You know how you have a binder filled with recipes, or maybe just a stack of recipes you have printed out. Or what about that Pinterest board with 562 meal ideas on it that you will never try. I am guilty of both. I just don’t know how to keep it all organized. My print outs were once organized in binders, but have since become a jumbled mess in my cupboard. Sauce stains cover half the pages, as does muffin and cake batter. I am not a clean cook, and my recipe books and notes show it.
And so I have turned to OneNote.
OneNote is a one stop shop. OneNote is basically my virtual recipe binder I can take anywhere with me. I can copy and paste my recipes, create a grocery list, insert photos and even add audio instructiobs if I want to get a little fancy. If you have a touch device, like a Microsoft Surface, you can even write directly into OneNote. This has made travel so much easier. I used to scan recipes and print them out to bring with us on vacations. Now I can scan them and insert the recipes directly into a OneNote tab in my “binder”, sync everything to my phone and laptop and I’m good to go.
I can share my grocery list with my husband before he heads to the grocery store, and if I forget anything I can add it to the list and it will automatically update while he is out. Whether or not he sticks to my list is another story.
OneNote is free. Everyone raves about EverNote, but here’s the thing, it’s not free, and it limits you to how much you can store. Evernote lets you have 60mb a month for free, while OneNote lets you have 7 GB. Offline access to your OneNote is also free, unlike Evernote.
OneNote goes anywhere with you. This is crucial in my PC vs. Mac house. We have phones, tablets and computers that all run on different platforms. I am constantly working with friends on projects and we can’t all be on our iPhones or PCs. OneNote allows us to share story ideas, recipes and even story edits whenever and wherever we need.
Apps make it even more powerful. With apps like Office Lens (Windows phone)and JotNot scanner (iOS) I can scan recipes I find with my phone and pop them into OneNote without the hassle of downloading them into separate documents or losing them in the photos of kids, flowers, food, books and other images I find in my phone when I finally download. OneNote Clipper allows me to grab a website, pop it into OneNote and move onto my next task if I don’t have time to really dive into the page I found.
I’m not going to lie. OneNote does take a little playing around with to figure out how it will work best for you, but no more time than any new program might take. It is an Office 365 product, which means if you already know Word and Excel, you will find many of the tools and toolbars familiar to work with.
I was hesitant at first to dive in, but once I did I was hooked. I can import Excel spreadsheets (the love of my life) and they will auto update. I can add photos, make business cards, create recipe books and get my husband to grab groceries after work as I aspire to be the chef I know is in me somewhere. Our travel planning has been transformed, but that is a totally different discussion for another day. Needless to say this is a powerful tool that can change the way you gather information, and will definitely help you try out a few more of those Pinterest recipes you have been salivating over for the past year.