A drawing of a computer, a shoppinglist and a shopping cart 2019-01-18T15:16:35+01:00

Handling my shoppinglist from Org mode

How I get my shoppinglist from my computer to my mobile phone

Twice a week I compile a shopping list, mostly for our local supermarket, but also for some smaller stores. Getting the finished list the easiest way to my phone was a thing that I wanted to automate for a long time.

The normal way to communicate between my mobile phone and the computer is via Nextcloud. I run an instance of it on a server, and use it for syncing my contacts, calendars, images and notes. I used those notes mostly for writing thoughts or remebering things that I needed later. But I never thought of "sending" notes to myself.

But I found that to be the best way to get me "information at the fingertip" right when I need them. So I decided to send me the shoppinglist right before I go shopping. A usual shopping list for 3 recipes looks like this

| Backpulver       |     3 | Tl       |
| Basilikumblätter |     1 | Handvoll |
| Basmatireis      |     2 | Tassen   |
| Datteltomaten    |   150 | g        |
| Eier             |     2 | St       |
| Fenchel          |     1 | Knolle   |
| Feta-Käse        |   200 | g        |
| Knoblauch        |     1 | Zehe     |
| Knoblauchzehen   |     2 | Zehen    |
| Lauchzwiebeln    |     4 | St       |
| Mangochutney     |     3 | Tl       |
| Mini-Mozzarella  |   125 | g        |
| Möhren           |     8 | St       |
| Olivenöl         |     6 | El       |
| Olivenöl         |     2 | El       |
| Olivenöl         |     4 | El       |
| Oregano          |     2 | Tl       |
| Oregano          |     1 | Prise    |
| Paprikapulver    |     1 | Tl       |
| Paprikaschoten   |     2 | St       |
| Pellkartoffeln   |   450 | g        |
| Petersilie       | etwas | Deko     |
| Rosmarin         |     1 | Tl       |
| Sahnequark       |   100 | g        |
| Zucchini         |     1 | St       |
| Zwiebeln         |     1 | St       |
| Zwiebeln         |     2 | St       |

For better readability I already did something, that I do when I'm still at home. I delete all the rows of things that I have already at home, like salt, pepper, milk, flour, etc. Whenever I run out of it I put it on that list immediatly. How I get to these list will be the scope of another article in the future.

To get my list to the phone I decided to just mark the region of the file that I want to send it to my phone and press a button that is bound to an elisp script. The script reads:

(defun shoppinglist (&optional b e) 
  (interactive "r")
  (append-to-file b e "~/cloud/Notes/Shoppinglist.txt"))
  • The first line defines a function named 'shoppinglist' which takes 2 parameters for beginn and end of the marked region.
  • The second line is important because I want to use this function in a manual call by a hotkey. So the 'r' after interactive fills the region parameters 'b' and 'e' of the function with the respective values.
  • The tird line after all appends the marked lines to the end of the Shoppinglist file.

As soon as nextcloud recognises, that a file in the 'cloud' folder has changed it synchronizes it to all devices including my mobile phone, and voila:

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