Marcella has collected recipes for years and now wants to organize them. They are scattered across index cards, cookbooks, loose-leaf notebooks, and bookmarked websites. She is convinced that gathering them in one place would help her plan meals and shop for groceries more efficiently.

She decided to use EssentialPIM because it stores a variety of information in different formats and makes cross-referencing easy. This post reviews what she has come up with, so far.

1. Getting started

Marcella began by creating a Recipes list in the Notes module and a tree with two primary notes: Courses and Meals. Within each, she made appropriate entries (Figure 1).

The Recipes list holds the collection, organized by Courses and Meals
Figure 1. The Recipes list holds the collection, organized by Courses and Meals.

Her recipes come from a variety of sources: family, friends, books, and websites. After setting up Notes for the recipes, she organized Contacts to record where they came from (Figure 2).

Contacts document sources for special recipes
Figure 2. Contacts document sources for special recipes.

Marcella knew she had too many recipes to type into EssentialPIM and would want to attach them as downloaded PDFs or screenshots, so she created a Recipe Attachments subfolder in her EPIM database folder.

2. Building the recipe book

Having created a basic structure, she began entering her recipes. Some were handwritten clearly enough that she took screenshots (Figure 3). Others were online favorites which she downloaded as PDFs (Figure 4). Those that couldn't be saved easily as external files she typed into EPIM (Figure 5).

Recipe picture
Figure 3. Inserting screenshots is a quick way to build the recipe book and add interest. Copy and paste directly into the note, or use the attachments manager.

A portion of a PDF that is attached as a link to the note
Figure 4. A portion of a PDF that is attached as a link to the note. The view is set to "Show Attached PDFs Inline."

Recipe notes
Figure 5. A template to standardize headings and the body font lends consistency to recipes that are typed into EPIM.

3. Connecting recipes with their source

Once she had stored several recipes, Marcella began to document where she got them. In three steps, she cross-referenced a recipe with its contributor (Figure 6).

  1. Select in Contacts where the recipe came from.
  2. Click on the Related Items tab and Add New.
  3. Navigate to and select the recipe. Either double-click the item or click the OK button.
Three quick steps to connecting a recipe to its source
Figure 6. Three quick steps to connecting a recipe to its source.

4. Planning meals more easily

As the collection came together, Marcella saw how it could help her plan for meals and food shopping.

She thought of preparing a meal as a task and created entries in the Tasks module (Figure 7). Then, similar to how she linked recipes to their source in Contacts, she selected a preparation task and added recipes as related items. She could now scan through the types of meals she wanted for the week and find recipes.

By connecting recipes with who gave them to her, she will also be able to personalize meals for when family or a friend visits (Figure 8).

Creating tasks for how food is prepared allows grouping recipes
Figure 7. Creating tasks for how food is prepared allows grouping recipes.

Recipe related
Figure 8. When friends or family visit, knowing the recipes they've contributed can make the meal personal.

The final element to help her plan meals was tags. She created tags in two categories:

  1. Ingredients;
  2. Type of meal: diabetic, vegan, non-dairy, kosher, vegetarian, gluten-free, etc.

Adding tags for ingredients helps her find meals where she can use leftovers.

Tagging recipes with ingredients helps find where to use leftovers
Figure 9. Tagging recipes with ingredients helps find where to use leftovers.

Do you like Marcella's approach? Any improvements to suggest? Perhaps you already have experience collecting recipes in EssentialPIM. We'd love to hear from you in the comments below.

Reviews & Comments  

# MyIndigoCard
Thanks for share this !!n
2024-03-27 10:43 Reply

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