One of the processes that I've tried just about every method under the sun for is making a grocery list. Paper, online, Excel, Word, Google Doc, Evernote, in my head, on my hand. I've tried categories, columns, rows, scribbles. I downloaded all kinds of different lists and spreadsheets, but inevitably, I'd get to one end of the store and realize I'd forgotten one or two things along the way.
Then I got smart. One time when I went shopping, I took a little extra time and jotted down what's available in every aisle of the store. You know, the lists that are on the big signs hanging from the ceiling? I just wrote that down.
When I got home, I created a simple grid in Excel with boxes for the categories and then space below each box for me to jot down what we need. You can, of course, do it in whatever format works for you, but this is great for me. No lines, and I can jot in it easily. But most importantly, it keeps me from forgetting that one silly item that I don't feel like walking back across the store for, but I will really regret if I go home without.
While I am going electronic with 90% of the rest of my life, this is one area where I still like paper + pen. I do love my phone, but it doesn't quite cut it for this task. And I do love my laptop, but I typically think of things that we need while in the kitchen, and my laptop lives in the family room.
It works really well. My shopping trips are easier now. My next step is to decide how to do meal planning and incorporate it with this list. My initial thought is creating 'copies' of this worksheet in excel and coming up with standard weekly plans (maybe six or eight) and having the necessary ingredients pre-filled-in. I know, it's supposed to be simplified, and that doesn't sound very simple...