I nixed my hardcopy recipe collection of cookbooks and binders years ago.
Because the internet, obviously. Everything ever created is on the internet.
However, I had an organizational problem. How to keep track of all these digital recipes and keep them organized? I could bookmark recipes I wanted to remember, but what if the page moved or the site shut down and the link now lead to a big 404 error? I could print them out, but I was trying to get away from all the binders of printouts.
None of this would do.
I wanted a system that was paperless, did not involve bookmarking websites, took minimal effort and was accessible from my iPhone, which I use as my cookbook in the kitchen.
I settled on my storage method of choice: Google Drive.
Here’s how it works.
There are two ways to do this.
- Method 1 should work for everyone and is slightly more complicated (which is to say still not very complicated).
- Method 2 is simpler, but it only works with the Chrome browser and it may not play nicely with every website. I use Method 2 primarily, and Method 1 on websites that don’t cooperate. There aren’t many.
Method #1 – The Copy/Paste Method
1. Create a new document in Google Drive.
2. Find that recipe you want to save and copy it.
Highlight and copy the recipe, pictures and all. If the website offers a “printer-friendly” link to the recipe without all the ads and bric-a-brac, copy from there. I’m going to copy this delicious recipe for Indian Samosa Casserole from Vegetarian Times. Omnomnom.
3. Paste that baby into your blank document in Drive.
You’ll end up with all the images from the page, along with any URL links. This is really handy when a recipe links to another recipe, ie: a recipe for a yummy sandwich has a link to a separate recipe that tells you how to make the bread.
That’s it! Google Drive saves automatically, so you can close this document.
Method #2 – Print directly to Google Drive.
Again, to use this method you must be using the Chrome browser, and you must be logged into your Google account in that browser, which you are if you’re looking at your Drive.
1. Find the recipe you want to save and click Print.
If the site you’re visiting has a handy printer-friendly link like this one does, it will probably give you a nice cleaned up version of the recipe without extra ads and other noise, so use that. Otherwise just use whatever command you would normally use to print in your browser (probably Control + P). In the Print dialogue that appears, click the Change button, choose Save to Google Drive, and then click Save.
2. That’s it!
Everything happens in that one window. In a few seconds, your recipe will appear as a PDF in Google Drive, as if by witchcraft! Enjoy!
Don’t be intimidated if you’ve never used Google Drive. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with it (and it’s really simple) the process of saving recipes to your stash will take all of ten seconds.
And hey! I made you a free cheatsheet with these steps that you can print out and keep handy in case you forget. >>>
Extra Credit: Once you’ve got a few recipes in there, create folders! Color code them! Enjoy the ability to search your recipes! Figure out what to do with all that Kale you bought at the farmers market! Share your recipes with your friends!
So what if this thing gets all gross looking when I copy and paste and I don’t use Chrome?
Sometimes you’ll run into a website that just doesn’t copy/paste nicely because they used some kind of crazy borked-up formatting. Try a website like PrintFriendly or PDFmyURL to make a PDF of the recipe and then just drag that PDF from your desktop into Drive in your browser to upload it.
What does my recipe collection look like now?
Isn’t it lovely? Yes, I really do love grilled cheese enough to give it its own folder.
Do you have a system for taming your recipe clutter?