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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.