I like to cook. I feel the need to organize files so much it’s almost pathological (hence, the MLIS). I have terrible handwriting. And I love my iPad. So I thought I’d share the way I’m doin’ recipes now since it really has improved my life a lot, and I can’t imagine cooking without it now.

Simplenote tagsSimplenote is an iOS app that also has a web interface. You log in with your email address. It is a very simple, minimalist even, text editor/file manager. It lets you add tags to each of your files as a means of organizing them (no folders).  I only use it for recipes.  I guess I could use it for other types of files, but I actually keep most of my writing/text apps separate in terms of their purpose in my life.

I tend to tag recipes according to use (dessert, vegetarian, Thanksgiving) awesomeness (★ means it was a big hit and I need to make it again) and source (Cook’s Illustrated, Mark Bittman, Martha in the NYTimes, Giada, Everyday Food, etc.) Because sometimes I tend to remember the source if not where or how I heard about it or what it even was (“Bittman was talking about some amazing new uses for sherry vinegar… oh where was that oh god.”)

Simplenote screenshot

Files get added by clicking the “+” sign. Copy and paste from the website’s printable version to get the cleanest version of the text. I have even resorted to typing recipes in here from books, but only the BEST ones, and only in my own indecipherable typing shorthand.


Simplenote iPad

The iPad app is great because it syncs to the web automatically. I can take it out at the grocery store and look for the ingredients I need, even without an internet connection, and hopefully not look too silly/pompous. I don’t have an iPhone yet but when I do I will look much cooler at the grocery store swiping around at my recipes.

Then when I get home, I put my iPad in my pot lid rack stand that could hold about 7 iPads but is currently not being used for pot lid storage (an uninspired Container Store purchase), and pull up the Simplenote app that takes over and usually shows the complete ingredient list in one screen (minimizing messy finger scrolling). Just be sure to adjust the setting that allows the screen to be on for more than 10 seconds.

Also great about Simplenote, whether you are using the mobile or web version, is that you can do a very fast keyword search of all of your recipes, so if you have a craving for kale or whatever you can just type that in (it really happens!)

Simplenote iPad tags

Sorry if this was really obvious information, I just like sharing life-altering everyday uses of technology and I usually have to explain it at a very basic skill level in my work life. If you decide to go the analog route instead, my mom bought me a wonderful Moleskine recipe organizer for Christmas and it is as of yet unsullied by my atrocious handwriting, but it looks really useful.

Go forth and manage your food information! Bon appétit!

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Has The Lauren Show gone on hiatus?

May 13, 2011 8:19 pm

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