New Isn’t Necessarily Better

I’ll be the first to admit, I luuuv my computer.  I love the clicky sound that the keys make when I write, I love that I can type as fast as I think, which means that I can write a LOT more than when I put pen to paper.  I love that, with a click or two of a mouse, I can find just about anything I want to know. I love that I can cyber-stalk my favorite celebrity, find the coolest jeans ever, and argue with complete strangers over stupid things.  But I’ve discovered that there’s nothing like good old-fashioned pen and paper for one thing in particular…


When we moved into our house outside of Chicago, there was a built-in desk right in the kitchen, where we put our PC.  “Sweetness!” I thought, “I’ll get some recipe software, load in all my recipes, and there they will be, right at my fingertips, everything I need!!”

Yeah.  Right.

Putting all those recipes into the software wasn’t such a big deal, as I said, I’m a fast typist.  And when you add some music to the mix, it goes rather quickly.  But I quickly learned, having the recipe on the computer is only convenient if someone else wants it – just copy/paste into an e-mail, or use the software’s e-mail function if it’s compatible with your provider.  But beyond that? I still ended up printing out recipe after recipe, which is why I got the software in the first place… to cut down on having to use paper recipe cards!

And then I got a laptop with Vista on it, and discovered that the software I was using for my recipes wasn’t going to be upgraded to be compatible with Vista. Great. New software required an outlay of at least $30, plus all the time to learn it AND transfer the recipes because it couldn’t import them from the old software which was allergic to Vista. So I’ve gone back to the old fashioned way of doing things, but with my own flair.

I bought a Recipe Box:

a plethora of cards:

and a bunch of protective plastic card sleeves.

Aren’t they just wicked cute?  I LOVE the recipe box.  It’s different.  Not all ‘index card file’ boring like nearly every other recipe box you see, and not all froofy like most of the others.  I’m not a froofy girl.  I like cute and fun. (I got the box from Tatutina but they don’t make it anymore. But they DO make one that looks like an oven that I’d get in a second if I didn’t have my blue one.)

And I had to have 4×6, ‘cause I tend to write big, and even when I write small, I’ve got some pretty complicated recipes.  And the recipe cards are nice, because they have lines on the back, which is a huge help, since I tend to write just as crooked as I think.

I was so in love with the box that I bought one for Josh, too:

They even personalized it, writing his name in the mitt on the top (and it’s only $10!! Suchadeal).  But he just gets plain old 4×6 white cards for now.  It’s more manly anyway.

So, I guess I’ll have to do this:  Mom, you were right.  Sometimes computers DON’T make things easier!!  All I have to do now is sit down and re-copy all of those recipes I put into the computer, back onto cards.  Shouldn’t take me but a year or two.

So here’s the discussion:  have you discovered something that you thought SURE would be easier on the computer, but found out that the old way is really the better way?

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16 Responses to New Isn’t Necessarily Better

  1. Joy says:

    I’m so with you. I LOVE my computer. I won’t even say how much and I do like to keep my recipes on here but like you, they’re really only good if you want to send them to someone or you want to print them out.

    I have my mom’s old recipe box. I love it just because it’s old and it was hers and I got all her recipes in it when she gave it to me. I LOVE that oven one. I may go back and get that later. But I also love those plastic sleeves. You know what I do with my recipes? I turn a clothespin upside down and clip the card in there and it holds it up for me.

    I even have a laptop. I could take it with me to the kitchen but I don’t move mine around like that. I’m too afraid of something happening to it. It would be my luck that coffee of water or something would get on it.

    There’s also something really neat about recipe cards. I hope they never go away.

  2. Joy says:

    I also love all the new “fun” recipe cards they have now. They never used to have such fun and cute ones.

    • Laura says:

      I just love that there’s so much available in 4×6. That was, I think, a big reason for me going to the computer in the first place, because between my handwriting and my long recipes, I found myself putting stuff on two and three cards. Well, I’ve learned to write a lot smaller, and with the bigger cards, I can usually fit everything onto one. Rarely do I have overflow anymore.

      the cute is a bonus!

  3. SKL says:

    Keeping a calendar – though I do use the computer, it was always easier to just look at the little datebook that my ex-employer supplied me with. I don’t get those any more, so I make do, but not as well.

    Can’t think of much else that I’ve willingly tried on a computer and went back (or wanted to).

  4. Joy says:

    I just can’t get used to a calender online. I’ve bought the programs and have tried all the yahoo and windows programs but other than to remind me while online, they aren’t what I can get used to. It’s too hard for me to plan things going to my computer.

    My kitchen calendar this year is from Laura and she gave it to me for my birthday. It’s a Paula Deen and it’s awesome. I love it. I need to see the squares and write things down where I can look ahead. If someone says this and this on that date and a week from next Thurs, I like to look at it in my own hand. I write birthdays in one color marker or all Bailey’s ball games are in one color and their concerts and so on.

    I could NEVER live without my calendar. Not even a consideration. I even like to use stickers sometimes.

  5. Laura says:

    I’ve got three calendars that I use… a wall calendar (Sandra Boynton’s Mom’s Family Calendar), a desk planner (Amy Kapp’s Family Organizer), and my online calendar (thunderbird + lightning, made by mozilla/firefox).

    Like you, Joy, I NEED to have that visual – the dates spread out before me, to figure out what’s going on. It took some getting used to, using the Boynton one, because that’s columns, not the traditional calendar.

    I also like my online calendar, because I can ask it to remind me of stuff. I can put it in there and forget it, and five minutes before the event, or a day, or whatever, it’ll pop up and remind me until I tell it to go away.

  6. Sue says:

    I am in desperate need of a new recipe box that holds all my stuff!!! I have so many papers shoved in my cupboard b/c they don’t fit in the box and the plastic sleeves are a great idea!!! I will be checking out the oven box for sure 🙂

    As far as what the computer can’t do…print pictures. Unless you have an industrial printer like they use at Cashwise or Walmart, they just are not the same. Yes, some printers print really nice pictures, but they don’t last, the color fades, the color is off and they scratch really easily. My printer prints nice pictures, but if we need them for 4-H for the fair I send them to the big boys!

    • Joy says:

      My printer is slowly dying too. I remember when I got it I just loved it. It still scans and copy’s but as far as photo’s, I had a hard time printing pics of Lily for Nikki in Dec. They do fade and they do scratch very easily. If you want to “show off” pics, send them in. It’s so easy also. You can email them in and either pick them up or have them delivered to you by mail. It’s cheap and easy. My problem is sometimes I want them rightnow.

  7. Joy says:

    I’m really very annoyed at you! You know how much I love crap like this. I’ve just spent half an hour at that site. I love the middle dog treat box. I love those colors and it’ll look great on my counter with my one red wall!! Dang you anyway!!!

    You know I’m not crazy about the 4×6 cards and boxes. I like to grab my recipe box with one hand and I can’t do that with the bigger ones and “somehow” (and I know how dumb this sounds BUT) they don’t “feel” like a recipe card to me if they’re that big. I don’t want to use two hands to grab it out of the cupboard. Sometimes when I reach for mine, my hands, or at least one of them is gunky and that’s why I’m grabbing for it. I also write really big but in just this instance, I need to write small.

    I’ve also found some really neat box’s at antique shops.

    Man, I LOVE THIS SITE though. Shame on you Laura!

    Where did you find those cute cards?

  8. Nikki says:

    I have a recipe book, with blank lined pages. My sister gave it to me years ago. I love it! Now I just need one of those stands that holds books. Most of the recipes I have gotten from online or friends go in there. And the rest are in actual books. My grandma sends me Betty Crocker books every couple years. I LOVE cook books, just the way they look on a shelf. I don’t have a recipe box, but I should get one, that or find another book. I’m running out of room. A box would probably be more efficient, seeing as it is most likely alphabetized.

    I tried using the Yahoo calendar, and it just didn’t work out for me. I need it in front of me, or I forget. I never remembered to look at the dang thing, with the one being on my wall is right there, and I look at it often. That’s about the only thing I can think of.

    • Joy says:

      I need a calendar right in front of me too all the time so I can just look. I’ve just never gotten used to using the computer one. I do have a nice one in my Windows 7 mail program and it’s right in the mailbox and it’s “okay.” It’s the nicest one I’ve ever used but like I said, I can’t see it when I’m on the phone in the kitchen or talking to someone and need to see a month at a glance.

    • Laura says:

      I love cookbooks, too. My nephew and niece-in-law just gave me the “America’s Test Kitchen” cookbook for Christmas… it’s HUGE!! But he made a bunch of recipes out of there for Thanksgiving dinner, and they were all really good. A friend also recently gave me the Pioneer Woman Cookbook.

      But I find that the box lets me find my “go-to” stuff quicker. My old one (before the computer fiasco) was categorized by, well, categories… breakfast, dinner, appetizers, salads, desserts, CAKE. That kind of thing. So it was relatively easy to find stuff. It also helps preserve the cookbooks so I’m not spilling stuff on them.

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