Dec 1, 2015
[UPDATE: This article has been updated here. The article below refers to an older version of OneNote]
I have long said that the MYN (and 1MTD) systems are not the best place to manage certain kinds of task lists. One type is high-volume operational tasks. For example, let’s say you process 50 invoices a day, I would not want you to enter 50 tasks into your MYN or 1MTD list each day, one for each invoice. There are better systems for that.
Well, here’s another type of list that I think is better done outside of MYN and 1MTD: shopping lists.
I know that sounds strange, why not just put those items in your mobile MYN/1MTD list? You can, but there are better solutions. One I have been using for a while is OneNote on my iPhone (I think this works the same on Android), and I really like the way it works for stores that I do repeat shopping at (grocery stores, drug stores, etc).
How to do this in iPhone OneNote:
- Create a new Section called “Shopping Lists” (Sections are the tabs at the top of OneNote). You do that by tapping the plus sign to the right of the tabs, and then typing in the section name.
- Activate the new Shopping Lists tab, and on the (blank) page that shows, click the green circular Plus sign in the lower right corner (see plus sign in figure below), and from the three choices that pop up, choose List.
- In the Untitled List name field in the page that open, type the name of the store (like Albertsons).
- Then tap Add Item and enter your first item (milk or bread say). If you tap return on the keyboard at the end it starts another item. Or tap Add Item again. Repeat for more items and create your list for Albertsons.
- Repeat steps 2-4 for each store you often shop at.
The Shopping List Overview page:
When you open the Shopping Lists section at the start of your shopping trip, it’s like seeing an overview of all your potential shopping. That’s because OneNote iPhone shows all of your shopping lists on the one page, with as much as the contents of each store’s list as it can fit on one line, as I show here:
This is useful to plan your trip. It’s also useful in the store if you can buy the same items at multiple stores; you can glance quickly at other lists to see if items there can be bought here. Normally, though, when you get to the store you would click on the store name you are shopping at and open its page.
By the way, if your Shopping List section view does not look like mine above, but rather just has a list of stores with a carrot at the far right for each, then you can change the setting by doing this: Within the Shopping List section, pull down on the lists as if to refresh. There, on the upper right, you will see an edit option, and what looks like a menu option. Tap the menu option, and that will toggle between showing your lists with items and just showing your list titles. [Thanks Ben for this insight].
The Store’s Page
In a store’s page, when you check an item done (using the checkbox to the left of each item), it moves/stores the item in the lower part of the store’s list. This is good because it allows you to focus on the uncompleted items at the top. And those completed items stay with that store’s page:
Having the lower part of the list (the completed items) visible allows you to later re-add items to your list when they run out without retyping them—just tap the checkmark and they are reactivated. Or, when in the store, you can examine previously completed items to see if they might need replenishment after all. That said, if you never need to see a completed item again, just slide it to the left and tap Delete.
The lower part of the list (completed items) can be hidden or displayed with one click:
[12/14/2015 Update:] Kevin wrote in and showed me that to reorder items in the active list, just hold the item for a moment, and then you can drag it into a new order. Or pull down on entire list and tap Edit in the top right, then drag the three bars at right of an item. [end update]
A Successful Shopping List
It’s funny how much I struggled with shopping lists in the past. Either I would leave them at home or in the car, or I would end up starting a new list from scratch for each new trip and forget to add things that I often need. This OneNote approach on my iPhone has cleared all that up!
If you have a favorite shopping list approach, share it in the comments section for this post.