Meal planning is 100x easier and faster when all your recipes are stored in one place. I use Evernote to store and organize my recipes, and in today’s post, I’m going to show you how I do it and why I think it’s perfect for the job!
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One of the most frustrating parts of meal planning, I hear from other women, is figuring out what to make. We get in recipe ruts or we simply don’t know where to look for good recipes.
(Psst… I give plenty of ideas of where to find recipes your family will love in my book The Every Mom’s Meal Solution Handbook.)
But finding them is only the first step. They won’t make your meal planning any easier if you can’t find them later or you forget you even have them!
That’s why I highly recommend building a “recipe repertoire” and keeping all your digital recipes in one place.
Rather than having pins on Pinterest, bookmarks on your browser, screenshots on your phone and saved links on Facebook, bring all your recipes into one central location. This will save you tons of time, energy, and frustration later as you’re looking for recipes for your meal plans.
Do I have any recommendations for such a place? You bet I do!
There are several different options out there and ways to store and organize recipes, but my current favorite is Evernote.
It’s easy and convenient to use, you can use it across all your devices, and the tagging feature (which I’ll describe in detail) is a meal planner’s best friend.
In this post, I’ll tell you all about it, how to use it, and how to make the most of it as you build your recipe reserve.
What is Evernote?
Evernote is a cross-platform app that allows you to collect, store, and organize content. You can create notes from scratch or clip content from around the Web and then quickly access your stored information when you need it. The best part is you can sync your notes across all your devices, so they’re always with you wherever you go.
There are many different ways I use Evernote in my daily and professional life, but storing my recipes is by far my most well-loved and well-used.
How To Store Recipes in Evernote
The very first thing you will want to do (after creating an account and downloading the mobile and/or desktop app) is create a notebook or set of notebooks — essentially a folder within Evernote — where you will be saving all your recipes.
I used to have a system of notebooks for various kinds of recipes, including a separate “want to try” notebook and “tried it” notebook. But once I discovered how much easier and more efficient it was to use tags, I condensed all my notebooks into one “Recipes” notebook. But I’ll explain more about that in a moment!
Clipping recipes to Evernote is very easy, especially with the Evernote Web Clipper extension. This simple extension for your web browser allows you to capture full-page articles, selected text, screenshots, and simple links and save them to your Evernote folders. If you choose to use Evernote, you are going to want to download this extension.
To add the Evernote Web Clipper extension, go to https://evernote.com/features/webclipper and follow the directions.
When you come across a recipe that you would like to clip, click on the Evernote Web Clipper tool in your extension bar. (It looks like a green elephant.) Then choose your clip format — article, simplified article, full page, selection, bookmark, or screenshot.
You can also clip content using your mobile device. When you find a recipe you’d like to save, tap the iOS sharing button or the Share option from the options menu if you have an Android device. Select Evernote from the list of sharing options. (You may need to tap More and add Evernote to your list of apps your device can share to.)
Next, you will want to assign it to the notebook you created in the first step.
The final step is to add tags. This is where the magic of Evernote really happens, and the reason (or one of them, anyway) that I love it so much better than simply bookmarking recipes in my browser, saving them on my computer, or pinning them on Pinterest.
What Are Tags, and How Do I Use Them?
Tags are descriptive words or phrases assigned to each note to help you easily find it when you need it.
What makes tagging so much better than complex organizational hierarchies of folders is that you never have to wonder, “Where did I put that recipe?” And you don’t have to click through several different folders to find the recipe you want. You can simply search by that tag.
The best part about tagging is you can give it as many tags as you want. This means the sky is the limit for the ways you can organize, label, and search for your recipes.
When adding tags, you can use any word or phrase you want, but be strategic. Think about ways you may want to search for recipes later, and come up with descriptive tags. Then, as you clip your recipes, use that same wording every time to tag them.
For example, you might want to look through all your Instant Pot recipes at some point, so you’ll want to add the tag “Instant Pot” when you add those recipes.
Or, maybe you do a lot of searching by types of meat, in which case you’ll want to add tags such as “beef,” “pork,” “chicken,” and so on.
Then, whenever you’re looking for recipes, you can search for that specific tag.
A FEW OF MY MOST-USED TAGS
- Tried it
- Liked it / Loved it / Favorite
- Quick & Simple
- 5 Ingredients or Less
- Slow Cooker
- Instant Pot
- Freezer Meal
I have others, but that’s a taste to give you a sense of the different ways to use your tags. You certainly don’t have to use the same ones I do. The idea is to think about the ways you search for recipes (or would like to) and turn those into tags. It takes just a few extra seconds upfront, but you’ll love yourself for it later!
Want More Ways to Make Meal Planning Easier??
If this post was helpful to you, you’d like to know more about those recipe-finding tactics I mentioned in the introduction, or you just straight-up want to learn how to feed your family in less time, for less money, and with less stress, then you definitely want to check out The Every Mom’s Meal Solution Handbook.
I wrote this book for any mom (or woman… or man!) who wants to feed her family well but feels frustrated by a lack of time, money, or energy. It’s FULL of practical tips and strategies for creating meal solutions that work for you no matter your season, budget, or lifestyle.
Want to learn more? Click here to read more about the book and what it can do for you!
- How to Create a Meal Plan That Works For You!
- 5 Ways to Simplify Your Meal Planning
- How to Create a Smart Recipe Database
- Taming My Out-Of-Control Recipe Collection