Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Decluttering…My Recipe Collection

It’s been a little quiet on the blog the past couple of days – I let the decluttering take over!  We emptied the attic of all the boxes we haven’t done anything with in awhile and just started purging.  It has definitely been quite a task… 


One of the most terrifying things about this process is realizing the amount of paper I have managed to accumulate over time.  I’ve been good about keeping mostly paperless with Evernote since signing up in 2010, but I never really bothered to go back through my old collections of recipes from the pre-EN years.  I had three big binders and a shelf of food magazines that was just taking up unnecessary space.  I managed to whittle it down to this:

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It was really interesting to see how much my tastes had changed since making those binders!  I was most definitely not gluten free when I made them, and apparently really liked Shake n’ Bake as I found dozens of recipes using it.  Everything I didn’t keep went straight in the recycling bin, of course. 

Now, I’m starting to digitize what I pulled out.  I’m using my favorite Scandrop software that uploads straight to Evernote, where I’ve got a fairly basic system of organizing my recipes in the program. 

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Just two simple notebooks – Recipes - to Try and Recipes - Favorites.  As you can see, I have a lot that I want to try!  I can’t help it, really – I follow a lot of bloggers who are always posting delectable new recipes, plus I read a wide variety of food publications and watch food TV, so it does add up over time.  I love it - It’s like having a massive cookbook tailored to my personal tastes Smile

I can keep the organization so much simpler than in my paper days thanks to Evernote’s easy search function, which will find any keywords I type in within titles and text in the notes, and even in photos and PDFs. 

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For the times I’m searching for inspiration instead of something specific, though, I rely heavily on tags. 

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I tag based on protein type, cuisine type, season, occasion, dish type, basically anything that I think will help me narrow down my choices when I want to try something new.  Tags are great too because I can select more than one to find notes with both – for example, if I wanted to make a beef stir fry, I’d look for notes tagged Asian and beef:

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As I work on digitizing the remainder of my collection, I’m also going to work on decluttering the recipes themselves and working on my tag system.  It’s easy to let the clutter creep up when it’s all on the computer, but it can still be mentally overwhelming if you don’t clear it out on occasion!

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