December 9, 2012

Evernote for Menu Planning

I am a tech nerd. I read tech news, tech blogs, and watch a lot of tech videos. This isn't a screen addiction; I don't need to be constantly staring at my phone or checking e-mail. I like to learn about how apps and services can make me a more organized, together person. One such app is Evernote.

If you aren't already familiar with it, Evernote, at its simplest, is a note-taking system. You can access it on the web, on your mobile device, or on their software. I use all three platforms, thank you very much. It makes menu planning very simple for me.  Your notes can be text, pictures, or sound.  Check out this vlog [video blog] for the Evernote basics.

I use three notes constantly: menu database, this week's menu, and next week's menu. These are the titles of my notes--you can call your notes anything you like.

In my menu database note, I keep a living list of all the recipes I like and can make well. Whenever I'm stumped about what to make, I refer to this list. As I experiment with new recipes and find ones I like, I add to the list. I keep the hyperlinks of the websites where I find the recipes for future reference.

This week's menu is a well-named note: here is everything I'm making this week. When my brain gets clogged with the happenings of day to day life, it's a reminder. Evernote on each platform has great sharing resources, so I can easily e-mail my husband our week's menu.  He's very smart; he always says it looks delicious.

If I'm standing in line somewhere or if some culinary inspiration hits at a random time of day, I go to the next week's menu note on my phone and add my idea. This also serves as my shopping list towards the end of the week.

Evernote allows the use of tags.  All three of these notes are tagged menu. I also have menus for specific holidays, like Christmas. Cooking on Christmas day requires a different level of organization, so I break down the menu into chunks of time. This way, everything is ready at the same time. I know when in the morning to start each of the recipes.

The Evernote clipper is an excellent tool for organizing recipes and it deserves its own post--coming soon.


  1. Great post on this! I've never used Evernote, but this will definitely get me to try it!

    1. Thanks for letting me know! I'd love to hear what you think of it after you've played around with Evernote for a while.

  2. Great post! I have about 800 recipes in Evernote and wrote a post about it as well, with the basics of getting your recipes into Evernote:

    I really like your idea of the overall base menu with tried and true recipes. Going to have to do this.

    I do a similar thing with the menu planning, but do mine with a table for a monthly basis and add a shopping list on the other side of the table.

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I'm obsessed with Evernote for my work life too! It's such a power horse. I've never seen menu planning with a table. I'll check it out now.

  3. Fantastic post! Do you overwrite your This Week's Menu each week?