How do you organize your digital recipes?
October 23, 2014 10:30 AM   Subscribe

What system do you use to organize your digital recipes from various sources? I often come across recipes from Twitter friends, Buzzfeed (20 ways to use mustard!), YouTube, Tumblr, Metafilter, etc and then I can't find them again. I know I could use a bookmarking system like Pinboard, or something more complex like Evernote, but I wondered what other people do.
posted by desjardins to Food & Drink (44 answers total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
I email them to myself in gmail, then tag them Recipes. If I were fancy I could also tag them dinner, dessert, etc.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 10:34 AM on October 23, 2014 [4 favorites]

Honestly, the only way I could do this is go old-school - print out the ones I really think I want to use and keep them in a three-ring binder or in a notebook.

That move actually went a long way towards my being more selective about what I wanted to try for realsies - that (minor) extra step was often enough for me to think "eh, maybe not worth it" and it was still a low enough bar for me to step over if I realized I really really wanted something.

Thus far there's only been a handful of recipes that I've seen online and not printed, and they're easily retrieved with a Google search (a sausage/apple/potato baked dish, and a grape sorbet recipe, thus far).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:36 AM on October 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

I use Pinterest (tho my collection is tiny and so far I only have one generic Food board).
posted by ClarissaWAM at 10:37 AM on October 23, 2014

I have a blogspot blog for this. After I've used a recipe I (generally) cut and paste the directions, with my modifications, into a blog post. I tag it with relevant tags. That way I can access it easily from anywhere and if I want to share a recipe with my own notes, I can just share the URL.
posted by needs more cowbell at 10:37 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have a folder in google drive where I put recipes. The folder is shared with family and a few friends. If I were more organized, I'd have two folders: one for recipes I've tried and liked and another for recipes that sound good.

I love having recipes online because it means that I can look at them when I'm at work and then go shopping on the way home with an accurate shopping list.
posted by sciencegeek at 10:37 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

I use Evernote, using tags as necessary like pumpkin, low cal, paleo...on and on it goes. I have Evernote set up to receive emails from me, so I email recipes to myself there and then tag. I also make notes on the recipe once I make it if there are any tips I think Current Me would like to tell Future Me.
posted by heathergirl at 10:37 AM on October 23, 2014 [3 favorites]

I use Pinterest because I like to browse the recipes visually and sometimes I repin from my friends, but then I have an IFTTT recipe that copies the Pinterest links into Evernote notes, which makes it easier to bring up the recipe on my phone while I'm shopping or cooking.
posted by clavicle at 10:41 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

I use Delicious and tags - recipes.tried for stuff I have made, recipes.untested for stuff I haven't, and then the usual cookies, cake, etc. That way I can also add notes to the recipes I've tried AND I can find them at a friend's house.

In addition, stuff I like gets printed (sometimes has to be formatted a bit in Word) and put in a binder with sheet protectors. That is my cookbook.
posted by maryr at 10:42 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

I print them out and put them in a 3-ring binder on the shelf with my other cook books in the kitchen.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:46 AM on October 23, 2014

Another Evernote user here. I either email or clip a recipe to Evernote. I have two folders for recipes: proven (which means I made it and liked it) and unproven (which either means I've not made it, or I've made it and want to tweak it before it becomes proven). I add tags for paleo and the mode of cooking (for example, crockpot or oven or stovetop). When I'm planning a meal I can search for something like "paleo chicken crockpot" and I get all my options.
posted by OrangeDisk at 10:46 AM on October 23, 2014

I've started using Paprika, which is an app on iOS and OSX. It automatically imports recipes from popular recipe sites, or you can manually enter recipes which is pretty easy. You can then tag recipes however you want. It also has grocery list functionality and features that make using your device while you cook easier.
posted by MadamM at 10:46 AM on October 23, 2014

Another vote for Evernote. The web clipper get remarkably good at guessing among your tags and folders for you.
posted by sevenless at 10:49 AM on October 23, 2014

I use a combination of Pinterest (for tracking recipes I'm merely interested in) and Pepper Plate (for things I have specific plans to make for a specific occasion and need to shop for stuff for).

Pinterest does run the risk that when I want to make something, the blog it was hosted on will have fallen offline, but there are very few truly unique recipes in the world and mostly when I'm pinning things there, I'm pinning the idea as much as the recipe.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:50 AM on October 23, 2014

I also use Evernote + web clipper, and it works really well.
posted by General Malaise at 10:50 AM on October 23, 2014

I save them as .rft or .txt files, and toss them in a Dropbox folder labeled "Recipes". It's accessible from all my devices, decently searchable, and if I were so inclined, I could further break down the folders by ingredient/meal type, etc.

Also, I have a dedicated email for recipes, so I sometimes try to funnel recipes there, so I can make use of gmail's search features, but I mostly use that as a backup, and am saving nearly all my recipes to Dropbox now. Originally, I would save the recipes as bookmarks, but sometimes, recipes would be taken down. I've also found that bookmarks are a mess to search through.
posted by PearlRose at 10:52 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

A folder in Dropbox called Recipes where I dump PDFs or screen grabs of recipes. Each file is the name of the recipe. Sometimes I'll access the recipes on my laptop, other times I'll use an iPad. Not sure why I don't just use Evernote; it may be that I started collecting recipes before I got really into Evernote and just never switched over.
posted by puritycontrol at 10:53 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

I've been using Evernote for years for recipes and it does everything I want it to do.
posted by kdern at 10:53 AM on October 23, 2014

I also use Pinterest, adding notes as comments on the pin when I make things. If I make something three or more times, I save it offline to skydrive just in case it disappears from the source.
posted by crush-onastick at 10:56 AM on October 23, 2014

I use OneNote the way everyone else here uses EverNote - its a mixture of typed and copied recipes, very roughly sorted. Once in a while I imagine getting a wordpress account to put them all into so I can get all me recipes everywhere.
posted by shothotbot at 11:03 AM on October 23, 2014

The best method I've had was using a wiki. I had a recipe wiki, it was wonderful.

The second best method was ZipList - I liked the ability to make shopping lists from ingredients quickly.

Pinterest is now my current method, tho it's kludgy when I'm at the grocery store (at the spur of the moment when I can get childcare, so unprepared with a list).

I use EverNote for a lot of things but not recipes. Now I need to try it out...
posted by annathea at 11:10 AM on October 23, 2014

Evernote + web clipper (sometimes the web clipper misses stuff, but there's still a link). I found tagging was overkill.
posted by momus_window at 11:24 AM on October 23, 2014

Save as a pdf and store in your own filing system.
posted by Mac-Expert at 11:38 AM on October 23, 2014

I actually just use the bookmark system in my browser, and organize the recipes into different folders like 'main dishes' and 'desserts', as well as subfolders like 'cakes' and 'cookies' in dessert.
posted by Gneisskate at 11:48 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Evernote + web clipper here too. Pro-tip: If you go on a clipping spree, like I have in the past, select "simplified article" before saving the clip. That will remove any pictures, banner ads, etc. I've reached my monthly limit in Evernote before just from clipping too many recipes with pictures attached.
posted by mudpuppie at 12:00 PM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you're already using a tablet in the kitchen, I second MadamM's suggestion for Paprika. It's not free (and in fact you have to purchase a version of each device, grrr), but it has completely replaced my bulging file folder of printouts. It's easy to clip them as you browse the web, the recipes sync to all your devices, you can tag things as you like, write notes, rate them and email them to your friends.
posted by FreezBoy at 12:06 PM on October 23, 2014

I haven't used it, but there is an Evernote Food app, which can be linked to your main Evernote account.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 12:06 PM on October 23, 2014

I use Pinboard ( before that) and tag them 'recipe' along with other useful keywords; 'beef', 'chicken', 'cookies', 'breakfast', 'dessert', 'baking' etc. If there's a recipe that I find myself going back to a lot, I'll usually try to make a point of saving a PDF of it somewhere (or sending it to my Kindle via the Amazon browser plugin or Readability - although a lot of recipe sites seem to deliberately not play nice with screen scraping tools) in case the original link breaks.
posted by usonian at 12:22 PM on October 23, 2014

I email them to myself in gmail, then tag them Recipes.

This is what I do. I try to copy/paste the ingredients and not just a link so that I can find them by searching the tag for "green beans" for example.
posted by jessamyn at 12:29 PM on October 23, 2014

My recent favorite for this is Trello. You can add links, checklists, pictures, labels, stickers, all sorts of stuff. I like that the pictures make it feel like a cookbook. I also like that I can leave comments and that I can share with my partner. You can organize however suits you. I have a board for "Menu this week" and just drag the recipe cards from the other stacks (I roughly organize by region).

Here is an article from Trello's blog on meal planning with Trello.
posted by slipthought at 12:39 PM on October 23, 2014

Oh, and another thing, if you go the Gmail route, a handy tip is to add "+recipes" after your user name in the address line, then create a filter that automatically labels and moves the email for you. Ex, Here's a tutorial.
posted by slipthought at 12:45 PM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Seconding PepperPlate. You can import recipes with a quick copypaste from supported sites, and you can also manually input recipes. For example, you mentioned recipes from friends' Twitter accounts. You could just copypaste that text into the fields on PepperPlate. It also has a shopping list function, so you can click on a recipe and click "Add to shopping list" and all the ingredients show up there (you can also edit which ingredients for a given recipe go into the list, so if you already have onions, say, you can leave them off). If you download the mobile version, it will sync up with your computer version too. And it's free!
posted by Bunny Boneyology at 12:49 PM on October 23, 2014

I also email them to myself and tag them as recipes. The best ones get written into my little black cookbook for posterity.
posted by fimbulvetr at 12:58 PM on October 23, 2014

Another vote for emailing to self and tagging as recipes. I copy/paste the entire recipe into the body of the email (with credit to author) after getting burned a couple times by websites or blogs that disappeared. Bonus: I can find recipes easily even when I don't have own devices with me, and it's SUPER easy to share them with others who may not have the same app/software/whatever.
posted by loolie at 1:22 PM on October 23, 2014

We started using Plan to Eat and really like it. It's billed as a meal planner, but we use it to store recipes and generate a grocery shopping list from the recipes we choose. It organizes shopping list items by store and then by department, which makes shopping much easier. It uses a mobile website rather than apps, but that's fine for what we're doing.
posted by cnc at 1:24 PM on October 23, 2014

I find Pinterest great for this.
posted by radioamy at 2:07 PM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Seconding delicious. I tag all of them recipes, and then add additional tags like lunch, dinner, winter, baking, sweet , vegetarian, gluten-free etc.
posted by girlgenius at 3:03 PM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

I save them as text files on my computer. It's occasionally annoying to have my laptop sitting in the kitchen, but I like the white text on black background with no distractions (ads, photos of each step of food, etc.) If I were really with it, I would print out recipes once I've made them a few times (especially if I adjust the recipe).
posted by Margalo Epps at 4:15 PM on October 23, 2014

I use a blog for it. I format things nicely in NotePad++ and then paste them into the post box. I broadly categorize each recipe and then I tag them with the major ingredients. I also list the source. I use the comments to note changes I made or whether I'd make it again.
posted by kathrynm at 5:27 PM on October 23, 2014

I use Zotero, and tag them by ingredients and type of recipe. It really comes in handy when I mistakenly buy that giant zucchini, and need to figure out how to use 5/6ths of it left after I make my pizza.
posted by MrBobinski at 7:11 PM on October 23, 2014

A few years ago I learned about one tsp. here on MeFi and have used it ever since. It's browser-based, easy to use, and free for a fairly large number (150?) of recipes.
posted by Quietgal at 7:54 PM on October 23, 2014

I use a TiddlyWiki for this and it rocks. A TiddlyWiki is a single html file that you edit with your browser. I keep it on my thumb drive.
posted by Infernarl at 11:11 PM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have an Evernote notebook for recipes. To save articles from the web to the notebook, I use Clearly, then Web Clipper, and then add tags/edit the recipe in the Evernote app. That has worked well for me for a while now and I've never upgraded to premium. The mobile apps are very useful when I'm out shopping and need some inspiration for dinner etc.
posted by wavelette at 1:21 AM on October 24, 2014

Thirding (or fourthing or fifthing or whatever) pepperplate.

Ridiculously easy to import from supported sites, or just copy/paste from unsupported sites, and also to edit recipes if I get inspired and chuck something else in and it becomes amazing. Ridiculously easy to sort according to self-tagged categories (dessert, gluten-free, quick, etc). And ridiculously easy to print a shopping list.

I love nearly as much as I love my children. It has made my meal-planning, shopping, and recipe-hoarding so much easier.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 3:13 AM on October 24, 2014

I looooooove Paprika.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 10:41 AM on October 24, 2014

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