Last week, I asked how you organize your recipes. Between the comments on the blog and the comments on MNN’s Facebook page, I received lots of great tips.

It also seems many people have the same problem I have: their recipes aren’t organized. In addition to tips, there were comments like “How do I organize my recipes? Badly. And that's when I'm trying!!!” and “Yes! I want to hear more about ORGANIZING! Lol” I thought it would be worth sharing with those readers and everyone else what I've discovered about recipe organization since last week.

I’ve combed through all the tips, and I’ve found some to be particularly useful. Some are old-school, using no digital help at all. Others use computers and smart devices to help organize an ever-growing library of recipes. In part one, I’ll take a look at the old-school organization tips. In my next post, I’ll take a look at the high-tech ones.

Tip: Well-organized binder (from reader Corine ter Haar on Facebook)

"I photocopy them, or write them on lined paper, place them in page protectors, and organize them by categories in a nice binder. Works great, and they stay clean and easy to read! I copied all my favorite recipes that my Mom used to make for me and my siblings and keep them in there, too! And every new recipe I get from friends and family goes in there, that way I know where to find it!"

Why I like it: Anyone can do it and it’s very inexpensive. You don’t need any special technical devices to keep a binder (you don’t have to photocopy recipes to use this method. They can all be handwritten or pulled from newspapers, magazines…). It can also preserve handwritten recipes from friends and relatives that might become keepsakes down the line.

Tip: Notecards in a box (from various commenters)

"I'm stuck on notecards — it's convenient and fast. I guess I'm a bit old-school! :( But I do have a box only for recipes that both my husband and I like the most. That way I never prepare a meal that neither of us likes." (From reader Liz)

"My sister bought a card catalogue from a library and files them on index cards. Argh." (From reader Theresa Judis Miller)
"Might sound silly, I write mine on neatly cut cereal boxes n keep it in a pretty box" (From reader Jasmine Shone)
Why I like it: All your recipes are right there at your fingertips. It’s also a great idea for those short on storage (unless you buy an entire card catalog!) Many recipe websites give you the option of printing in notecard format, too. Like the binder option, it’s also very inexpensive and doesn’t require any special technical equipment.

Neither of these options addresses cookbooks (unless you photocopy from the books or re-write the recipes by hand). In my next post, I’ll introduce you to a great online method of handling your cookbooks, and a few other electronic methods for organizing recipes. 

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