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Packing Your Lists

As I mentioned yesterday, one of the essential applications that I hadn’t packed in my last trip was, well, my packing list and a couple of people suggested how I might go about doing this [Thanks Jason & Roger].

For years now I had been using an MS Word document which I would print before leaving and tick off as I packed each item on my list.  This was a simple enough solution but naturally if the information is in digital format then I could perform the same process on my Treo instead of having to print a separate sheet each time.

Having made the decision to build a new packing list on my Treo the next step was to figure out which application I could/would use.  There were four options:

  1. ThoughtManager Desktop ($39.95) is a powerful and simple outliner, list manager and information organizer that I’ve used for quite some time and which has the added benefit of a companion desktop application to make data entry even easier. 
  2. ListPro ($29.95) is also a very good and powerful outliner and list manager with its own desktop component as well but the main drawback for me is the relatively tedious ‘new item’ input method each of which requires a Ctrl+W entry instead of a Return or Tab one which I’m used to in Excel or other database programs.  However, the benefit of list pro is that you can have an unlimited number of columns while ThoughManager can only have a single item per entry + a check box.
  3. SplashShopper ($19.95) is a sophisticated shopping list manager (more like an ‘Items I Need’ builder) with a desktop component that even includes a Travel Checklist as standard but where it works really well for shopping I personally don’t feel that it is simple enough to build a quick travel list.
  4. Finally, Bonsai ($34.95) is another increasingly popular outliner which is very similar to ThoughtManager but with a few more tweaks such as the ability to combine outline, to do and tasks.  Unfortunately, I haven’t yet had a chance to take it for a full spin.

All four applications however lack the ability to define fonts and color per level and instead limit you to just one type which makes viewing the information a little ‘plain’ and less appealing on my beautiful color Treo screen.  Naturally, all of these applications can be used for a lot more than just a simple packing list and each is particularly good for one need or another.  I personally have ThoughtManager, ListPro and SplashShopper installed on my Treo.

In the end, I decided that ThoughtManager would be the simplest and fastest option for my packing list and although I could have used the desktop version for faster data entry I chose to use the keyboard on my Treo instead. 


I had twelve categories with an average of 10 items each to fill and it took me about 15 minutes to create a new list and enter all the data.

You have three options for viewing the list: as bullets and checkbox with and without ticked items.  Additionally, as an outliner I could easily have created multiple subfolders.  Another thing that I like about ThoughtManager is that I can drag and drop any list item or folder and move it about as I please.

After syncing to my laptop my new packing list was automatically added to ThoughtManager Desktop from which I can add or amend any items in the future and even print if I need/want to.

Treonauts are always packing lists for every need and occasion

Posted by Andrew on June 7, 2005 at 10:07 PM

Treo Software | Lists & Databases

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by Jasper | Jun 8, 2005 8:43:30 AM

What about handyshopper? It is free, and I used to use it to good effect to remember to whom I had lent games/dvds/books on my treo 180.


by Dabbith | Jun 8, 2005 9:38:41 AM

You didn't consider ShadowPlan by CodeJedi software? It's one of the applications that has kept me using a palm and avoiding PocketPCs . It has a handheld and desktop component and it's price is nearly 1/2 of ThoughtManager.

by Tony | Jun 8, 2005 12:27:53 PM

I use SplashShopper, and love it. I like how after checking off a bunch of items from the master list, it's a simple tab to see only those checked items. Very handy. And, for the "shopping" part, you can assign multiple stores (each with their own price) to any item. Handy...

by Michael Moncur | Jun 8, 2005 5:20:19 PM

> "All four applications however lack the ability to define fonts and color per level"

Actually Bonsai, which I use for packing lists, does have this feature. Looking again, it looks like it does color per level but not font, although it does have a nice choice of fonts for the whole outline.

by Rob | Jun 8, 2005 8:17:47 PM

HandyShopper is the list you want. It can do anything. There is a very active usergroup and you can share lists with other users.

by AndyW | Jun 9, 2005 6:27:14 AM

I use the memo app like this.

[ ] Category-Item

Then when I pack it, I insert an x.

[x] Category-Item

by Stephane | Jun 9, 2005 8:08:55 AM

HandyShopper is a must!

You might also consider other open-source software like:

by Stephane | Jun 9, 2005 8:10:14 AM

by Jason | Jun 9, 2005 11:00:04 AM

Interested in your GPS findings. I bought an EMTAC Trine last fall for use with my Tungsten T and Zire 72. I also tried it with my Treo 650 this spring.

In all cases the device seemed to work fine -- except for navigating. It constantly required me to re-establish the bluetooth connection -- usually just before an upcoming turn in the driving directions. Since Palm devices require manual input each time, this made the device unusable for driving.

If I was not using driving directions / navigation features the connection remained indefinitely. EMTAC support was non-existant (though Mapopolis tried their darnedest to help).

by Alex | Jun 9, 2005 2:15:01 PM

I am using HandOutLine from www.FGolWare.com... try it!

by Jim | Jul 6, 2005 12:23:41 PM

Has anyone done a comparison of database development packages? I have a real good start on a relational application using HanDbase but I keep running into little bugs and I am now wondering why I picked it as my Db platform? Anyone have experience and opinions with other packages?



by Fogey | Nov 21, 2005 5:52:10 PM

This seems to be a very helpful group. Would y'all share your 2c on my need?
I am overwhelmed by the volume of apps out there, and I would really appreciate help!

I need a phone/pda that will allow me to input new contacts directly and easily, with a date. Then, sort them by age (oldest first) by importance (say 1-5) and by type (say, A-E). I want to scroll through, see one I want to call, then dial. I'd like to enter a contact record of at least the date of each contact, even if I just left a message. Being able to choose one of, say 5 different activity types would be great (like LMCB which means left message for a call back).

Ring any bells?

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