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Me and my wife have finally found Listary to be the best option for simple shopping lists that sync. It's based on Simplenote's free service. We're so happy with it that I posted a short review as a test article on my revived blog:

I hope it won't remain the only article there for a long time, but unfortunately I've got tons of other things to do. But who am I telling this, it's the OmniFocus forum... ;)

Hi Lightstorm or others,
this suggestion from 2008 looks really great. however now, I cannot see how to create child items whereby you could 'click to select all'.
Does this feature stil exist?

Originally Posted by Lightstorm View Post
I think I have a setup which may interest you. However, this would (currently) require you to have your iPhone connecting to your Mac, with the OmniFocus webserver running. HOWEVER, don't fret as this will work even better with the iPhone app when it comes out.

1. Create a PROJECT called Shopping List (or whatever you like).
2. Make the project parallel.
3. Create a child item entitled CLICK HERE TO CHECK ALL.
4. Now start adding your items as child items under CLICK HERE TO CHECK ALL. I actually have mine added in the order of where they are in the store, so I don't have to backtrack to get an item.
5. What I've done at this point, is added each item I need under this project. This becomes a PERPETUAL list for me, and I add items to it as I need them if they havne't been documented before. So, although i don't need mustard every week, it's added anyway.

...stay with me...

Now I have this MASTER list of grocery items. I click the box for CLICK HERE TO CHECK ALL so all items are checked. Then, i UNCHECK the items I need.

With the iPhone webserver, I now get a list of needed items (by not having a check mark). As I walk through the grocery store, I check 'em off, and when I get home all the items are checked off on my Mac as well (due to the webserver).

Then I start the whole process over again by checking all items and UNCHECKING the ones I need. I may realize on Wednesday that we need bread, so I'll uncheck it. Then, before my wife and i go shopping we sit down and I go through all the items (" we need bread?" "Yes", " we need soup?" Yes. The each item gets unchecked and shows up in my view as uncomplete tasks.

Now, when the iPhone app comes out, you won't have to worry about using the webserver, as all this should happen over the air, but hopefully you get the drift.

if you do not have your iPhone set up with the webserver, just google Omnifocus webserver and you should get a few forums regarding how to set it up. the only issue is you have to have your Mac on and awake for you to interact this way.

I'm sorry for the long post, but I wanted to make sure I explained this correctly. Thanks for your patience. :) I've attached a screenie.

P.S. Forgot that this can work as a standard printable list as well. Just change your view to "Remaining" and those items you have checked off won't appear. Then print.

Originally Posted by siouxz View Post
Hi Lightstorm or others,
this suggestion from 2008 looks really great. however now, I cannot see how to create child items whereby you could 'click to select all'.
Does this feature stil exist?
It does.

Actually, "child item" is really an "action group" here.

In my setting, I use it like this:

Shopping (project)
-Groceries (action group)
--Milk (action)
--Banana (action)
--Orange juice (action)

So, after you create a project (in this case, called "Shopping"), you create an action (in this case "Groceries"). You also create a few other actions that you'd want to list under "Groceries", select them, and then drag them to "Groceries". This makes "Groceries" turn into an action group, and you get the structure you see above.

* You create a perspective, showing all the items; including the completed ones.
* Whenever you get an item that is on the list, you check it, and it becomes a completed item, with a strikethrough.
* Whenever you need to put back an item on your list, you simply uncheck it. If it's not already on the list, you create it.
* If you want to check all the items at once, you check the "Groceries" action group. (I guess, this last one is about what you are trying to achieve)


If you are going to create a perspective to be used with an iPhone and/or iPad, it has to be in context view, and not in project view. However, it has been said that, with the next major update, project view perspectives will -probably- become compatible with iOS versions. A shopping list as explained, looks and works just fine with a context view perspective on an iOS device though.

Oh, and, in order to have a context view for the list to be used in an iOS device, you're going to have to define contexts. Depending on how you use OmniFocus, you can also define those contexts as the actual places that you'll normally buy those items, pin those places on the map, and even set perimeter alerts if you have Siri. If you don't have Siri, you can still open the map manually, and select the place you're in to see the items you should get from there. I personally use one groceries action group, but several different contexts for different items; some in different cities. That is very useful; and with the right kind of view settings, very practical.

Last edited by zdlo; 2012-07-05 at 08:02 PM..
thanks for ths speedy reply. think I'm getting it. Susan
I use OF for my grocery list and I find it works pretty well, esp. the syncing between OF on my laptop and OF on my iPhone. One thing I discovered on this thread is that the grocery project must be repeating in order for the tasks (which represent items in my list) to not be removed when I periodically use the Move Old Data to Archive function. Here is my grocery list project settings:

Originally Posted by wfiveash View Post
One thing I discovered on this thread is that the grocery project must be repeating in order for the tasks (which represent items in my list) to not be removed when I periodically use the Move Old Data to Archive function.
Oh, yes. In my example, you should make the action group "Groceries" repeating (I make it repeat after 1 day). This way, you can separate other possible action groups within your "Shopping" project. After all, you only need to buy your grocery items again. Just don't leave the "Groceries" action group completed, otherwise it would repeat itself. You only need to "complete" it in order to check all items at once, and then you should uncheck it. If you, however, want it to stay being checked off, you can make it repeat after a very long time.
Thanks Zdio
Originally Posted by buntbinär View Post
... the best option for simple shopping lists that sync. ...
Nicer to look at, but very similar to the free OurGroceries website and app.

To keep it relevant; I don't keep grocery lists in OF--too specialized (with isles, numbers, sharing) but I do keep a list called "Buy Once" (one time buys) and another called "Buy Often" ( with renewing items) that get items added to them all the time with stores as contexts and which are then referenced when I'm in those stores.
The mention of specialised shopping list apps comes a lot.

Of course, the need for using OmniFocus for grocery shopping lists arises if you're inclined with the GTD philosophy of handling your memory dump process using only one thing. The book "Getting Things Done" is so important that someone who hasn't read it wouldn't be using OmniFocus the same way as someone who did.

I used to use "Shopping List" app by hensoft, before I read the book, and it was the best shopping list app for me (tried almost all other apps). I really liked it, and it was very practical to use it all the time.

However, for someone who is GTD inclined, using more than one method of dumping text from memory, usually contradicts the idea of GTD, and results in losing trust, and eventually the habit, of using the main method. As a GTD tool, OmniFocus is not a todo list. It includes them, but it should also include every future related memory you might be keeping in your head, in order to set you free from trying to keep them memorised.

For the method to work, it must become a habit. You can let something go off your head, only if you trust where you transfer it to. Not a post-it, not an unorganised cluster of papers, etc. You must know that you will see it again when you need it in an organised and searchable structure, and you must know that it's secure. Only then you can let it go. For this method to become a habit, it must be simple, and it must be available for you everywhere. So, OmniFocus, on your Mac when you're at your desk; on your iPad when you're at the sofa; on your iPhone when you're on the go. Practical with quick entry; syncs to cloud, so it's safe and synced in all devices; and it can hold anything you dump (including items you need to buy!).

So... Even if OmniFocus was a terrible way to keep shopping lists, I would still have to use it for my shopping lists, and my life still would be simpler and more efficient. And now, with a little workaround, it is actually quite handy for also this purpose!

Thanks for this concise, clear, and great reply!

Much appreciated. Solved my troubles.

Originally Posted by zdlo View Post
It does.

Actually, "child item" is really an "action group" here.

Last edited by Brian; 2012-10-26 at 01:38 PM.. Reason: reduce size of quoted material for better readability

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