Tech Talk

Permanent link to Ultimate List Manager Ultimate List Manager

Sunday, October 21, 2001

If you're looking for a reason to buy a Palm (or to justify the one you have), this is it: Handy Shopper. This is the best list manager available, and it's free! Other than that, here are some key features that make this a winner:

  • All & Need - go straight from listing what you need, to checking off what you've got.
  • Inline Editing - no extra clicks, no windows. Enter what you need and move on.
  • Powerful groups - Stores and categories, and even separate databases.
  • One hand use - use your Palm's buttons with one hand so you can hold your stuff with the other.
  • Tons of options - view and sort by: quantity, units, price, tax, coupon, priority, aisle, date, category, auto-delete, private, stores, and notes
  • Compatible - it works even on my Pilot 5000 (OS 2.0.5)

You really should just download and try it, but if you want more reasons, check out these from the readme file:

Included here are some example ideas contributed by users. Share your ideas

Gift Idea/Shopping List - (submitted by Gretchen Cawthon)

Set up your categories as to the type of gift (Christmas, Birthday, Baby Shower). Use the person's name in the 'store' field. As your friends and family hint at what they want for their special occasion, add it to the list and then check it off as you purchase it. I also input the price so I can add up what I have spent for each person. It is also great to have that list handy when you can't find an item they ask for at Christmas. Then after Christmas you can use the list for potential birthday gifts, just change the category for the item.

Home Chores List - (submitted by Janet Hilsmier)

We loaded all of the mundane dusting, mopping, vacuuming tasks and rooms, plus the semi-annual and annual tasks like changing batteries. Home Improvement Projects Each month of the year is a store. Categories included "Indoor", "Outdoor" and "Painting". Then, each project was loaded. We assigned the projects to months to help us schedule everything we want to do, within reason. (It is impossible to paint, till, stain, mulch, build and plant in one weekend!) It also helps us to keep focused on getting to some of those "someday I'd like..." projects.

Orders - (submitted by Gilly Rosenthol)

When I order something, I record the item and the date ordered. That way I can keep track of what packages I'm expecting and see how long it's been.

Project task lists - (submitted by Claire Appleby)

As a freelance lecturer, a lot of my work involves going through a specific sequence of tasks in relation to a particular project. For example, if I'm planning a new course for a particular college I have certain tasks such as planning the overall content, then planning the individual sessions, delivering each session, marking assignments and so on. I use a store for each project. The items are the tasks. I use the aisle number to record the sequence that the tasks have to be carried out in, and I sort the database by aisle. I use price to record the number of hours that each task usually takes, and quantity to record the number of times it has to be repeated (for example, assignments might take half an hour each to mark, but I might have 60 of them). At the start of each project, I can go through and select the tasks I need (usually all of them, but not always). I can also enter the number of assignments etc where relevant. I can then use the Total command, and HandyShopper tells me the total hours needed to complete the project, and how many hours work I have done so far.

Reading List with Calculated Priorities - (submitted by Claire Appleby)

I read somewhere that if you have to get through an awful lot of reading, you can prioritise this as follows. You estimate the importance of the article or book by deciding how much you would be prepared to pay to read it. However, if you would pay the same to read a 20-page paper and a 200-page book, then your time is better spent reading the paper. So you calculate your priorities by dividing the price your willing to pay by the length of the book or paper. HandyShopper does this very nicely as follows. The items are the books or articles. I use quantity to record the number of pages and aisle to record how much I would pay (in GBP) to read the book. The built-in calculator is invaluable for calculating value (aisle) divided by length (quantity), and I use the price column to store this value. The list is sorted in descending order on price so that the highest priority item comes out on top. I use the categories to distinguish between reading for work and for pleasure, and I use the stores to record books I've finished reading and books I've started but not finished (because I tend to have several things on the go at the same time).

Shopping - (submitted by Gretchen Cawthon)

Some tips on setting up shopping lists... Unit prices are important in getting the best value. Some items, like laundry detergent, come in various sizes. If you buy 100-oz laundry detergent at K-mart for $3.99 and 200-oz at the Dollar store for $4.99, the best price will show up as $3.99@K-Mart. That may be the low price, but not the best value. All you needed to know is that the best unit price was $.03/oz. Instead of having 10 different entries for the various sizes of laundry detergent, try one of these two methods. Create on entry for laundry detergent and make the unit field 'oz'. Then attach a note to the field and insert the unit price info there (I created a shortcut that will add the appropriate text and I just fill in the price). Another way is to create a 'store' called "Unit Price". For this store, insert the unit price for the item. Now when you tap details to see the best price, you will see what a good unit price is for comparison.

Training - (submitted by Bruce Chappell)

I thought you might be interested in how I use your HandyShopper program. I am a Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) (Part Time), and am responsible for training other EMTs in a hospital. Because of the dynamics of Emergency Medicine, I can't always start teaching a, then b, then c, etc. So I use Aisles to group things, such as Heart Monitors Aisle 5, then list the various things I have to cover, Alarm Volume, How to alter preset limits, etc. Before HandyShopper it was a miracle if I covered everything I was suppose to. I never could remember if I taught this shift to this person, or another shift to another person. Now I can guaranty that everything is covered before I sign somebody off as having completed their orientation. Thanks for a Great Program.

...And many more creative possibilites exist!


LaRocque Family