When I started writing this in February, I thought it was quite niche. But when restaurants and pubs closed because of Covid-19, home cooking became the new eating out and it's now surprisingly relevant.
I've always been a keen cook and have a shelf of recipe books, a box full of recipes ripped from magazines and a random collection of bookmarks for recipes all over the web. Over the years, I've tried to organise all these. I wanted something that was visual but also had great tagging and searching to help me manage my collection.
Most of the food-specific apps were very expensive. The free Yummly is an amazing treasure-trove of recipes but it didn't have the flexibility I wanted. I tried Pinterest, Trello and Airtable, which are great solutions for some projects but none of them worked for my recipes.
Then I found the answer: CopyMeThat. I discovered it while hunting for a recipe that was on a website that had closed. That's the beauty of CMT; it doesn't just bookmark the recipe, it saves a copy so that you still have it even when the original has disappeared. Web pages are ephemeral things!
Things I love about CMT:
Downsides? It doesn't have the user base of sites like Yummly so I can't guarantee it'll be around for ever. If it doesn't, you can export your recipes to an HTML file – complete with pictures and the links to the original recipe sites – which you can use as a Word document. I must also say, it's functional rather than beautiful.
Check out my recipe collection; I hope it inspires you.
As winter approaches, it’s a good time to look back and see how well I’ve stuck to my News Year’s Resolutions. Some haven’t been great. But “Get more organised” – that’s a YES! How? With the help of Trello.
In essence a virtual pinboard, in Trello you can organise almost anything. From a simple list of chores at home to a complex Kanban-based project at work, Trello helps you manage information in a clear, visual way. I’ve used it as a recipe catalogue, a holiday planner and for information sharing on my “Tech tips” board. Other people have used Trello for lesson planning, product roadmaps, keeping up with friends, job searches, party planning, tracking life goals. There are so many ideas on trello.com/inspiration.
Getting started with Trello is easy: add a board, personalise it with a background picture, add some lists and finally add your cards. Give each card a title, then open them to include more details – notes, checklists, pictures, links, labels, documents and dates. The Getting Started Guide on help.trello.com walks you through everything from adding your first board to using Trello like a pro while the Trello Features board shows many of the features in action. For a step-by-step introduction, watch the Getting Started With Trello video.
If you have a group of friends or colleagues who want to work together on a project, you can create “teams” to allow them to collaborate on a board. Assign each card to a person and you can easily share information and track progress on everyone’s tasks.
Trello has been developed to support a wide range of users and this is reflected in its flexibility. Each board can have its own Power-Up which extends its functionality. While most of these are more useful if you’re using Trello at work, some like TreeView, Voting, Calendar or, especially, Custom Fields help you tailor your personal boards to best fit your project. See them all at trello.com/power-ups. Another useful add-on is the Chrome extension; click this to add any webpage as a Trello card. But you’re not limited to using Trello in a browser.
My only complaint is that boards with a few hundred cards warn of slow performance. But given that, even in the free version, you can have unlimited boards it’s easy to split your information into smaller boards which can be linked in an overview board. You can easily move cards between boards using the "Move..." button on the back of cards.
If your New Year’s Resolution this coming year is “Get more organised”, you might want to give Trello a go.