Organizing the chaos

Organizing recipes

My chaotic recipe collection–part of it.

At one time, I had an organized recipe collection. It was a pretty basic system–handwritten recipes on ┬ánote cards in a small plastic card file box. But both the number of recipes in my collection and the sources from which I pull recipes have grown significantly over the years, and my neat little file box is not so neat anymore.

In the file box itself are the note card recipes, along with small clipped recipes (from product packaging, etc.), and several recipes that were written on whatever paper was handy at the time by the person passing along the recipe, which have now been folded to fit into the box.

There’s also an overflowing file folder of recipes I’ve printed on letter-sized paper, recipes that I have save in my “recipe box” at, and recipes from all over the web, for which my sole reference for locating is the pin I’ve placed on my Pinterest account. Oh, and I also have a few recipes on my phone’s photo gallery–sometimes when I find a recipe in a magazine that isn’t mine, I just snap a pic of it with my phone.

It’s time to organize the chaos. The internet is a great resource, and I’ve been known to set up the laptop or our cheap little tablet computer on the kitchen counter to reference a recipe, but I still think the index cards are hard to beat. The laptop takes up a lot of space, the tablet is kind of slow (hey, I said it was a cheapo one), and there’s something to be said for a medium that can’t be easily damaged by food drips. Hint–if you’re browsing someone else recipe collection, the recipes with the most stains are probably keepers, since they’ve obviously seen a lot of use!

So my new project is to figure out the easiest method to convert all my favorite recipes from their current form to a neat little index card, short of transcribing them all myself. has a printing option for note card size, so that one should be easy. I’m wondering if there is some kind of text conversion program for images that I could use to convert the cell phone pic recipes, and maybe even the clipped recipes and those that are on letter paper?

Then again, maybe I could just convince some optimistic college student to take on the whole project as an “marketing internship” at this great new entrepreneurial blog I’ve launched? A girl can dream, can’t she? Anyway…I’m open to suggestions. Leave ’em in the comments!

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