I’ve posted before about how people use OneNote for organizing their recipes – being a bit of a Top Chef fan myself (I play a chef on TV), I am fascinated – at a bit of a distance – by how OneNote really does seem to be the perfect tool for doing this.
Perry from Perry’s Plate blog (which is a great blog for foodies so check it out) does a great job of describing how to do it:
I wanted all my recipes in digital format. I wanted to be able to print and email them easily. I wanted to be able to search by ingredient, add pictures to recipes, and keep things I want to try separate from things I already tried. Lucky for me Microsoft released the newest version of OneNote, which was an answer to my demanding prayer.
If you’ve never used OneNote, here’s a snapshot of the interface:
OK, go grab a snack, get comfy, and I’ll give you a tour…
OneNote basically holds “notebooks” on your computer. I only use one notebook, which is for recipes. You can divide your “notebook” into sections. Each section can have as many pages as you want. So, for example, I have a section called “Main Dishes”. Within “Main Dishes”, I have sub-sections (or tabs) for different types of dishes, i.e. “Chicken”, “Beef”, etc.
Each one of my section tabs contains recipes. Each recipe is on its own page, listed on the right-hand side.
When you click on the name of the recipe, it appears in the main viewing area. Easy, right?
Oh, it gets better. You can add pages or sections, simply by clicking on the dropdown menu from the main toolbar.
I just added a blank page here. Just click anywhere on the page and start typing. How easy is that? Whatever you type in the box on the top of the page will appear on the index tab on the right.
What’s nice is if you find a recipe online, just copy it and paste it on a blank page! OneNote automatically includes a link at the bottom so you can refer back to the original website. You can also drag and drop pictures onto your pages.
Here’s my favorite feature!! Say I have a bunch of spinach leftover that I need to use, and I want to search for recipes containing spinach. Right above the index tabs, you’ll see a box that has a magnifying glass in it.
I clicked in it, typed spinach and pressed enter. OneNote searched through my whole notebook (or where ever you tell it to search) and found all the recipes containing spinach. It also highlighted the names of the recipes so they’re easy to see.
Taking this one step further… if you click on “View List”, which appears in the yellow search result box, it will open up a panel on the side that lists all the recipes included in your search. And each recipe is a link that will take you directly to it. I love this.
You can also give your recipes “Tags” like, “low-carb” or “quick & easy” or “recipes that my kids liked”. Then you can pull up all the recipes in a specific tag. There are so many things you can do with this program. I probably haven’t found all of them yet.
Getting all the recipes into OneNote is a little time consuming as most of us work from cookbooks or written recipes, but I promise you it’s well worth it. You’ll wonder what you ever did without it. You’ll also wish you had a laptop mounted on the wall of your kitchen.