Personal TIP – Create a low effort shopping list

Grocery shopping is one of those necessary evils of the world.  Some people enjoy it, others not so much.  In either case for a shopping trip to be productive some planning in advance can make all the difference.  I’ve been working with the Kanban style tools as of late and the application Trello has provided some interesting opportunities to deal with the various process and planning challenges that arrive personally and professionally for us.

Grocery Planning

Image 1 – Items
To keep finances under control most experts recommend putting together a list of the items you plan to get and sticking to it, avoiding the impulse buy.  Using Trello lists you can create a master list of the items you purchase frequently, growing the list as new items become staples and editing as products change.
This screenshot is from an Android phone, so depending on your device the images may vary for you.  You can see that the listing of items that I normally purchase isn’t complicated, but it can be if you would like it to be.
As you add an item, you can add into the description specific things about each item such as specific brands, amounts, specials, etc. all in the description section of the card.
Image 2 – Things to Get
When you’re ready to plan for your shopping trip, just take each item you need to get (perhaps when you’re checking the pantry or when you daughter comes up and says we’re out of ice cream…again) and drag it from the Items list to the Things to Get list.  The idea is to have the Things to Get list be the one you count on when you go into the grocery store. 
Because these lists can be shared between devices and people, you can add new items from your desktop, tablet, or even have others in your household add and remove items as needed.  Keeping your family members on the same page this way is a great option to get the most from each shopping trip.
Image 3 – In Cart
As you shop, drag items from the Things to Get list to the In Cart list.  This way you know what you have found and what you need to find later.
If you should succumb to the impulse purchase, just add a card to the In Cart list.  It will come in handy later when it comes to future planning.
After you have checked out, gotten home, and put all the groceries away, drag all the items from the In Cart list BACK TO the Items list.  The reason for this is simple.  Since you bought them once, the odds are good you’ll want to buy them again in the future so why have to recreate the card?
This type of stage gate processing that works so well in business and professionally translates well to personal life.  So often we mistake tasks as being binary; done or not done.  Rarely is that case true though.  More often than not tasks are a matter of sequences, events, and follow up as you work each on to completion.  Relying on stage gate style systems can facilitate your success, simplify your tracking, and just make things easier.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to turn your personal, professional, and business processes into stage gate systems, drop me a line in the comments or email me at and we’ll get you moving through the gates to success!