Creative Cooking with Organized Recipes


Do you love to cook and try new recipes? I love it! So if you are like me, then you have to find a way to keep your recipes organized.

For years (before digital organizing was possible) I used to cut recipes out of magazines or copy them on my printer. Then, I had a spot in my kitchen where they’d sit until I’d try each recipe. We used to have a ritual at my house. After trying a new recipe, we would vote, was it (recipe) box worthy or not. If yes, then it would be cut and taped onto a 3 x 5 card and filed into my dear Mother-in-Law’s recipe box. Time consuming -- yes, but before the going digital it worked.

Don’t worry I didn’t spend all my time doing this. We were brutal when voting a recipe IN or OUT. Also, I use new recipes rather often, so if a magazine clipping spent more than a few months in my kitchen spot waiting for it’s turn, I’d figure that I was never going to try it and it got tossed.

How do you save recipes? I'd love to hear. Click To Tweet

Since then, internet sites specializing in recipe sharing have arrived. I now save everything on the web. I like, but there are several --,, etc. You can register for a free account, so you can save all your favorites to find them later. I also love to read the reviews of other user -- something you can’t get from a magazine.

I also use Pinterest to save recipes these days. People post such great photos, it makes I want to try them. When using Pinterest for  this you have to organize your pins yourself, so it’s important to have a system. When I started I didn’t think much about a system and soon I had a lot of recipes pinned on one board. What a mess! So I spent a little time “organizing” my pins onto specific boards. I need to do this again. Just like any other organizing project, it’s not a one-time thing. A few minutes, once in a while will maintain order. You can see my boards here.

How do you save recipes? I’d love to hear.

Would you like more info? Here is more on the subject on Managing Recipes. Are you paper based? Here is How to Make a Recipe Binder Organizer.

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Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization. She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client. Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.


  1. Juli Monroe on July 21, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    I clip them into Evernote. Then I have them handy on my iPad while cooking.

  2. Basic Organization on July 21, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    Evernote is a great idea Juli.

  3. Linda Samuels on February 24, 2020 at 7:42 am

    I cook, but I don’t use a lot of recipes. Often I make stuff up. But for the recipes I DO use, I have a multi-pronged system. And while it might not seem Oh, So Organized, it works for me. Favorite recipes that I use more frequently have made it to my recipe box with A-Z dividers. Those recipes are on 3″x5″ cards. I rarely enter new ones into that box anymore. On occasion, I find a recipe in a magazine. I tear those out and put them in my single “Recipes” file. Since there very few (thirty at the most,) a single file works just fine. Lastly, I have one recipe book that I sometimes use- more for baking than anything else. I open the book and work the recipe from there. If I were more of a cook with many more stored recipes, I would develop a single system as I have for many of my clients. I like the digital options now available, although many of my clients still prefer working with paper.

    • Janet Schiesl on February 24, 2020 at 9:54 am

      Linda –
      I tend to save recipes. For me it combines browsing, like a magazine and my love to trying new foods/recipes. With technology is easy to save (probably) too many recipes. I get drawn in by the photos!

  4. Seana Turner on February 24, 2020 at 9:38 am

    I have a mix of physical and digital. My eyes don’t seem to like looking at devices, so I’m not rushing to put them all online. I also love the old cards with my Mom’s original handwriting. I do keep a hidden Pinterest board for recipes. A friend loves the app Paprika, so that is one to check out.

    • Janet Schiesl on February 24, 2020 at 9:57 am

      I haven’t heard of Paprika. I’ll check it out. As I said in the post, I save paper recipes in my MIL’s box. It has great meaning for me. She loved to cook for her family. I’ll never get rid of it and also don’t add to it anymore. I tend to save recipes on my Pinterest account these days.

    • Janet Barclay on February 24, 2020 at 4:47 pm

      I recently started using Paprika too, and I love it. Before that I was using Pepperplate, but the features were too limited. In Paprika, I can rate recipes as well as indicating how easy or difficult they were to make.

  5. Sabrina Quairoli on February 24, 2020 at 12:35 pm

    I had a lot of recipes that were family ones, so I created a book for myself and my brother/cousin with the recipes from my mom when she passed. I also like to use the “Tiny Scanner” app, and I scan the recipe and save them as a PDF. Then I upload them into a folder. I make sure the filename relates to the recipe, so it is easily searchable. This cleared up 2 – 3-inch binders. =)

    • Janet Schiesl on February 24, 2020 at 1:19 pm

      It’s so interesting how everyone organizes their recipes in different ways. Whatever works!

  6. Julie Bestry on February 24, 2020 at 9:09 pm

    I don’t really cook, though I do bake. I used to buy cookbooks because I loved looking at the photos, but now I borrow them from the library, enjoy the photos as if it were a travel book, and set them free again. However, with my organizing clients, if they are at all tech-y, I encourage them to use Evernote. They can make a separate notebook for each category (appetizers, desserts, breakfast, etc.) and use tags for main ingredients or things like #MomsFave. For those who don’t want to try Evernote, or prefer to save it for business, is a great collaborative database for accessing, keeping, and sharing recipes.

    For my non-tech-y clients, the main solution is a 3-ring binder with sheet protectors. No need to punch holes, and for tiny recipes, they can just tape or staple them to a larger piece of paper. Plus, the recipes stay clean because a powdered sugar explosion or a spilled bit of food coloring can be sponged right off the sheet protector.

    I loved your use of Lumen5 for the video!

    • Janet Schiesl on February 25, 2020 at 7:44 am

      Thanks Julie. I haven’t heard of I’ll check it out. I have been using Pinterest lately. I love the visuals too. I think of it as thumbing through a magazine. It’s so easy to save was appeals to me.
      It sounds like Cena uses the same saving method as you do for you non-techie clients. It’s interesting how each system works differently, but they all work.

  7. Cena Block on February 24, 2020 at 9:52 pm

    I love cooking -and I have a huge 3 ring binder with my recipes by category. Each category has a clear page protector and is filled with small cut-outs. I love to SEE them, and it’s easy to find them. AND when I find a new one on line – I PRINT IT and put it into my binder. (#OldSchoolChef)

    • Janet Schiesl on February 25, 2020 at 7:39 am

      Hi Cena. Yes you are old school. I used to do something similar but now have gone digital. Of course I do much less cooking since becoming an empty nester.

  8. Nancy Haworth on February 25, 2020 at 8:34 am

    I don’t cook often, but I physically print out most of my favorite recipes, and I have them in a folder in my kitchen. I use post-it flags on the pages of my cookbooks to highlight my frequently used recipes. I have bookmarked recipes that I can look at digitally, if I don’t have a physical print-out.

    • Janet Schiesl on February 26, 2020 at 6:59 am

      Nancy, it’s interesting how everyone organizes their recipes differently.

  9. Ronni on February 25, 2020 at 8:53 pm

    Just like you, I used to organize my xeroxed recipes in notebooks and 3 x 5 cards etc. I still know exactly where to go to find a favorite recipe.
    What’s easy for me to do today is to take a screenshot and I sort my recipes on my phone into categories. This way, it’s with me without any further work if I’m going grocery shopping or I want to review before I cook.

    • Janet Schiesl on February 26, 2020 at 7:05 am

      I like the idea of taking a photo on my phone. I had not considered that. Thanks.

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