Recipes, Articles and All Those Clippings!

I've had a lot of requests from clients lately asking for ideas on how to store, and later find, the many, many articles and recipes they've torn out of magazines over the years.  And, although almost everything is available digitally now, there's something to be said for sitting down with an actual piece of paper and reading an article.  We'll get to the digital part later.  First, let's figure out what kind of articles you've got.

Recipes - definitely.  Articles you'd like to read sometime - probably.  Household hints or to-do lists - quite possibly.  There are tons of interesting things that warrant our pulling them out for later reference.  Before you begin to store any of these clippings, you need to look them over to make sure it is 1) still a topic you are interested in knowing more about, 2) that this information isn't available somewhere else and 3) if it's are recipe, you'd actually make it (look at ingredients and time it takes for a quick assessment).  There are two ways I like to suggest corralling and collecting this scraps that are hiding all over the kitchen and office.

Choice 1: Files!  Whether it's in a file box, a drawer or in a desk-top sorter, keep these articles in files.  Each file should be labeled by topic.  For example, if all you have to keep track of are recipes, perhaps files for "Appetizers," "Salads," "Chicken," "Beef" and "Dessert" will work best.  Maybe you have a separate folder for recipes you haven't tried yet and the ones you have made (and liked) are sorted into their respective files already.  In any case, there are two great places to keep these files: near the place you keep other cookbooks or near where you tear articles out of the newspaper and magazines.  That way, they can immediately get sorted and put away.  If you're collecting topics unrelated to cooking, like articles on health, work-related or personal growth, keep those files near any reference materials you have (think book shelves or other articles) or near where you'd sit down to actually read them, when you have the time.

Choice 2: Binders! This is especially helpful for the visual type.  Have a binder for each topic you find yourself tearing out articles about.  One for recipes, one for health articles, one for get the picture.  Then, fill the binders with clear page sleeves. Avery has some great, basic ones.  If you want something fancier, check these out:

The colors may help create smaller categories, as well.  If it's recipes, each color can be a topic within the recipe binder.  If it's health/medical related articles, each color can be related to one particular health issue (healthy sleep habits, exercise routines, etc.).  It's easy to add and subtract pages as you add or toss articles.

Now, an important mention.  Most of the articles you're clipping can be found online, I'm guessing.  Think about creating bookmark folders in your browser where you can tag and remember all kinds of articles to reference whenever you'd like.  If you're willing to make the swap to digital, you just might like it!

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