Using a Ringed Binder as a Recipe Book

plannerbug - creating a recipe binder using a ring-bound or filofax planner

A friend of mine gave me a lovely Starbucks ring-bound planner a couple of years ago but I didn’t get around to using it until recently. It’s an A5 size, quite well made and is rather heavy. Not something I’d want to lug around when I’m out and about, so I don’t intend on using it as my daily planner. I still wanted to do something with it though and was suddenly inspired to turn it into a recipe binder.

plannerbug - creating a recipe binder using a ring-bound or filofax planner

My recipe binder is split into seven main categories (mostly suited to my Asian style cooking);

  • Sides
  • Soups
  • Meats
  • Poultry
  • Seafood
  • Pasta & Noodles
  • Dessert

I don’t have all the sections filled yet and am still collecting and printing out recipes to add to it. The dividers were simple A-Z pre-punched dividers that I purchased from a local bookstore. I stuck tab stickers on them to separate the different sections. I know they look rather plain now but I will decorate when inspiration strikes. I was planning to make my own dividers but I couldn’t find suitable card paper.

plannerbug - creating a recipe binder using a ring-bound or filofax planner

I printed most of the recipes I could find online on pre-punched blank A5 sized paper that I got from a local bookstore. For recipes that cannot be found online and only exist in my precious cook books or magazines, I used a free printable template from I typed the recipes onto the template and adjusted the layout size to fit A5.

Putting together a recipe binder can be a time consuming project because most of them require printing, typing and/or writing to some extent. So I tend to be selective about the recipes and will only add those that are tried and tested or something I really want to cook in the future.

I am looking forward to my collection of recipes growing. I have been using the recipe binder quite regularly in my kitchen and really like flipping through it every once in a while, even when I’m not cooking. Having the recipes listed down on paper in one place really helps with meal planning for the week. Rather than referring to my laptop, iPad or books separately, which can get confusing.

Do you use a recipe binder and if you do, what do you use? If you don’t have a recipe binder, do you plan on creating one? Please feel free to add your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below.


  1. Havok says:

    My mom had a giant binder full of recipes a few years back (which my dad needed to keep, for some reason). It was a full 8×11 binder, though, and just full of all sorts of things – most of which, we never ate. This is something I’m looking to do, though, as we tend to eat the same of everything over and over again, and recipes staying on Pinterest does me no good! I have a few cookbooks, but they’re mostly full of things I wouldn’t cook to begin with, so don’t flip through them often. But currating your own cookbook, so to speak, is a fantastic thing to do, I believe!
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    • lyn says:

      You’re absolutely right! I do feel as if my binder is a curated collection of recipes 🙂 I tend to forget where I’ve seen or bookmarked a recipe so it’s much easier to have them all in one place. Your mum’s binder sounds amazing.

  2. plue says:

    my dad has a recipe book too, which he compiles from newspaper/ magazine cutting and some of those recipes from my grandmother. He doesn’t do it in planner though, he just recycle old notebooks and scribble on them. Not the prettiest thing, but it’s his “recipe bible”!

    he once saw my planner, and said “no time for fancy things, I need to get cooking!” LOL!
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    • lyn says:

      Your dad is a wise man! I can’t bear to cut up my precious cook books or magazines, so I’d rather type them out and print them. Also, I get a lot of fantastic recipes online so it’s great to have them all in one binder.

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