How to Use Evernote for Meal Planning

Today’s post is not a recipe, but if you’re like me and you save Pinterest pins and online recipes to Evernote, you may be looking for a paperless way to meal plan.

I’ve been using Evernote for meal planning for over two years, and it works very well. It’s nice to have a digital diary of the meals my husband and I have made and it’s helpful to look at when I’m looking for tried-and-true recipes for the next month’s meal plan.

Evernote - my Recipes NotebookWhat I do at the end of each month is start a new note and title it like this: “Meal Planning: May 2015” without the quotation marks. Then, I type up the day of the week and the date: “Friday, May 1st” and continue this for the whole month. Later, I bold the text of each date in order to make it stand out.

Then, I use the search tool to type in key words for the first recipe I want to make. Once I find it, I right click the thumbnail of it with my mouse and select “Copy Note Link.” I can’t get a screen snip of the right-click menu, but I did take a picture with my phone. I’m sorry it’s not very clear.

Evernote right-click menuAfter selecting that, I return to my meal planning post and place my cursor below the date I want to fix that meal. I click the Ctrl and V keys on my keyboard (or I could right-click and paste) and it pastes the name of the recipe as hyperlinked text. Next, I continue selecting recipes and add the note links to my meal plan.

Meal Planning with EvernoteThis makes grocery shopping and cooking so much easier on me. I don’t print out recipes and cook from them; I save them in Evernote and read them straight from the native Evernote app or Evernote Food.

There’s another way to create a meal plan that you may find a little easier. First, select at least two recipes you want to make. You can select all month’s worth if you want, but make sure you’re selecting them in the order you’d like them to appear.

Creating a Table of Contents Note in Evernote

As you select the notes, they appear like note cards on the right if you’re using a PC. I don’t know how it displays on a Mac. See the menu below? There are all sorts of cool buttons you can check out, but for now you’ll just need to click “Create Table of Contents Note.”

Building a table of contents note in EvernoteAs you can see, the four notes I selected are now linked in a new note titled “Table of Contents.” Each green underscored text links to the recipe of the same name. You can edit the names of the note title links as they appear, and it won’t change the name of the note. For example, I could change recipe #2 from “Warm Chicken, Asparagus and Bacon Salad” to “Asparagus Salad” by deleting some of the text and it would still link to my recipe. This is helpful when a note is particularly long and I don’t need to see the whole note name.

Then, you just rename the note and make edits to the note. If you like the recipes numbered for the date of the month, then you’re good to go. Otherwise, you can edit the note like I did here.

Table of Contents note in EvernoteDoes that help give you a new way to use Evernote? How do you plan out your meals in advance – or do you? I hope this has been helpful. Thanks for reading my blog! Next time, I’ll get back to posting delicious and healthy recipes. 🙂

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