Easy list making program needed.
March 19, 2006 6:53 AM   Subscribe

Easy list-making software? I'm looking for a program that will let me generate a simple packing list that I can reuse every time I travel.

When I had a handheld, I had this great program that let me make a master list, then create a new list of things I needed to do or buy or pack from that, and then cross off what I had done or bought or packed. For example, I had a paint list with all the colors I ever used and could make a paint shopping list, picking the ones I needed to get, then crossing them off as I acquired them. The master list was always there to make a new list from.
Now that I'm handheld-less, I was wondering if you know of such a program for my desktop. All I want to be able to do is have a master packing list of all the things I could conceivably bring anywhere, be able to make a new trip list from the master, and then cross stuff off as it goes into the bag. This is the only way I've found to avoid the oh-shit-I-forgot-to-bring-shoes thing.
posted by CunningLinguist to Technology (15 answers total)
I used to use Excel for creating packing lists, and filtering results based on whether a column was marked.
posted by Roger Dodger at 7:10 AM on March 19, 2006

There's this
posted by jefeweiss at 7:50 AM on March 19, 2006

Well, I guess that's a bit different for what you asked for. I thought it was pretty cool when I ran across it though.
posted by jefeweiss at 7:51 AM on March 19, 2006

There's Ta-da Lists online, and the app I use on my Palm and desktop is BrainForest
posted by Robot Johnny at 7:56 AM on March 19, 2006

I use HandyShopper on my Palm for this (it's fantastic), and I wrote a little command-line program to manipulate its databases on my desktop. I also now have a travel packing list with 151 items which I would be happy to share.
posted by grouse at 7:59 AM on March 19, 2006

I use Roger Dodger's method. No extra software needed.
posted by danb at 8:31 AM on March 19, 2006

So I'm not computer savvy enough to use Excel (lame huh?) and Brainforest won't download. I gave up on TaDa a while ago because it never recognizes my new items (lists almost always remain empty.)
Any other ideas? What I loved about my handheld program that I forgot to mention was that it had a nice category function too to organize your lists in sublists.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:56 AM on March 19, 2006

For palm, I use Checklist . It doesn't cost money like Handyshopper does. I don't currently have anything for PC.
posted by D Wiz at 9:08 AM on March 19, 2006

There is the The Universal Packing List. It isn't something you can download, but it will ask some general information about yourself, the type of activities you will be doing and your mode of transportation. You can't specify your own list, but what it generates seemed pretty handy to me.
posted by the biscuit man at 10:01 AM on March 19, 2006

One of the best such programs is OmniGraffle, but its for mac. On PC, there is a program called OneNote by Microsoft which is pretty cool (if a bit pricey).
posted by clord at 10:03 AM on March 19, 2006

Don't be afraid of Excel, it's really very simple to do what you're asking.

Open it up, and start putting your items in B1, B2, B3, and so on, each new item beneath the last. In A1, put an X beside items you have already packed. Then, to sort the list by packed items, go to Data > Sort, and choose column A.

You can print the list directly without extra setup.
posted by odinsdream at 10:40 AM on March 19, 2006

OmniOutlliner is a list making program for the mac which everyone seems to love off. You may want to check that out.
posted by chunking express at 11:57 AM on March 19, 2006

You could try the free Microsoft Travel Checklist for Plane Trip template. Or there's this handy World Traveler's Packing List template from the Office 2004 (Office for Mac) site, that seems to open fine in Excel XP (Excel 2002). Download one of these, customize to suit your needs, resave as an Excel template type file (.xlt), and then (depending on the version of Excel you're running) install the new template in your default templates folder, and then you can create a new Checklist for a particular trip, at will, just by opening Excel, clicking on the template, or choosing New Document from Template, and picking your customized template.

The "master" list form will only change when you modify your template file, but you can make as many alterations as you'd like to any new trip checklist you create, without any fear you'll overwrite your template. Just be sure to save each new trip checklist as a regular .xls type file, and only change and re-save the .xlt template file when you want to change or update your "master" list form.

You could, of course, keep a couple of versions of your new master, like "Long Plane Trip" and "Weekend Away" or "International Trip" which would have different items and "to do" reminders. Just save as separate .xlt files with appropriate unique names in your default template folder.
posted by paulsc at 2:08 PM on March 19, 2006

I just do this with a dead-simple Word document. I print out a new copy each time I want to pack. I use a pen to cross off items.

But if you want to cross of items onscreen, have you considered using a simple HTML editor to make a form with check boxes?
posted by profwhat at 2:58 PM on March 19, 2006

We printed up a checklist made in Word, and had it laminated. We tick off items twice with a permanent marker (once for finding items, second time when they're in a bag), and wipe them off when we get back. Makes it easier than carrying around a computer with you when packing.
posted by chronic sublime at 8:50 PM on March 19, 2006

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