Recipe Organization

Are you continually saving and printing new recipes you find online? They look so yummy and how will you ever remember to try them if you don’t print them? And then you end up with piles of paper and still no new recipes are tried? That was me a few years ago until I came up with a way to organize all those recipes.

I have a computer folder where I initially save all new recipes, either in their original .pdf format or I do a copy and paste, putting them into a word document. I even have different subfolders for South Beach diet recipes and Vegetarian/Vegan recipes. While I am saving a recipe to the folder, I also print it off if it is something I think I want to try right away. And then the print-outs pile up!

Recipe Notebook Mess

A pile of printed recipes waiting to be organized.

Recipe Notebooks

Organized recipe notebooks.

After a couple of months of printing and not dealing with the paper mess, it was time to get busy. I have four binders labeled Recipes To Try, South Beach, Vegetarian/Vegan, and Regular Food. I know, that sounds funny, Regular Food. It is definitely the binder with the least amount of recipes in it, though! And the Recipes To Try has the most, which probably means I need to quit printing off new recipes and start trying some of those I already have!

Each recipe goes into a plastic sheet protector and then is filed in the Recipes To Try notebook. When I actually make a recipe, I note on it any changes I made, any changes I might make the next time around, and its general reception. If it was an epic fail, I remove it from the file and throw it away (and also try to remember to delete it from the computer folder. Once I’ve made the notes, then I move the recipe out of the Recipes to Try folder and into one of the other three. I’ve been using this system for three years now and it works very well. I also have a similar system for crochet patterns, which has saved me hours of time in searching for a pattern that I remember, but can’t quite remember where I saw it.

Do you have a system for your recipes?


  1. Carol

    I still have the piles of recipe papers. Lately with quilting/knitting/crocheting patterns I have been scanning, converting to pdfs and putting them on my tablet. I have a few recipes there, too. So far it’s working, but my goodness. The backlog may take years to deal with, although I’m also releasing some I probably will never make in the process.

  2. Roberta

    I also have a notebook system, but mine is organized into soups, salads, main courses, breads, etc.
    My system is to print out recipes so I can hang them on the fridge with a magnet. Once they are the fridge, I’m more likely to remember to get the ingredients and try them. Some recipes go in my favorites drawer, because they are used all the time. The rest go to the notebook for more occasional use. I need to print them out to add notes to them and also so I can see them 🙂

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