OneNote for Shopping Lists (Video)

March 13, 2018

A few years ago I wrote a blog saying OneNote makes a great shopping list tool, and I used the iPhone app as the example. Since then the OneNote iPhone App has changed its design a lot so this is an update to that post using the latest iPhone app in a video. The Android app should work similar (but let me know!).

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14 Responses to OneNote for Shopping Lists (Video)

  1. Jacqueline says:

    Is there a way to show all the store lists consolidated into one list?

    I add things to my lists knowing which store I ‘probably’ will purchase it at, but while out shopping I scroll through all of the items I need to buy. A different store may have the same items at a better price, etc.


    • Michael Linenberger says:

      Thanks Jacqueline, no, I don’t know of a way combine them all. I am like you, I shop for the same thing at multiple stores. What I do (without a combination approach) is put the same item on multiple store lists. That may sound cumbersome but you only need to do it once. After you check it off it goes into the completed section of each store and you can pull it back up again. Not perfect but it seems to work. Michael

  2. Robert says:

    I chose to list the store types rather than the store names. eg Supermarket as a list means that I can buy butter at any supermarket (Countdown, Pak’n Save, New World etc), Hardware means that I can buy a wheel barrow at any hardware store (Mitre 10, Bunnings, Placemakers etc) and so on and so forth.

  3. Scott says:

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for the video. I checked, and Android works the same way.

    I appreciate you talking about OneNote. This is the first article I have seen you do with OneNote. I have been getting into One Note over the last year, and from time to time struggle, with when to print an email to OneNote or just categorize the email and move it to my Processed Mail folder. I have come to the conclusion that an email is an email, thus it stays in Outlook. I use OneNote for simply that, notes.

    I don’t manage large projects. You’ve given me some great ideas on how to manage project tasks in Total Workday Control, so I don’t create tasks in OneNote. I keep them in Outlook and try to categorize them with the same project name I use for OneNote.

    Sorry for going on for so long. You really hit a topic with me :):) I’d like to know your thoughts on using OneNote with Total WorkDay Control.

    Thank you,


    • Michael Linenberger says:

      Scott, you might look at my One Minute Project Manager video course. It emphasizes using OneNote for managing multi-step tasks, ones that linger from week to week.
      Good tools there for that.
      But for normal small tasks, i think Outlook has better tools.

    • Desmond says:

      You mention Android works the same way. I can get the check boxes but it still looks like a normal note and not a list where the items clear once you have ticked them.
      Could you explain how you achieved that function with Android?

      • Scott Gaines says:

        Hi Desmond,

        I went back and tried that functionality on my Android and it didn’t work. I couldn’t find a way to make it work. When I made the comment, I was referring to creating the page.



        • Desmond says:

          Hi Scott
          OK no worries, thanks anyway.
          @ Michael, do you have any friends at Microsoft that might have any tips?
          If anyone works out how to do that I would be grateful to hear!

  4. Michal Tarovsky says:


    does OneNote implement also reminders based on GPS – meaning when I am in Kmart or TESCO on Specific GPS location OneNote reminds me to shop from my list that my wife just created for me?

    Thank you

    • Michael Linenberger says:

      Michal, no I don’t think OneNote has location alerts. But what you can do is use a task app that does have location alerts and enter a task like “Shop at Albertsons” (using an app that syncs with your main desktop task list would be best) and then use OneNote for the list items. I know some Toodledo apps have that location feature. Not sure about Outlook syncing apps. Michael

  5. Ramona Engel says:

    Michael, Thanks for this idea for OneNote. This ranks up there with, “why didn’t I think of that?”. As an avid OneNote user for years, I’m pleased to be able to use it for such a practical application as well.

    My only consideration would be that most of my shopping is broken down into a variety of items for a hobby that contains many small numerically ordered items. I buy things on sale, rather than only at one store. So I require lists under item headings, rather than stores. I also errand shop at times by store for other items. So, my shopping lists are a mixture of by store and item headings.

    OneNote will simplify this for me and I like the hidden items that can be recalled when it’s time to replenish. Item categories also help when I travel and am not near my regular stores.

    Thanks again for the helpful tutorial.

  6. Andrew says:

    For the Android (& iOS) users out there, you can get the checklist and completed items drop to bottom in Google Keep. It comes with location based reminders. You can add tags like “supermarket” to Albertsons, Target, etc and “department” to Target, Sears, etc (notice Target had multiple tags). You can then search that tag and see all lists that match and at least a few items on top. You can share notes in your Google family group or with specific people, or both (e.g. my wife will add things to the shopping list and I pull it up when I get there). You can also create reminders that show up in Keep from emails via Google inbox, but I wouldn’t recommend it as keep fails to provide any effective task management. Keep is great for reference material, but I tried using it with MYN and it’s too difficult to move priority zones or change dates. I use TickTick instead. Very similar to Michael’s other recommendations.

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