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Just the list, please
September 21, 2012 7:43 AM   Subscribe

I am hoping to find an Android app (or web service) to replace the list-making service I suspect may not be available for much longer. I do not want complexity; fewer features are better. I want to make lists, check items off and then be able to re-add them later (for a grocery list, for example). Surprisingly few apps can limit themselves to these functions.

I have been using Ta-da Lists, which was offered by 37signals. The service still works, but no longer accepts new signups, which does not inspire confidence in its continued existence. Upgrading to their Basecamp service is much, much more than I need. Ta-da lists was perfectly simple - you can see one of my lists at I already use Toodledo for my to-do list, but I want these lists to be separate from my to-dos.

This is not a to-do list - I don't need/want contexts, due dates, priorities, etc. Nor do I want to enter prices/aisles for items on a shopping list. But I need checked-off items to remain visible so I can easily re-add them. This is a surprisingly hard-to-find feature. Sharing would be nice, but not necessary. I would like different lists to appear separately, not as nested lists on the same page.

There are a lot of list apps in the Android Market, so I'm trying to avoid having to test them all by asking here. And the descriptions seldom address the features I want to know about (re-adding items), so I have to install almost every time to try them out - tedious. If you know of an app (or website) that fits this description, please tell me.

Oh, and if it's an app rather than a web page, and it has a widget to put the list on my home screen, that would be a super-bonus.
posted by timepiece to Computers & Internet (18 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I use WorkFlowy. It's basically what you want, and works in the webbrowser on desktop and mobile. It also lets you share lists.
posted by jeffamaphone at 7:45 AM on September 21, 2012

I like Mobisle Note, which basically just makes... task lists. It doesn't work on your desktop and you can't share anything. Yay!
posted by DarlingBri at 7:46 AM on September 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

I use Koalcat's Clear - just lists.
posted by Setec Astronomy at 7:48 AM on September 21, 2012

Remembering things from lists I've tried - grocery list is just an example, I also make other kinds of lists (drugstore, hardware store, vacation packing, Xmas presents), so grocery-only apps are not what I'm looking for.

That also means I do not want lists with a pre-populated array of items to choose from, since those will only rarely overlap with my needs.

Jeffamaphone, I actually use Workflowy for other things. Re-adding items to the active lists is not really optimized for a touch-screen - you have to mouseover and choose from the menu. Checkboxes are so much easier.

DarlingBri, Mobisle looks really promising!
posted by timepiece at 7:53 AM on September 21, 2012

Google tasks works as well as any. Particularly useful (and little known) is the full page option. There are a number of apps which inteface with it (I prefer Google Tasks Organiser which also has a nice widget thing).
posted by BadMiker at 7:54 AM on September 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Pretty sure out of milk lets you create multiple lists and still shows you crossed off items so not just a grocery app
posted by zeoslap at 7:55 AM on September 21, 2012 [2 favorites]

Sorry this is the one - Our Groceries really good for just making lists, crossing stuff off and adding it back.
posted by zeoslap at 7:59 AM on September 21, 2012

Another app that meets your needs would be OI Shopping List. I've been using it for years.
posted by selfnoise at 8:01 AM on September 21, 2012

No idea if it's on Android, but I use and love Listomni, on ios.
posted by Goofyy at 8:06 AM on September 21, 2012

I also use Mobisle, which is very simple to use - and if you want you can link it up to Google Docs/Drive as well. That way if you have bulk editing or adding to do, you can do it on the PC and sync it down (for example if I'm making a "travel" list and I want to add like 15 things at once).
posted by bender b rodriguez at 8:06 AM on September 21, 2012

I use Our Groceries. You can maintain multiple lists, each on their own list page (I have grocery, drugstore, target, for the house, other errands, and then I do one off lists like "packing"). You can share lists and you can access your list on the web as well as on your phone, if you want. You can sort the items into custom aisles (ordered in a custom order) and it will remember to put that item in that aisle every time. Checked-off items sort to the BOTTOM of the list you are currently looking at, with a line through them, and if you tap the checked-off item it will uncheck itself and go back to its place in the list. (To delete the finished items, you do a long press on a "delete checked-off items" button.)

It also remembers your items and suggests things you've done before as autocompletes, if that's part of why you want to be able to recover those items. When I type "m" it suggests "milk" and "mushrooms." If I type "chi" it says "frozen chicken breasts" "chicken strips" "chicken stock" "tortilla chips" "deli chicken" "chicken broth 13.75 oz." and so on ... after using it for a couple months it basically "knew" my grocery lists and I don't have to add new items to its databank very often.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:17 AM on September 21, 2012

Another vote for Out of Milk; I have grocery, pharmacy, and shopping lists where I'll check off/check back on previous items. Don't use any other features besides the lists and their mempry.
posted by RainyJay at 8:25 AM on September 21, 2012

Yeah, Mobisle Notes does everything you want. It has it's own web app, so you can edit it on a computer if you want, but it's primarily a mobile app. Read-only sharing is free, but collaborative sharing requires the Premium subscription at $9.99/year.
posted by natabat at 8:34 AM on September 21, 2012
posted by cp7 at 8:40 AM on September 21, 2012

I use Tasks

It is about as simple as it comes and it links and syncs with google tasks so you can access your lists anywhere. You can make it complicated with reminders, due dates and grouping by lists or you can just make a list out of it. When you complete or buy an item you can cross it off and you get the option to delete it or keep it on the screen but crossed off.

I keep shopping lists on it, to do lists, packing lists, cleaning routines, birthdays everything on it and it is super simple. It also has a nice simple widget so my list can sit on my home screen to remind me if I want.
posted by wwax at 9:49 AM on September 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

I have always found dedicated task apps too constraining. They require too many clicks / taps, or force me into a workflow I don't like. So let me suggest a flexible, simple solution that gives you complete control.

For both my To Do list and my shopping list, I have a Google Doc (1 doc for each). So the list just lives in the Google Doc. I structure it as shown below. The beauty of this is you have complete control over how the list works and what can go on it. If you need detail (say, sub-bullets), you could do that and add as much detail as you like, but 90% of the time you just have a 1-3 word entry.

When you're done with a task or item, it's up to you whether you want to just delete the line or cut-and-paste it down to the Done section. Or you can have no Done section and all, and just rely on the Common Items way at the bottom where you can copy and paste from to get an item back on your list.

The best part: instead of copy-and-paste to add an item, you can use Google's voice recognition or Nuance's Swype voice recognition (which is incredibly accurate) to enter things. So to add an item, just tap on the last item, hit Enter to start a new line, and say "Buy bread." Done. Think about it: is it easier to dig up your old "buy bread" task and re-add it to the list, or is it easier to just say "buy bread" and move on with your day? To me, the latter is easier.

List structure (Bought / Done section is optional)

To buy (or To do):

1. Broccoli
2. Pork chops
3. Milk


Bought (or done):

1. Beer
2. Pork rinds


Common items (so I can just copy-and-paste to re-add them)

1. Milk
2. Yogurt
3. Bread
4. Sliced turkey
posted by Tehhund at 10:04 AM on September 21, 2012

Evernote allows you to place check boxes within notes. On the desktop you can clear all the check boxes with one click when you are done for reuse at a later date.
posted by any major dude at 10:05 AM on September 21, 2012

Astrid lets you make different categories of lists, and stores the checked-off ones in a "completed" category. You can un-check them and send them back to "active". I've been having problems with the iPhone version since the last update, but I loved the app before that, and perhaps the Android version is trouble free. It's labeled as a to-do list maker, but it works just as well (if not better) for shopping lists.
posted by Kriesa at 10:16 AM on September 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

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