I am fairly organized. I admit this sickness and people that know me, know this about me. But with all my obsessively organized ways, I have yet to find the best way to organize my recipes. For several years I've spent plenty of time and money trying different methods to organize them so that I can find them easily and deal with the many sizes they come in.
PROBLEM: I have
Recipes from emails that I print at 8.5"x11"
Recipes that I find online and print at 8.5"x11"
Recipe cards from Grandma Wright - 3"x5"
Martha Stewart recipe cards - 4"x5"
Williams Sonoma recipe cards - 4"x6"
Magazine recipe clippings - random sizes
1) My sister-in-law has her recipes in pretty file folders and an open top wood bin, I like the looks of this but I want to be able to see the recipes easier and faster.
2) I love all the cute 3x5 recipe card boxes on the market but I have too many recipes to write them all out. Plus I will always be printing things at 8.5"x11" to save time.
3) I used to convert everything into an InDesign file and print those so they all looked the same but who has the time for that? That was clearly pre-kids.
4) Binders! I like this idea so I can flip through them and see the categories easily, but I fill the binders up fast and the tend to fall apart and pop open and all of the guts fall out all over the kitchen floor when I'm in the middle of a crazy dinner rush.
Of all of these options, Binders are the most functional for me, so I will try it again and see if I can make Martha Stewart's Staples products work for me. I like that she has protector sheets with four compartments for her recipe cards and blue protector sheets that I use for my favorite recipes. I put those first in each category so I can find them quickly.
But I have some pet-peeves about binders. I don't like the tabs or any protector sheets to stick out beyond the binder. I also don't like the tabs to be hidden and not stick out far enough from the protector sheets. These seem like simple fixes, but most binders, protector sheets and tabs are not sized appropriately to avoid the issue.
So I altered them. I cut a small opening on the outer edge of a protector sheet (the same width of the tab) and inserted the tab sheet into the protector sheet. This way, the tab is the same size as the protector sheet and the tab extends beyond the edge so you can actually SEE your categories. And they don't stick out past the binders edge.
So far, I have two binders loaded with five categories each. I'm not going to overload them. They look nice and they aren't popping open. My only concern is that Martha tends to discontinue products so I may purchase a couple more sets for the future so that I can add to this plan easily and have it all match.