How to organise recipes

One of the very first organising projects I got paid for was to organise someone’s recipe collection. I gathered up all the different pieces of paper and created an organised collection that could expand as more recipes “made the cut” and joined the ranks of favourites.

There were grandma’s handwritten, gravy spattered recipes, as well as those torn from magazines or photocopied from cookbooks. When I handed over the collection, the client was delighted. That was back in 2005.

The following year, when my daughter moved out of home, I gifted her with a collection of the recipes of her favourite family meals and some motherly advice.

If I did either of those projects now, it would be totally different.

The choices available to us now are abundant. But abundant choices can actually make the choosing harder. Have you noticed that these days, recipes can be stored and accessed in so many different ways?

You’ll find them in:

  • Cookbooks
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Digital magazines and newspapers
  • Blogs
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube
  • Apps

… and when I watch a cooking show, I often hastily scrawl the recipe as I watch.

I was prompted to think about recipe collections, and to write this article, when I saw a post about “how to organise recipes”. The advice given had several steps, involved lots of printing of blog posts and other online recipes, and required a large binder. When I read that, I thought, “Sure. Or you could just save it to a Pinterest board.” That system works for me.

Another system that works for me is tearing recipes from hard copy magazines and dumping them in a container until I try them out. The container is important because it puts a limit on the number of recipes I collect. Once tried, if they make the cut, they get to live in my display books. I have one for sweet and one for savoury.

I like to keep things simple, with minimal steps to success. That’s why these two systems work for me.

But I do have a confession about those recipes. Read about it here.

Now over to you. I’m curious. How do you like to organise recipes?

  1. nikki_w 3 years ago

    We have a family recipe book in Google Docs that has been printed and placed in a binder but also available online. We are slowly getting rid of all our old cookbooks. Most of the time each recipe book only has 2-5 recipes that we use consistently anyway. Google Keep has this really great phone feature that allows you to photograph a recipe and then convert it to text so we don’t even spend that much time typing up all recipes we just cut the converted text from keep and paste it into Google Docs and with minimal editing the job is done. Any magazines that have recipes that look interesting get ripped out and goes in a folio that come out each week when we have our family meeting (includes meal suggestions from every member of the household) so the folder is great inspiration and encourages us to try new things. For any recipes we locate online that we would like to attempt, we use a browser menu tool, Save to Keep, these we place in a folder labelled SM Meal Ideas (SM = Someday Maybe).

    • Avatar photo Author
      Angela 3 years ago

      I’ll have to check out Google Keep. I used to use Evernote for that function but it’s not a favourite any more.

  2. Tracey 3 years ago

    I add recipes I’ve cooked to the Paprika app and then use Pinterest to save recipes I might cook one day. I’ve also started scanning recipes out of supermarket magazines into Onenote (which are then saved by type – drinks, appetisers, main, etc.). I then try and cook something new once a week and do a clean out every so often.

    • Avatar photo Author
      Angela 3 years ago

      Yes, getting around to try the new recipes is my limiting factor. But I did try 2 new things the past weekend, both successes.

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