I have found the absolute best recipe organizer app and I couldn’t be more excited to share it with you! Oooh, plus it’s FREE! I have finally taken all my recipes from my mom, cookbooks, magazines, Pinterest, and printed from food blogs, and organized them into ONE app! And I can access it from my computer or my phone, which makes it even better.
What is it, you ask???
Best Recipe Organizer App ever = Trello!
If you don’t have a Trello account, you can sign up for Trello here (it’s totally free!). I use it for planning evvvvver-thang! House organization, a rolling calendar, gift-giving, organizing my freezer, articles to read later, cleaning the house, I could go on… But my meal planning board is my absolute favorite!
1 How to set up your Trello board for meal planning
As soon as you create an account, you can start creating boards. I’ve titled mine Family Meal Plan and chose a foodie-type-background I liked. For backgrounds, they have solid colors and some really nice stock images to choose from. If you want a custom background, you do have to sign up for Trello Gold (totally not necessary, though!).
If you’d like to download the Ultimate List of Trello Boards (there’s 101 of them!) that has all my sample boards linked, you can do that here:
2 Now it’s time to add lists
You’ll need one titled Recipes on the far left (this is where new recipes go to “be processed”), one titled Weekly Meal Plan, and the rest are set up like a traditional recipe box: Chicken, Beef, Seafood, Pizza/Pasta, etc. I also added one called Recipes to Try because I’m always on the lookout for new dinner ideas!
picky kid tip: Have them scroll through Pinterest or cookbooks/magazines with you and pick their own recipe to try. This is how my picky 4 year old chose a Salmon and veggies recipe (and he ate it!). Have them own the entire process (what is age appropriate for them, of course) – choose the recipe, go shopping for the ingredients, help with the cooking. It really helps!
Under the Weekly Meal Plan list, I have three cards that stay at the top: Grocery List, my Top 10 coupon list, and Theme Nights (more on that next!).
- Grocery List = everything I need to buy that’s on my meal plan for that week
- Coupons – TOP 10 = this is my intentional list of coupons to search for. I’m not a fan of extreme couponing at all, I basically choose my most expensive items that we buy on a regular basis and look specifically for those coupons.
- Theme Nights = this is just a card with all the labels for my weekly theme nights on it so I can quickly see them at a glance.
Then the recipe cards for the week go below those 3 cards, in order (more on that in #6).
3 Let’s talk labels!
Labels is where Trello really starts to shine and turn into the best recipe organizer app. I organize my labels based on my Theme Nights, special dietary needs, and how they’re made (slow cooker, grill, etc). You can name the labels however you want to keep your recipes organized.
Trello’s default label system is just a colored bar. But I like seeing the name of the label on the card so I’m using the chrome extension called TreLabels above (it’s free).
The best part of labels is that you can search and filter by them later…
So, for example, if I’m looking for recipes for my theme night Mexican Monday, I can filter by that label and it will pull all the recipes with that label so I can easily choose my meals. How cool is that?!? (yes, it’s the little things that excite me!)
4 Time to add recipes to the best recipe organizer app
You’re going to add one recipe per card, with or without the image. You can manually add everything, typing and cutting/pasting or if it’s on online recipe, you can open the recipe in one window and drag the url to a space that says “add a card”. The Trello minions will automatically create a new card with the link and photo attached. They really have thought of everything!
Here’s what my recipe cards look like when complete. In the description are the ingredients and directions. In the attachments section is the image, which ends up being the card cover, and the link to the recipe online. Then I copy and paste the ingredients into a checklist titled Shopping List.
If you want to copy my meal planning board for yourself just open it and click Show Menu > More > Copy board. Voilá!
5 How to add ingredients to your Grocery Shopping List
After you add a recipe to your meal plan for the week, you would just copy and paste your ingredients into one of the checklists on the Grocery List card and it will automatically create a line item for each item! Then you can drag and drop to rearrange or add to sections.
6 Adding your recipes to your meal plan
This part is really simple. When it’s time to meal plan, just drag your dinner idea to the Weekly Meal Plan list and assign a date. If you want to see the plan on the calendar, you need to “enable” the calendar. Just go to Show Menu (below your picture in the upper right), Power Ups, and enable the calendar (you can have one power up per board on the free Trello account). You can even link it so your meal plan shows up on your Google Calendar!
WHAT TO DO AFTER THE MEAL
Each time you’ve made the meal on your plan, there are two things you can do:
- When you move it back to it’s proper list, move it to the bottom so you keep ideas you haven’t made at the top.
- If you want to keep the recipe in your rotation, you could just reschedule that recipe for 4 weeks from now! Which means…after 4 weeks of doing this, you’ll have a rotating schedule of meals you love. There might be a few gaps (from leftover nights, meals you didn’t like, etc) but you can quickly pull up the calendar and see where those are. This is my favorite part!
I love having my digital recipe box at my fingertips and this is why I think Trello is the absolute best recipe organizer app! Don’t forget to copy my Trello Meal Planning board (with a bunch of recipes and all!), and then download the Ultimate List of Trello Boards (there’s 101 of them!) that has ALL my sample boards, you can do that here: