Best Recipe Software

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Joined May 8, 2021
Hello Chefs,

I need to find a program where i can store all our recipes, that is simple to use and has the possibility of cloud saving.

Does anyone have any recommendations, i have tried recipe keeper app and don't really like it, looks unprofessional.

Moved onto simpleone recipe manager, but with lack of zoom feature makes reading recipes tedious.

Any suggestions would be awesome.
 

phatch

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Joined Mar 29, 2002
I'm not a pro, but I'll talk through how i share cooking info with my family, probably tomorrow.
 

phatch

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Joined Mar 29, 2002
Just for completeness, look at and compare the plans, there may be something you need from one of the paid tiers, but I think you can do what you want from the free tier.

https://evernote.com/compare-plans

Devices

Evernote runs on Apple, PC, Android, and even Linux--though Linux is a bit of a special case still. Chromebooks can run Android Apps so there is that path too.

Figure out your device plan. You can have each employee use a specific device, possibly their own, but you should be prepared for an employee who doesn't have a supported device. You could supply the devices for all of them, though I wouldn't let the devices leave the business.

Further, you could assign your devices by station as well. If you can fix the device in place and run power to it, so much the better. But if mounted to metal, it may interfere with the wifi connection. You'll have to experiment a bit if this is your plan.

Kitchens are hot, humid, wet, dirty. These are not good conditions for electronics. It's also a big hindrance to device security. If you're wearing gloves, you can't fingerprint ID. Similarly, condensation and steam may limit photo ID. Poking in a code will likely dirty the device. This leads me to conclude that you should set up the systems without security so they are easy to switch on and use as needed. But it increases your risk of theft of your devices.

Another security option to consider would be to use your wifi as a secure indicator. Basically, this setting has the device remain unlocked as long as it detects your wifi. You can also set this up by GPS areas and similar things as well. I'm an Android user and only know the Android details. I would suspect Apple could do the same.
https://screenrant.com/android-smart-lock-unlocked-phone-trusted-places-explained/

If you turn devices off at night, you will have to manually unlock them every morning.

My kids have their own devices. I share the cooking notebook to them.


Accounts

Every user will need an account. An account requires an email address. Any email address should work. You can approach this in two primary ways.

By device. This is only workable if you own and control the devices. In this approach, you'll tie the evernote account to the device. Label each device uniquely, but consistently. It would be simplest if the device name matched the email to some easily recognizable amount. Some of this will depend what email account names you are able to generate.

What's convenient here is that you don't have to manage sharing permissions as employees come and go.

But you will have the added expense and maintenance of the devices.

By employee. Here, the employee will use their device or your supplied device. I'd probably want employees assigned specific devices if I'm supplying devices. Otherwise, managing logins and accounts gets messy fast. You could also do this by station, but again, the account access gets messy unless you never have the devices screen lock or use the location smart lock talked about above.

If you're supplying devices and your employee knows the password and account name, I'd still change the password as employees leave, or maybe just prior to informing the employee that they are leaving.

Install Evernote

The app store from your device should have the Evernote app. You'll need a desktop version as one of your "free devices" as a couple of key features only work on the desktop version.

Start it up, create the account. You'll enter the email address and a password. Keep the password and account info somewhere secure unless your employees are using their own devices. Then it's their issue.

The interface is pretty simple. There are a number of guides to initial set up that I'll not cover here.

The key concepts for your purposes are Notes, Notebooks and Sharing. Tagging shortcuts/linking are also likely useful.

Each recipe will likely be it's own note. You can link to other notes, say if they need a prepatory recipe or such.
https://help.evernote.com/hc/en-us/articles/208313588-Create-internal-note-links

When you create a note, it is assigned to your currently selected notebook. You can move it to other notebooks as needed or desired. You'll probably have a shared notebook called recipes. You might have a separate master notebook that you use for all your recipes but only copy over the active recipes to the shared recipes notebook.

You can share notes individually, but sharing by notebook is more efficient for your purposes I think.

https://help.evernote.com/hc/en-us/articles/208314748-Share-notebooks You'll share to the email accounts associated with the evernote accounts. Depending on the update level, there were times I could only share from the Destop app. Also note that you can grant read only access. This may be desirable, you'll have to decide.

Tagging is a sorting/searching scheme. There's a lot to say about tagging, so I'll just link to the basics.
https://evernote.com/blog/how-to-use-tags-to-organize-evernote/

You could do without tagging entirely, but it can be useful for sorting and grouping content.

I suspect that your tagging matching your menu terms would be useful. Also be consistent in how you use terms. For example. Italy or Italian, pick either a country name or the ethnicity, but don't mix the terms. It defeats the point and function of tagging. Also for verbs. Braise, Braising, Braised. Pick one verb form and stick with it. I strongly recommend -ing its more natural in more ways. grilling vs grill, smoking vs smoke and so on. Grill could be it's own tag for the object and the maintenance, -ing keeps the ideas separate and clear.

I'm of mixed feeling about tagging by ingredient. I think it gets too busy and hard to maintain. The search function is capable of sorting this out well enough, rather I use tagging for concepts that organize but may not be spelled explicitly in the note, such as the ethnicity or technique or special equipment. You may have more use for how it functions on the menu as an entree or dessert or whatever.

Shortcuts are sort of like a sticky link but can be to a notebook or note independent of residing in a note. This is probably useful for specials. You might create a Specials note, then create links inside the note to the current Specials recipes. This way you only have to edit the Specials note as Specials change.

https://help.evernote.com/hc/en-us/articles/209004637-Create-shortcuts

Limitations

The latest version of handheld evernote apps is a bit slow to launch. I expect improvements. The new Home screen seems to me to have been designed to drive you toward paid levels of the app. You'll have to click the hamburger menu and select Notes to get to the more useful sections. Depending on the screen going off and the time between uses, the OS might shut down or sleep the app, and you may have to re-open the app.

Security is not great. If your employees know the account name and password, they can access the content from anywhere, even their own devices. This is a risk of the cloud. So your recipes might wander away with your employees. This is a risk of of most tabletized interfaces unless you've got some corporate lock down tools.

You can't share stacked notebooks. Stacking is an organization method for grouping related notebooks. I like the feature, I prefer it organizationally over tagging, but you can't share stacks. So i had to revert my stacks and update my tags to share the content with my family.

Device damage. Get good screen protectors/cases that can take the intense duty. My cheapo home shortcut is a zip lock bag. Keep the opening at the bottom so you can access it, but spills and such run off. Also more compatible with stands and such this way.

These same ideas should apply pretty equally to Google Keep or Microsoft OneNote if you prefer their licensing and privacy terms.
 

phatch

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Joined Mar 29, 2002
Screenshot from 2021-08-01 21-46-47.png
This is in Linux. Different OS will look somewhat different, handheld even more so.

You can see in the left column that I have the "cooking " notebook selected. The sort happens to be from most recently edited. The specific note is an Optical Character Recongnition transcription of a photo of some pages in a cookbook, The Key to Chinese Cooking.

Also in the left column, you'll see a Shortcut that links to my Bullet Journal collections. I'm trying a hybrid approach to bullet journal and this is how I quickly get to a note of links to my core organizational BUJO collections.

The little green icon of people huddling on the notes means it's shared. The same icon in the upper right has a number indicating how many I've shared it with. Clicking that icon brings up who I've shared it with and what permissions they have.

At the bottom are the tags assigned to this note.

This is the home screen for desktops. I really don't like it. The assumptions it is based on are not that good for me. Paid accounts can make more useful changes. While I do have a paid account, it is an early account cheaper than any of the current offerings and grandfathered in. I don't get to change this.

Screenshot from 2021-08-01 21-54-04.png

You can full screen a note and zoom in the note itself on handheld devices
 
Last edited:
27
1
Joined May 8, 2021
View attachment 70612
This is in Linux. Different OS will look somewhat different, handheld even more so.

You can see in the left column that I have the "cooking " notebook selected. The sort happens to be from most recently edited. The specific note is an Optical Character Recongnition transcription of a photo of some pages in a cookbook, The Key to Chinese Cooking.

Also in the left column, you'll see a Shortcut that links to my Bullet Journal collections. I'm trying a hybrid approach to bullet journal and this is how I quickly get to a note of links to my core organizational BUJO collections.

The little green icon of people huddling on the notes means it's shared. The same icon in the upper right has a number indicating how many I've shared it with. Clicking that icon brings up who I've shared it with and what permissions they have.

At the bottom are the tags assigned to this note.

This is the home screen for desktops. I really don't like it. The assumptions it is based on are not that good for me. Paid accounts can make more useful changes. While I do have a paid account, it is an early account cheaper than any of the current offerings and grandfathered in. I don't get to change this.

View attachment 70611

You can full screen a note and zoom in the note itself on handheld devices
This is awesome. I really appreciate all the effort you took to write all this up.
Once i went through it all i decided this one wasn't for me.
In the end I ended up going with Mastercook 2020 and their cloud service.
Did however convince one of my chefs that i'm coaching to go down this road, they get stuck into just grabbing recipes from google every shift.
So I coached the Chef in starting their own database of recipes that they know will work every time, using evernote.
Where I work we are given different cuts of meat every meal and have to design a menu for the service on the spot. Then given 5 hours to prep that service inclusive of salads, deserts, soups of day, vegetarians and go to mandatory Physical training. Most of the prep is from scratch as well.
 

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