviews give you a good idea of capabilities. There are also useful CNet reviews and YouTube how-to videos for both the scanner and Evernote, if you want to research. I use my scanner with a PC running Windows 7 and Evernote Premium. I run Evernote on PC as software, on Google Chrome web browser, and on Android smartphone.

                                                                  My choice was between this $250 low-volume document feeder and the $500 higher-volume document feeder with dedicated Evernote software that Fujitsu also makes. The $500 item is the one often mentioned on the Evernote blog and store. Nifty as dedicated software must be, $500 seemed overkill for my level of need, hence the $250 purchase.

                                                                  I have 2,000-plus recipes in binders that have gone unused for more than a decade--because I now do everything on computer and smartphone. My workflow is to keep a stack of 10 or 20 pages next to the scanner, run them through, check the Evernote notes that result, add tags or assemble multiple notes into one note (rarely necessary). Today's 20 pages scanned, I then stack tomorrow's 20 pages. If it takes me six months or one year to work through 2,000 recipes, that's fine.

                                                                  The result: 100% unused paper documents are now just as searchable as every other Evernote note, ie, 100% usable and frequently accessed.

                                                                  Very similar process to copying my 600 music CDs to my hard drive/cloud backup. My worklife is organized around my computer. Now so is my music. Ditto my recipes. Huge difference in usefulness in both cases.

                                                                  I often search for a recipe on Evernote on PC, because I like my large screen. I then save the recipe as an Evernote 'shortcut' and use Evernote on my Android in my cookbook holder in the kitchen.

                                                                  IMPORTANT: Searchable PDFs are an Evernote Premium feature. PDFs can be uploaded to Evernote just as with any other commonly-used format--but the ability to search PDF is Premium-only. The speed and accuracy of Evernote Search is one of its best features. For me, $5/mo is absolutely worth it for software used daily for years--but again, everyone is entitled to his/her own concept of value.

                                                                  Going forward, if you mostly find recipes online, Evernote recommends its web browser extension called 'Clearly' which one-click clips a beautifully formatted recipe from any web page and syncs to all platforms on which you run Evernote (PC/Mac, browser, tablet, phone). These web clips are HTML, not PDF, so are searchable with or without Evernote Premium.

                                                                  'Clearly's one-click is a much easier way to clip recipes online than the method the Apple Store suggests. Apple Store kids are great, but tend to recommend methods that work 100% within the Apple ecosystem, whether or not most efficient.

                                                                  Hope the above is helpful!

                                                                  1. re: edbattle

                                                                    I might be a slow learner .. I'm doing the best I can. When you say only with Premium Evernote can you search PDFs .. does this mean if I take a photo of a recipe and put it in Evernote OR if I transfer in one I found on the web, that I will not be able to find it easily later?

                                                                    I'm leaning against paying $250 for a scanner .. don't think my needs are that great.

                                                                    1. re: walker

                                                                      Search Indexing:
                                                                      Free = Text and images.
                                                                      Premium = Text, images, PDFs, and several other kinds of Office and iWorks files.
                                                                      Business = Text, images, PDFs, and several other kinds of Office and iWorks files.

                                                                      You get a very good FREE product with basic Evernote.

                                                                      I have a fairly large set of paper documents/recipes that make most sense to scan, in which case searchable PDF is a very useful option and end-result.

                                                                      I like to be able to do fast and complete full-text searches on the entire contents of my Evernote database, whatever the file format.

                                                                      However, you get a very good result with searches on FREE Evernote--just not full-text indexing on PDF documents. If not suitable to your needs, you can upgrade in the minute it takes to fill out an autopay form.

                                                                      If a $250 scanner isn't sensible relative to your needs, just remember that everything you find on online can be added to Evernote for free using the web clipper. Evernote offers 2 or 3 web extensions, but 'Clearly' is by far the most capable--and completely free of charge.

                                                                      Good luck! It has nothing to do with being a 'slow learner'. You simply don't know the software. Try the free product for several months as I did--and you can always upgrade if you decide that you want the full-text PDF searches or more extensive platform options.

                                                                      1. re: edbattle

                                                                        I paid the $99 for a year of one-on-one classes at Apple; I have a lot to learn. It's a bit hard to schedule them since I can't get much done in the 1/2 hr ones and you cannot schedule more than one at a time. (I'm only going to sign up for the hour ones from now on) I write down everything and I write notes of questions I need to ask. Your reply above was helpful, thanks.

                                                                2. re: edbattle

                                                                  I just downloaded Evernote and think I am going to love it. I had recently saved recipes into entries on a Blogger blog, but found the search feature to be lacking.

                                                                  I also bought a cheap (3.99) app that will capture the text from my cookbooks and magazines and convert it right into an Evernote note. I am super excited by this since I wanted to be able to edit in changes I make.

                                                                  1. re: nat8199

                                                                    Could you tell me the name of the app? Thanks.

                                                                    1. re: walker

                                                                      I should have said to begin with! It is Text Grabber and translator. It isn't perfect, but makes adding recipes really easy!