How often have you written a shopping list then discovered you are in the shops that you left it at home?

Yes me too, all the fricken time!

As a techie nerd, I figured there must be an app that would work for me and there was. After a few failed attempts I found one that I loved. 

We got on tremendously and my forgotten shopping items were a thing of the past.

Then one day, sad news.

The App developers pulled it. Wahhhhh

I was very sad indeed. And so my hunt started again. There are loads of shopping list apps but none of them fit the bill and a LOT of them are glitchy.

Here’s the trick I use with Google Keep to keep me organized

The beauty of this is that Google Keep is free and works on Apple and Android devices as well as desktop, laptop, mobiles and everything in between.

Oh yes, and it’s free!

In a nutshell, I set up a Google Keep list, added collaborators and made sure everyone in the house has it on their device(s) let me explain how that all fits together and why it’s worth the time to set it up – not that it takes very long, it’s more about making it a habit.

And yes, I tried using Google Home to dictate the list, it was a disaster! I’d get to the supermarkets and have to guess what half the items on the list were!

What is Google Keep?

Google Keep in it’s very most basic form is like digital Post-It notes. 

But it is so much more than that! 

The very basics:

You start a note, give it a title, write the note. Done.

But… you can also add links, images, pins important notes to the top, set reminders, audio record notes, take snapshots to add to the note, draw notes using the paintbrush icon, make lists, and collaborate with others. 

There is more but we want to keep things simple right? Learn the basics before getting into the super-nerd zone.

And because it is a Google product, it’s stored in the cloud and syncs across devices, you will understand the awesomeness of this in a minute.

Using Google Keep for Shopping list

Using Google Keep for Shopping Lists

We have multiple devices in our home, all of which have the Google Keep app installed. You can get the App from the Apple Store or from the Google Play store for Android.

So this is how things go down.

Me, I’m making dinner and realise we are running low on something. 

“Can someone add soy sauce to the shopping list please”

Someone who is on or nearby to a device does and shouts “done” back.

That’s what happens a lot of the time or it will be another family member shouting the request. My son does a lot of Japanese style cooking using ingredients that I never cook with so he now knows to add things to the list when he is running low.

Or if someone finishes off an item, they add it to the list (this took a bit of training but we got there).

Then the morning before we do the grocery shopping I’ll go through the fridge and pantry and add whatever else is needed.

We add everything to one note and use the same note each week.

Adding Collaborators To The App

This is the magic sauce. I have the master list set up on my account. It’s just a regular note using the list function.

Then using the person+ sign icon, click that and add the other family members using their gmail address. They might need to accept to be a collaborator and then you are all hooked up to the one list.

Once everyone has Google Keep added to their device, everyone can add things to the list. Kids need something for school, tell them to add it to the list, partner runs out of something, add it to the list.

A picture of shopping list created with the help of Google keep

Why using Google Keep helps run the home?

Now EVERYONE has a responsibility to help. 

There is no more “But I asked to get XYZ the other day” (you know when you were in the middle of cooking dinner and dealing with a poo-explosion from the toddler). It’s relieving YOU of some of the responsibilities and helping your family to become MORE responsible.

If family members are old enough to use a device then they are old enough to be taking some responsibility and helping out.

It’s great spelling practice for emergent readers too, you can have them help write the list and in the supermarket put them in charge of checking things off.

Using Google Keep In The Supermarket

I and my husband usually do the shopping together at the weekend, whilst Ebi-kun stays at home, washes the breakfast dishes and hangs out the laundry – this is his choice, he hates going to the supermarket!

When we get to the supermarket we divide and conquer. We take a trolley each and start at opposite ends, I do the fruit and veg, he does the frozen and dairy and we meet up in the middle.

We both open the app and check things off as we go along, it’s pretty cool because I can see how far along he is and vice versa. This is where the magic of syncing comes in. Most apps I tested didn’t work for us when we did this.

When we meet up in the middle there are usually a couple of things still on the list so we just decide who goes for what. 

Occasionally the sync has been out of sync and we have both picked up and checked off the same thing but generally, we have our ‘own’ items that we tend to collect so that doesn’t happen too often.

This system is also great if one of us happens to pop to the shops for something, we can check the list and pick up anything that we need.

The Three Big Wins Of Using Google Keep For Shopping Lists


Responsibility – sharing the responsibility of keeping the house running smoothly has been huge and it also means that if someone (me) gets sick, the homemaking machine is still running and everyone can carry on.


Saving Time – Now we have this system down we save so much time. This and using the supermarket reusable baskets (we own our own supermarket basket so the check out clerk essentially takes the items from their basket and packs it into our own) Has really cut down the amount of time we spend in the supermarket.


Sanity – We have this system in place now and I honestly don’t remember the last time we 

  • Ran out of something
  • Forgot to buy something

This also has the knock-on effect of no more tantrums or meltdowns because we forgot to buy something or meal disasters because one of us started to cook something only to discover we are out of an essential item.

Using Google Keep alongside Airtable (my other most favourite app, I explain how I use that here) I finally feel like I’m set up and organized!

I hope you get on the Google Keep train too, as an app it does so much more, that I explained here, this video has some great tips to get started with

Now you have a great system for shopping
all you need is a great system for meal planning too,
start by grabbing the free planner and tips and tricks that go with it…

meal planner template