Trello Tricks: Meal Planning Made Easy

Simplified meal planning to make 2018 your healthiest year yet

Our last blog post listed “how to” steps for Trello. This week, one of our team members, Aidan DiPrima, shares how he uses this platform to stay healthy and organized in the New Year.

Ahhh, 2018 has arrived. Many of us are stepping into the new year with resolutions that may include lofty nutritional goals — but how long do they really last? Two weeks? A month? Let’s face it: cooking healthy meals — or cooking at all — can be time consuming and frustrating. But it doesn’t have to be.

In comes meal planning. That thing you know you should be doing, but just never happens.

I’m going to show you exactly how I’ve been using Trello to organize recipes and schedule weekly meals.

Aidan’s Trello Board

This is my Meal Planning board. It’s a constant work-in-progress, but I’m pretty satisfied with how it looks at the moment. The everything bagel background is a major key to success.

Everything is organized into a handful of categories — lunch recipes, side dishes, soups, desserts, and of course, the “Pure Insanity” list. I currently only have one recipe listed, but it is truly insane — authentic tacos al pastor from scratch, which involves 36 hours of marinating and the creation of a homemade shawarma device. This is where I’ll save those multi-day cooking extravaganza recipes for when I really feel like going all out.

Originally, I was manually creating cards in Trello and then copying and pasting recipes onto them. There had to be a better way, right? Well, there is — through automation, of course.

Evernote Webclipper Chrome Extension

In comes Zapier and the Evernote Webclipper chrome extension.

I was able to boil this whole process down to a few clicks. If I see a recipe I like, I highlight the important bits, click the Evernote Webclipper button on chrome and save it to the “Recipes for Trello” notebook I’ve created within Evernote.

From there, I have a zap that creates a trello card every time a note is added to the “Recipes for Trello” notebook. It creates the title and uses the main body of the note as the description, then puts the card into an “Incoming Recipes” list on my Trello board.

Recipe sent to Trello

This is the result. No pictures, no urls, no nonsense. Just the ingredients and instructions — the only parts you actually need. Depending on the website, you may have to do some formatting to get it to look like this.

Keep in mind, you can choose to save the entire webpage and the zap will create a card with just the url in the description. Personally, I prefer the highlighted selection because I can bypass the small novels that are in front of every food blog recipe these days, but to each their own.

Every now and then I will go through the “Incoming Recipes” list and clean up the recipes I have in there. Once I like the look of the card I’ll pop it into its appropriate list. Done!

The process for meal planning is relatively simple. Every weekend, my girlfriend and I spend 10–15 minutes reviewing the board. We choose three to four recipes that catch our eye — with leftovers, that will supply us for an entire week.

Once we’ve selected the recipes we want to make for the week, I move them to the “Recipes For the Week” list. From there, I make a grocery list by copying and pasting the ingredients from each recipe onto my “Grocery List” card and deleting everything I already have in my pantry.

Once I’ve created the list, I copy the card to my Leverage Trello board in the “VA” section. A Leverage VA then picks up the task and orders my groceries for me. The next day, everything I need for the week shows up at my doorstep.

There it is. I’ve planned out all my meals and finished my grocery shopping for the week in about 15 minutes. I’ve been able to save time and money while enhancing my in-home dining experience with tons of new dishes. Plus, it helps me avoid those impulse cookie purchases!

This is just one example of how I’ve co-opted the processes and software that we use at Leverage to make my personal life more efficient and organized. And it is my hope that you can benefit by either using a similar approach or finding something else in your life that can be organized and streamlined with Trello.

If you do, be sure to share it with us in the Leverage Slack community! We’d love to hear what you come up with.

Aidan DiPrima, writing enthusiast and Leverage Vertical Leader

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