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May 03, 2008



Wow, Cat! You really are on a quest for organization. I would like to preface my suggestion by noting that I am way too lazy to do this myself, but here's what I think may be a reasonable solution:

Q1) continue to use binders for all loose paper materials, but make sure each binder in labeled (magazine recipes, decorating ides, etc) Choose a Key word title for each entry (livingroom, curtains, faux painting)make sure the key word is something that will help to trigger your memory when you are looking for that article later. Try to alphabetize the binder based on the key words.

Q2, 4, 5) will be answered in my more long-winded paragraph below

Q3) A special ingredient can be your keyword, if it is the reason you want to try a recipe

Now create a spread sheet with 4 columns
C1) Key word
C2) Title
C3) source
C4) special notes

Copy this spread sheet for each of the subjects you want to orgaize, one for knitting, one for recipes, one for decorating and home, etc

Column 1 should be alphabetized for quick scanning. When you are looking for a recipe to use those fiddleheads that have such a short season go to the F's in column 1 on your cooking spread sheet.

Column 2 will provide the title to the recipe, article, or pattern, so if your source refers you to a paticular page in a book you have a cross reference

Column 3 will tell the title and (when possible)issue number, and page number of the book, binder, or magazine. For online articles and recipes it should contain a link [this will save you from storing hard copies of online information]

Column 4, special notes, will give you the opportunity to make notes for later reference, such as "try this recioe next time aunt Martha visits" or "this pattern will make a great gift for Dad"

When all your information is plugged in you should be able to easily scan and find the information you are looking for. The down side is I can easily see an entire weekend lost to setting this up. However, it would imagine you would save that time, and more, later when you are looking to find things again. Since the spreadsheets should be easily updated adding new entris should only take a few seconds.

Now, my question for you is: After reading this do you just want to dump everything in a big box and hope you will find what you want next time you are looking?


Your previous commenter has great suggestions although I don't quite go so far. I use labeled binders but I merely write notes on the pages I put in them with source info and any other little reminders I need.


Yes, I think Briley and June have it in a nutshell! Maybe folders/binders with "favorite recipes", "wild foods". "Decoration tips" "Gifts" with a page for peoples names and enough room to make gift suggestions for each and then check them off when you have made them so they won't get a repeat;) Maybe "Martha" has some suggestions too?;)on her website?


I have binders for my knitting and sewing patterns that I've printed out. Some of the binders hold more than one type, i.e., hats and mittens. Socks get their own binder.

As for online, if it's a pattern or recipe I want to bookmark but not print out I change the name of the bookmark. You know..it comes up as the name of the website and maybe a bunch of letters etc following that. I tend to change it to something like Yellow Purse pattern. Well, I try to remember to do that :-)

If I find a recipe I want to try, I print it out and put it where I keep the grocery list. It just sits there until I get whatever I need for it and then I make it...or stuff it in an overloaded recipe notebook that's not printed on pretty paper LOL

Aunt Kathy

Well Cat... I have little advice or suggestions for you as I too am struggling to organize. I will be watching your blog closely though to see if I can learn something, lol


Okay, I am sooo not winning this contest cuz I need those answers too. I want to be organized but it just doesn't come naturally to me. I'll be waiting to here the answers.

Whenever my "behind for days" self posts on my blog...I will spread the word for ya.


*thanks for listening to my blabber*


I have one answer that will answer all of your questions. I have little index card boxes that are full of index cards listing all of my recipes and the page they are on of the magazine or book. Each card holds one recipe and then the cards are all categorized using very specific categories so that they are easy to find. This same system would work for any kind of organization from knitting pattern, to decorating ideas.
If you have loose patterns or recipes you can do the same thing but actually file the pattern or recipe in a binder under categories and the same thing can be done with folders on the internet.
Also the best way to contact me about anything is through Ravelry where my ID is knittingpanda87.

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