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Grocery lists in OmniFocus? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Every line-item entry in OF is either a project or a task. But what if it could also be just an "item"?

For example, my "Make Dinner" project involves the task "Buy groceries." I would like to be able to input "bread," "greens," and "dressing" as child items under the "Buy groceries" task. Once I've checked off all the items, the task will be complete.

I can do this today, but OF will treat these items as tasks of their own. Perhaps a future version of OF could support "dumb" items that would behave more like regular OmniOutliner entries. So we could have projects, tasks AND plain old lists of items, all within OF. (Currently, I use a combination of OF, OO and paper.)

This feature would be even more useful to me once OF for iPhone comes out, so I can check off non-task items as I acquire them.
 
In my system, I would want to consider buy bread, greens, and dressings as tasks. What would be the advantage of treating them as non-task items?
 
What's the problem with them showing up as regular actions/tasks? I have an ongoing grocery shopping single action list, with both one-off and repeating items. The contexts reflect the most advantageous place to purchase the items in question. I do my week's menu planning in my cooking project, and populate the grocery list according to what is on the menus.

I don't see any advantage to your proposal for my purposes, and I'm not sure what it would get you, either. What does a plain old list of items enable you to do that a list of actions with a dummy context does not? I'm not convinced that there's a good case to be made for putting features in OmniFocus to tide people with iPhones over until there is an OmniOutliner for the iPhone. Better that they spend the effort on the ultimate desired product, no? Just one guy's opinion...
 
I guess I just wanted a cleaner solution than using a dummy context. If I list bread and greens with the "Errands" context, then they show up alongside my other tasks, like "Pick up dry cleaning".

Thanks for the idea about dummy contexts. I will be content assigning my items to site-specific contexts like "Grocery Store" or "Pharmacy."
 
I'll often just have "Go to Grocery Store" as the task and put the shopping list in the task's notes, updating it as needed.

Not so good for one-offs, but it works great when I know I'm going to that store regularly.
 
IntlOrange,
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 ("...do we need bread?" "Yes", "...do 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.

-Marc
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Last edited by Lightstorm; 2008-07-03 at 12:03 PM..
 
Marc,

That's brilliant. Thanks for sharing the details. I do a similar thing using OmniOutliner and printed lists, but will use your system in OF once I get my iPhone.

One tweak on the system: You could flag the items that represent staples. This would make the pre-shopping-trip review more efficient. For example, on my list Milk is a staple but Turkey Pepperoni is not. Before I go to the store I just check whether we need any of the staples. I only worry about the non-staple items if they were unchecked during the week or while planning menus. So I never forget to get milk, but I only buy pepperoni if we're going to make pizza.
__________________
Cheers,

Curt
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by curt.clifton View Post
Marc,

That's brilliant. Thanks for sharing the details. I do a similar thing using OmniOutliner and printed lists, but will use your system in OF once I get my iPhone.

One tweak on the system: You could flag the items that represent staples. This would make the pre-shopping-trip review more efficient. For example, on my list Milk is a staple but Turkey Pepperoni is not. Before I go to the store I just check whether we need any of the staples. I only worry about the non-staple items if they were unchecked during the week or while planning menus. So I never forget to get milk, but I only buy pepperoni if we're going to make pizza.
Nice add, Curt. I find that reviewing the list, however, only takes a coupla minutes. Glad you like the system! It works REALLY well, especially if you can put the goods in order of the aisles. I really hated having to go back because I forgot something on another aisle!

Glad I was able to explain it well enough to understand, too.
 
Lightstorm, thanks for sharing that great system! It is a bit of a hack, but your explanation makes a lot of sense. I'm going to set that up in OF right now, and look forward to downloading the iPhone app in a week or so (fingers crossed).

By the way, thanks for taking the time to craft such a detailed and useful response.

Last edited by IntlOrange; 2008-07-03 at 01:39 PM..
 
It occurs to me that I could use this with a different context for each store I frequent. For example, I like to get most dry goods items from Trader Joe's (where they're super-cheap) and produce at Whole Foods (where the quality is much better). I could use your system of organizing the list by area of the store and set contexts for each store -- e.g. "Trader Joe's" and "Whole Foods". I process the list before leaving the house (as you suggested), and when I'm in the actual store, OF shows me only the items I want to buy at each one.

This will be even more impressive once OF for iPhone comes out and it will already "know" which store I'm in. Eerie.
 
 


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