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Lumbering list maker

If your grocery lists are too quick and easy to make, try this program.

Technology has done a lot to improve efficiency and make tedious chores more tolerable. Every now and then, however, some misguided soul creates a cure that's worse than the disease. So it goes with Click Shopping Organizer. The program attempts to make the process of compiling a shopping list easier, but it ends up being more trouble than it's worth.

Even installing Click Shopping Organizer was a pain. The program requires the installation of the Microsoft SQL Server, which must be downloaded separately. We spent at least 20 minutes just getting everything downloaded and installed. For the most part, the program's interface is attractive and intuitive--it reminds us a lot of Office 2007--but the actual list-making area seemed kind of cluttered with icons and was hard to look at. Users create lists with nested categories; for example, a particular item is located within a particular department in a particular store. There's a huge database of potential shopping list items, all listed by category ("Apparel/Footwear/Business Sandals," for example), and we admire the effort that must have gone into compiling it. We also appreciate the video tutorials that Click Shopping Organizer comes with, but in the end, we just don't want to have to watch a video tutorial in order to make our grocery list. There are other options, both electronic and old-school (pen and paper, anyone?), that are faster and easier.

Click Shopping Organizer is free. It comes as a ZIP file, installs a desktop icon without asking, and requires an e-mail address upon installation. We do not recommend this program.

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