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How to Organize Your Multimedia Recipes

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There are so many great conversations on the Hotline -- it's hard to choose a favorite. But we'll be doing it, once a week, to spread the wealth of our community's knowledge -- and to keep the conversation going.

Today: The more we cook, the more our recipes tend to scatter. Here are your best ways to organize them into one place.

When it comes to choosing what recipe to make for dinner -- from online to print to handwritten hand-me-downs -- we like to be equal-opportunity cooks. Each medium has its own appeal, and perhaps more importantly, each gives us yet another excuse to dream up dinners. 'Round these parts, we somewhat obsessively dream up collections for every recipe we save, but we also dog-ear our glossy magazines, and read cookbooks like they're novels.

And yet: Don't we all dream of corraling everything into one place? Of giving Grandma's old-school casserole a place right next to new discoveries, so all our options gather neatly in front of us the next time we're searching for inspiration?

Amanda Marie sure does, and she turned to the community to ask for "a genius solution for organizing recipes culled from various forms of media." Here's how you all keep your options organized:




  • There's a slew of free apps that offer variations on the theme of one-stop organization, the best of which have app components so you can use them on laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Pepperplate and Tastebook are both food-centric; as Mar says, "you can download recipes from various food websites and also enter recipes manually."
  • Evernote doesn't have a food focus, but Pegeen loves it because, like the others, it's free and multi-platform -- plus she can use it to store scanned handwritten recipes along with her typed online recipes. For those she hasn't scanned, she still makes a quick Evernote entry with a note on where to find it: "That way, the recipe title shows up alphabetically, and tells me to go look in the paper file."
  • Multiple members are fans of Eat Your Books, which helps you search through recipes in your own collection -- especially helpful if you have a sizable stockpile of cookbooks.


  • LE BEC FIN prints everything out, stores each recipe in clear plastic sleeves, and files them away. In addition to protecting recipes from sauce spatters, the sleeves protect scraps of paper until you have time to type them up. Diana B does something similar, increasing the font size beforehand so her recipes are easier to read when she's "dancing around the kitchen."
  • Savorthis uses a similar system, using a huge binder as a recipe catch-all: "While I love what digital can do for so many things in life, I am still much more fond of this food-splattered binder. And when in a real pinch, I don't often have trouble finding the recipe online."
  • Whenever Pegeen cooks from an online recipe, she prints it out and "tapes the printed sheets in a row along the front of the kitchen cabinets so I can read continuously without the recipe taking up room on the counter." 

How do you organize your recipes? Tell us in the comments!

Tags: Advice, DIY Food, How-To & Diy, Hotline, Best Question