Recipes are everywhere and so many look so good that we bookmark, we rip, we email, we save, we print and we write in order to collect and keep them organized in some sort of orderly fashion. Ideally we’d like to be able to find them again when we need to without having to waste too much time searching for them. I love trying new recipes and often will have two or three new recipes on the menu plan to try each week. The problem is of course finding the best method to track not only new recipes to try but our tried and true favorites as well.
Before I share how I organize my recipes though let’s discuss some of the various methods available to us.
Recipe boxes work well for recipes on index cards but don’t work so well for holding magazine clippings or 8.5×11 sheets of paper. Most recipe boxes aren’t near big enough either.
There are a number of different ways to mange recipes on your computer:
1. Type your recipes into a Word document
2. Bookmark them into your Favorites using a specific recipe folder and then further organized into various sub-folders for the different food categories
5. Create your own recipe book with an online service such as Tastebook
Photo album/3 ring binder:
Using the old style peel and stick photo albums or a 3 ring binder with page protectors are great ways to contain both regular size sheets of paper as well as smaller clippings and scrap pieces of paper. Adding some simple tab dividers allow you to sort your recipe pages into specific food categories.
It’s important to remember that no one method will work the same for everyone. We are all unique in our priorities as well as with our likes and dislikes. That is totally A-okay. Regardless of whichever method you choose I think it’s important to take into consideration your personality and what’s important to you. I discussed this in more detail here.
For me I needed a system that included a place to keep the recipes that my family loves and another location for recipes we want to try. I also know that I don’t enjoy writing out recipes by hand or typing them out on the computer so any kind of system that requires me to do that just wouldn’t work for me. I have comfortably settled on a combination of systems that meet my needs. Due to Menu Plan Monday and wanting to be able to link to the recipes I post I now find most of my recipes online. I created a Recipe folder in my Bookmarks with multiple sub-folders (ie: chicken, pork, beef, meatless, salads, desserts, etc) that make it very convenient for me to add recipe links to as I find them online. Recipes that we enjoy and I know I will make again get printed out and put into a three ring binder that has been divided with the same category tabs. I only have one binder so once that is full I have to go through the purging process before I can add anymore. For recipes found offline I use my folder method until I’ve had a chance to try them out.
As many of you know I also adore the Taste of Home publications and have quite the collection of magazines that I can’t bear to tear apart. I want to keep them intact so I have found that a recipe journal works well for tracking these recipes. I rarely use cookbooks any more but this method would work well for tracking your favorite cookbook recipes as well.
In addition I’ve also been finding it extremely helpful having a Family Favorites Index on my site. To keep consistency I’ve got the recipes listed there organized into the same categories as I use in the other systems I have going on. This definitely makes it very easy to find what I’m looking for.
To keep my bookmarks on my computer under control and from getting out of hand once they’ve been tried they get added to my index and/or printed out and then deleted.
As you can see the possibilities are endless really and I know I’ve given you a lot to think about but let me know if I’ve missed something and/or which method works best for you.
For more kitchen organizing tips visit this special edition of Works for me Wednesday taking place today over at Rocks in my Dryer.