How To Organize Recipes On Your Computer Or Using An Online Recipe Organizer
There are a couple of benefits to organizing recipes electronically.
Firstly it eliminates the need for extra storage space in the kitchen – you can throw away all those dog eared magazine clippings or give away all those recipe books you only like one or two recipes from.
Secondly they can be easier to search through using your computer’s search functionality. You should still set up a category based system though.
So should you store recipes on your own computer or use an online recipe organizer or something like Google Docs? Your own computer is best if you’re not always connected to the internet. Referring to a recipe organizer online is best if you like to access recipes from anywhere you happen to be or you want to share them with friends quickly and easily.
Online Recipe Organizer Options
Online recipe organizers allow you to manage your recipe collection ‘online’ funnily enough. There are many sites offering this kind of service so features you should look out for include:
- being able to add your own paper recipes, not just bookmark those that are already online
- a meal planner tool that creates a shopping list
- functionality that allows you to increase or decrease the ingredients based on the number of servings you need
- a database of recipes for you to browse through (as if you don’t have enough already!)
- social interaction with other food lovers
- ability to share recipes with family, friends and other members
- no charge!
The following websites are worth checking out:
Recipe Organizer Software For Your Computer
Recipe organization software is available to use as part of your ‘how to organize your home‘ action plan but is not necessarily needed. Software offers numerous features such as allowing you to adjust serving numbers on a recipe automatically, generating shopping lists from menu plans, making custom made cookbooks to give as gifts and checking nutritional analysis. They do have a downside though, in that often you will need to type in the recipes you’ve collected from cooking magazines, friends and family etc.
The best recipe organization software packages range from $9.95 to $79.95 with the best one being MasterCook which costs $29.99.
Free recipe organizer software is advertised but more often than not is just a ‘free’ trial or access to a full program that is limited in some way, such as in the number of recipes you can add.
How To Organize Recipes On Your Computer Without Software
To save you typing them all you could really do with a scanner. You can then scan them all in and save them into category recipe folders. You can also take online recipes and cut and paste them into a word document.
Print them when you need them and rescan them if you’ve made notes on them. Alternatively just recycle after use. Make sure to include recipes from books that you have tried and want to use again in your electronic recipe organizer.
Pros & Cons Of Keeping Digital Recipes
The advantages of digital recipes are that they can’t get lost (assuming you back up your PC or your online recipe organizer is reliable), stained or dog eared and your collection can’t outgrow your binder. You can also store multiple copies in various categories, such as ‘Chicken’ and ‘Healthy’ and easily e-mail favorite recipes to friends. Just think carefully when coming up with filenames – be sure to take advantage of the fact that the computer will alphabetize things for you.
The only downside to a digital recipe organizer as far I’m concerned is not being able to make a quick decision based on a pretty picture as I flick through my paper versions, without opening a lot of files, but this can be solved with a digital scrapbook.
Digitally Scrapbooked Recipes
Blissfully Domestic has a beautiful example of a digitally scrapbooked recipe and she explains how you go about making one. They are ideal for those of us who like a pretty recipe to work from but at the same time, the originals are all safe and sound stored digitally on your computer allowing you to reprint them at any time. They also allow you to hand pick attractive looking recipes to combine into a gift book for friends and family.
I’d love to hear your thoughts if you use an online recipe organizer. Please leave me a comment.
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