These Are 7 Of The Best Ways To Organize Your Recipes

organizing recipes

Keeping things organized can be tricky for me at the best of times (I’ll go ahead and blame ADHD for that one!), and that’s especially apparent when it comes to my recipe collection! It barely even qualifies as a collection because it exists in so many different places.

I have recipes from magazines on my fridge, printed recipes in my office, digital recipes that I’ve pinned on Pinterest, handwritten cards in an old recipe book… and that’s just off the top of my head! Organizing my recipe collection has been on my to-do list for a long time now, and I’m finally ready to do something about it! :-)

So today, both for my own benefit and hopefully yours too, I’ll be sharing 7 ideas for ways to organize your recipes. From binders to boxes to journals and beyond, you’re sure to find the right fit for you in the list below!

7 Of The Best Ways To Organize Your Recipes

organizing recipes

1. Recipe Binder

Keep it simple-yet-stylish with this recipe binder set! The binder comes with recipe cards, page protectors, and tabbed dividers included, so all you have to do is copy over your recipes and arrange them to your liking!

organizing recipes

2. Recipe Tin

Interested in a storage solution that’s cute enough to keep out on the counter? Look no further than this adorable recipe tin!

Along with the tin, you’ll also get blank recipe cards in a matching style, plus tabbed dividers that will help you organize your collection into categories.

organizing recipes

3. Recipe Journal

If you enjoy journaling, then check out this recipe journal! At around 7 x 9”, it’s not too big or too small, and offers enough pages for you to record up to 100 different recipes!

One thing that sets this journal apart is the format of the recipe pages. Each one has spots to jot down a star rating, difficulty, servings, notes, and more! If you are the type who likes to annotate your recipes, this is a great option for you.

organizing recipes

4. Accordion File

If you’re more interested in organization than aesthetics, or don’t want to copy your recipes out by hand, then check out this recipe accordion file. The tab dividers are already labeled with different food categories, so all you need to do is sort your recipes into it!

This is a great option if your recipes are in a variety of formats, like magazine pages, printed recipes, handwritten notes, etc.

organizing recipes

5. Leather Binder

This binder offers similar features to the one I mentioned as #1 in this list, but the leatherette cover makes it a bit more gift-worthy. You’ll still get recipe cards, page protectors, and tabbed dividers with this one too!

organizing recipes

6. DIY Binder

Both our production manager Brittany and our photographer Kaitlyn use a binder to keep their recipes organized, but with a DIY twist! They print recipes they find online, slip them into sheet protectors, and put them in a simple 3-ring binder outfitted with tab dividers.

Brittany also mentioned that the sheet protectors are great at protecting her recipes from spills and splatters! If she spills anything on them, they are easy to wipe clean.

organizing recipes

7. Prepear

The last option I wanted to highlight is an app called Prepear, which I only learned about very recently! It has all the bells and whistles you could hope for, including the ability to save recipes from anywhere, upload your old favorites, and organize them to your liking in your own digital cookbook.

With Prepear, you can also plan your meals for the week AND it will make a shopping list for you based on the recipes you’ve chosen! (And don’t worry, you can add anything else you need to buy to that shopping list too, eliminating the hassle of having multiple shopping lists.)

organizing recipes

[bonus_tips]Bonus Tip: Take Photos Of Your Most Treasured Recipes!

  • Unfortunately, my mom’s box of handwritten recipe cards went missing sometime during her most recent move.
  • Even though many of the actual recipes had been copied down by me and my siblings in other places, we felt devastated by the loss of her handwritten cards.
  • That’s why I highly recommend scanning or photographing your most treasured recipes, especially the handwritten ones!
  • Back up those files somewhere safe, just in case the real ones ever get lost.

How do you organize your recipes?

Read This Next

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Food & Recipes

  • we all have unused photo albums. I slip recipes into each individual photo slot. It is easy to pick out each recipe. I also mark categories with colorful bookmark tabs.

  • I keep my recipes in a 3-ring binder divided by course. I find a number of recipes on line and if we try them and they’re liked, I put the printout in a sheet protector and into the binder they go. If not, into recycling! I’ve taken my Mom’s recipe cards and used packing tape to “laminate” them, then affixed to a sheet of paper, placed it into a protector and it too goes into the binder. (I also love preserving her handwriting – it makes me happy).

  • I appreciate the ideas – I am trying to organize better so I don’t have to bother my sister nby calling her. I also recommend another app I have found quite useful for finding recipes in cookbooks(I have nearly 500) called EatYourBooks.

  • I LOVE my recipes! I started collecting them at about 13 years of age and kept them in a file box. Through the years, I added recipes from family and friends, magazines and food product labels, and from the internet. Then it all became too much to handle. I’d gone from a small file box to a large one, to notebooks, by a recipe binder, but nothing seemed adequate for my stash. And now, I have 5 granddaughters that I want to share a part of myself with them.

    What I found was the Family Cookbook Project. With this online program I can write each recipe ONCE, or transfer it digitally, and even add a picture of the cook, family member or friend who gave me the recipe. I will have crockpot, pressure cooker, cast iron, personal care, and even cleaning formula recipes.

    When it has everything I intend to include, the company will make my copies of the bound book. I’m trying to decide on a proper name for my creation. It will truly be a part of me to share, a loving tribute to our family heritage, and the richness of friends who always enjoy a meal together!

    • make sure to have your book spiral – bound, so that it lays flat when using. Books that I use a lot, I take to office depot and have spiral bound. I’ve done cook books and devotionals, as well as a bible. I think it cost around 5.00

  • Hi all. I had so many clips and copies of recipes that I started out with a big binder. After the internet came along I had too many additional recipes so I changed my system to a cardboard shoe box (with 9 slots for shoes). I keep it in the cellar room that has my sewing items. (I used to call that room my office, but ….it is usually a walk in closet.) Back to the recipes; I put a note over each slot (meat/protein, crock pot, desserts, breakfast breads, nutrition, veggies, etc.) and I just store my recipes in the proper slot. When I want to cook I remove the recipe and tape the recipe to my kitchen cabinet. This system has allowed me to use my copies from the internet. On a similar note, I was downsizing my recipe books. If I only liked a few recipes I would tear out the page and tape it to a 8.5 x 11.5 sheet of paper then put the book in the paper recycle bin. Let me finally add that this process needed to be refined when I retired. At this point, I feel I will be sorting out recipes and tossing them based on healthy eating practices!

    • instead of taping the recipe, I use a magnetic clip that I place on the front of my vent hood over the stove. It works great for recipe cards…..

      • oh, I forgot to tell you that I spray painted it black to match my hood color…….

  • I arrange all my recipes in Google Docs. I copy, paste, and edit as needed. I organized them in category folders (cookies and bars/ beef dishes/ chicken dishes/ seafood, etc.). Within each folder I list the recipes alphabetically. Within each category I also have a folder “To Try” for recipes I haven’t made yet.
    It’s the best system I’ve ever used.

  • I created a free blog to store my recipes. I can tag them using any categories that I choose and using multiple tags for some recipes. One Drive has been mentioned and this would also work well. My blog makes it especially easy for daughters and other family members to access a recipe, though to be honest they rarely ask for them. :)

  • A friend saved treasured, handwritten recipe cards from her family. These were made into porcelain tiles to decorate the backsplash in her kitchen. It’s the perfect accent in her home. Of course this is just a decor idea but fits the subject of this post.

    My recipes are organized on my Mac as Mary P suggested. From websites, I click on the Print button usually provided and then Save As PDF into the Recipes section I’ve chosen on my Mac.

    I’ll check out the apps mentioned.

  • I have hand written or tried and true printed copies in a binder, and I also have the majority of my recipes typed in windows word and saved digitally on dropbox, and I can then open the dropbox app on my tablet and there they all are, I can open the recipe and view and use it all on my tablet.

  • I have 1000’s of handwritten(printed) recipes on cards that came from my Mom, my husband’s Gramma and local Amish and Mennonite friends, some dating back to the early 1920’s. I love the directions and measurements: a pinch, a dash, a few spoons, either a scant cup or a generous cup, and then bake in a low oven, high oven, or on the stovetop till steam reaches a foot or so; needless to say I’ve added a few notes to each. I keep them in the old tin recipe boxes they came in, but I have managed to separate into categories, just barely though. On fine day I’ll get more organized, but I’m afraid I won’t find them again because the system I’m using now works for me :)

  • At our house my mom has some recipes typed in a binder and others in a wooden recipe box. I have start keeping the ones I’ve tried and the family likes in a binder . I title it recipes we like. My mom also has her own little index she refers to when trying to find certain recipes. I love the story about Jillees mom. My mom has about 1 -2 from her mom (Grandma) in her handwriting. We have a few other things like this. I’m amazed we’re still able to read them. The recipes are over 40 years old. Kind of special when they’ve been gone for a longtime.

  • In the past, I have used a File Box, file cards in divided plastic page protectors, a drawer, and an 8 x 4 inch 3 hole binder. A few years ago, I typed all our favourite recipes, trying my best to only use one recipe per page, and organized all the recipes into 13, 1-inch binders (I might need to graduate to 2 inch binders for some categories soon). I have placed each recipe in a plastic page protector and, for me, this has worked out the very best. Having 13 categories has made it very easy for me to find a recipe. I also use labeled dividers in the binders with more than one category. Cookies and cakes (not including cheesecakes) have their own binders as well as Chicken and Meat. I use a recipe stand the same size as the page protectors and have never been happier.

    I took me several months of typing before Christmas one year and when I was finished, I photocopied my daughter’s and son’s favourite recipes (daughter – 100; son – 80) and gave them one binder each for Christmas. It was a huge undertaking, but, oh, what satisfaction it brought me when I was finished. My next project will be to make an index at the front of each binder.

    It has been great reading all the suggestions in the comments. Thank you for making this opportunity possible to those of us who want to learn from the ideas of others and to share our own.

  • I have individual file folders for my most favorite recipes, and recipes that I want to try. I then keep these folders in those cardboard magazine holders. In the kitchen, at my fingertips.

    There are folders for different meats (think Pork, Chicken, Beef), Veggies, Desserts, Breakfasts, etc.

    When I want a recipe all I do is pull out the file folder, and flip through it until I come to what I’m looking for. There are pages clipped from magazines, handwritten by my late Mom (and yes, I have already scanned those!), printed out from the web, with my own notations on them.

  • I read about your mom’s lost recipe cards and thought “Oh, no!!” As you said the recipes themselves have been preserved but some things just can’t be replaced. :(

    I’ve been using idea #6 for years (and I concur about the spatter-protection), although I find that every so often I have to purge my collection as there are recipes I’ve only used once or not in a long time. In addition I have recipes spread out in 14 years of Cooking Light magazines, as well as several cookbooks. I would like to consolidate my “stand-by” recipes (those I think of immediately for using chard, cauliflower, chicken thighs etc. as well as favorite desserts) into one handwritten notebook, as well as create some kind of cross-reference on the computer to help me remember possible uses of one or two ingredients. Also I need to make a list of “back pocket” dinner recipes – the ones I can throw together in a jiffy with just a handful of ingredients when time is short.

  • I use a program called Copy Me That. You can copy recipes from the web with a click of a button and it works across different platforms (phone, web, iPad). It’s indispensable for me, I use it daily.

  • I have several recipe binders. I also have a spiral bound recipe card binder thing. I covered the outside cover with scrapbook paper and wrote Family Favorites on it. As the name says, it has our family favorites on it. Some came from my mother, some came from my mother-in-law, and some from my Grandmother. I use it often.

  • I have been using a binder for many years, it works great. I moved from a 1 inch to 2 inches to 3 inches and it is now overflowing. I need a huge purge! I also use Pinterest which was wonderful but has become so frustrating to use due to the pop up advertisements for everything from clothing to food products. Some cover half the page and cannot be cancelled out. I follow you and many other bloggers. Can bloggers unite and do something, please? I love Pinterest and bloggers but it is becoming so frustrating. your blog, my husband even follows you!

  • I put all of my recipes on One Drive so I can access it on my computer, iPad and phone. I also have printed copies of most of them put in circa notebook. They can be easily removed from the book to use them. I have used this method for several years. Easy to find and search for.

  • I have an iPad app called Paprika. It does a near perfect job of transferring recipes from websites, even when they are full of ads and varied formats. And sharing recipes couldn’t be easier. There is a feature for halving or doubling recipes.

  • Just put it on your computer. Main folder called “recipes” then sub folders called beef, chicken, fish, veggies, desserts, salads, etc. then sub folders in each category such as cooking methods ( baked, grilled, slow cook, etc) or as under desserts (cakes, cookies, pies, etc.) , whatever makes it easy for you to organize and find them. Then type in new recipe as a new document or download the recipe from an email or search. When you need to find a recipe on your computer you can just do a search of the name, and either print it out or send it to someone. You can then easily add comments to the recipe or any changes. This is the Easiest way to organize and save your recipes. When you have a dinner party you can print out your menu and recipes on a page to print out and to organize your shopping and cooking and have a record of the meal so you remember what you served and what worked out and what didn’t.

    • Hi Mary – Actually this is how I organize most of mine. Then it doesn’t matter if it gets dirty or not. I can make changes on the fly (I seldom use a recipe as I find it…). It’s easy to search by any term – ingredient, directions, titles, etc. I love it.

    • I too have files/folders on my PC where I keep recipes stored. And the most favorite ones, that I use often, are also kept as hard copies in my recipe organization folders in the kitchen.

      And the best thing, IMO, about storing recipes on your PC or MAC, is that you can SEARCH for a term/ingredient/etc and up pop the recipes. No flipping through pages and pages of papers!

    • Jillee………..I’m surprised you didn’t mention CutePDF Writer that you have previously recommended. I’ve been using this (free) driver and have enjoyed NOT copying/pasting every recipe I want to keep. Thank you.

      I did download the Copy Me That app recommended by Julie S. I’ll give it a test drive before I abandon CutePDFwriter.

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