Sunday, May 7, 2017

How to organize your recipe collection for greater efficiency in the kitchen

Image via Amazon
As the saying goes, a Sunday well spent brings a week of content. My Sundays are usually filled with a little bit of organizing. Over the years, I've tried many different methods of organizing recipes, including all of the ones listed below.


The old proverb about not being able to find something when you need it the most is something that all of us have found to be true at some point in our lives or the other. However, if you are a cooking enthusiast, you may find that recipes are particularly good in hiding when you are looking for them! The only way to remedy the situation is, of course, organization. Here are a few tips that will help you do just that.

Traditional Bookmarking
If the recipe is in a book that you own, simply bookmark it. Admittedly, bookmarking multiple pages in a cookbook can get a bit confusing, but it’s still better than having to go through the entire volume to find that one recipe which you need right now. Some bookmarks come in multiple colors as well, so take advantage of the color coding and mark the recipes according to your preference or on the basis of whether or not you have already tried them.

Online Bookmarking
Websites and blogs are excellent sources of new recipes and if you have come across one, simply bookmark it on the browser of your tablet or phone. In this way, you will be able to access it whenever and wherever you need to.

Make Labels
If you are anything like me, then you will probably have a whole lot of handwritten recipes, clipped pages, and cookbooks that have been collected over the years. Some of those culinary treasures are really rare and they became even rarer to find on the days I needed them. I was mostly responsible for the situation though as the single large box I kept them all in was a nightmare to sort through when in a hurry. Since then, I have started to sort them into different boxes, on the basis of their importance, origin, and other factors. I used some Dymo Shipping Labels that I had left from my last sale on eBay for labeling the boxes and before you know it, things weren’t such a mess anymore.

Print Out Your Own Cookbook
An excellent way to organize all your online recipes in a tangible and accessible format is to print them out and bind them together. This way, you will have your own personal cookbook at your disposal. In order to make the customized printed out cookbook more organized you can add page numbers, a separate content page at the beginning and dedicated chapters or sections in between the recipes.

Scan the Recipes in
If you feel that you have more paper than you can handle, you can scan the pages that you need and save them onto the cloud. You will be able to free out some space without losing the recipes that you treasure so much. Once it’s on the cloud, your data is safe from even a hard drive crash.
These five tips helped me to organize my messy recipe collection into something that I can manage easily and with efficiency.  It may take you some time to get all of this done, but the effort will be worth it once you have everything sorted out.

Currently I'm using a combo of a binder that I'm trying to cook my way through and share with you so I can store the recipes all on this blog. How are you organizing yours?


  1. I have no system and it's driving me nuts. For recipes I find online I use Pepperplate, where you can import recipes so you can see them all in one place, search, etc. It keeps the original source as well so you can follow it back. But for books it's another story... For some I use post its, for others I have one post it on the front where I list my favourite recipes from the book and what page they're on. For others it's just freestyle. The dream would be a binder but I think I'd need to take a holiday just to get that done...

  2. Recipe folder in my aol email and ridiculous messy organized storage in my kitchen. Cabinet next to the stove. I have my mint squares recipe on green paper and my pumpkin bread and pineapple stuffing recipe on orange paper. I have peanut butter Tandy cakes on yellow paper. Thank Goddess Hershey's chocolate cake is on the cocoa can. I really should keep all my favorite recipes together. Love. Your. Momma.

  3. I have a few good traditional cookbooks and a recipe card box with pre-printed recipes (so basically a cookbook in a different form), and I use them so little even though I know there's good stuff in there, just because they don't work well with my meal planning system. When I meal plan I use a spreadsheet in Google Drive, and after a recipe has proven successful, I keep a link to it on that same sheet so I know it's "safe" to repeat. I end up getting most recipes off Pinterest with heavy favoritism for Tasty, SkinnyTaste and Budget Bytes. Being able to have just the one sheet open and fill out dinners for the week helps me be the most efficient. But at the same time I feel guilty not using the cookbooks I have! I should start making it a goal to use them at least once a week or something.

  4. I'm really good about keeping things organized if it's in a book or something I've printed and put in my recipe box- I got really out of hand and made an index for my cookbooks to put when we made the recipe, what we rated it, and what page it was on. When it comes to organizing things online I can never find what I'm looking for!

  5. I'm still trying to figure this out. I have a binder, and I definitely prefer physical copies of things. Like you, I'm trying to make things I like, share them, and then figure out a way to archive them appropriately. I saw Blurb has a cookbook option, so I've thought about putting them in there and eventually printing them... but that's a lot of work. LOL I think it might be fun for me though.


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