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How to track what films you’re watching

How to track what films you’re watching

Do you lose track of the films you've watched? George Chrysostomou explores different ways to record what you've watched

In the age of countless streaming services and endless TV shows, it’s becoming a lot harder to track what we’re watching. The seemingly relentless release of exciting new movies only adds to that conundrum. Audiences need to be able to account for what they have already watched, what’s on the "next-up" list, where they can find a project and what the most recommended releases currently are.

Luckily, there are a number of tools out there to help those that enjoy organising their TV time, while maximising the quality of what’s on the screen. For those that love making things clearer through proper cataloguing, these examples are standout options to check out.

A custom digital template 

Although there are a variety of apps and pre-designed software out there which will be discussed in further detail, a good custom system is sometimes the best way to go. Whether it’s using platforms like Excel or Google Sheets, or perhaps created with a standard digital list, simply taking matters into your own hands and organising a database how you see fit is extremely satisfying.

"Taking matters into your own hands and organising a database how you see fit is extremely satisfying"

It’s a useful way to simplify the process, without downloading additional tools, or getting used to newer systems. It’s always accessible too, with the complicated interface of the table designed based on how detailed the user makes it. Not everyone embarks on a mission to catalogue their watching habits with a digital template, but it makes a remarkable and satisfying difference. 

Letterboxd 

Letterboxd is so much more than a standard database. It’s a social media system; a network designed to discover, share and enjoy the top releases from around the world.

Primarily focused on films, users will have to go elsewhere for a premium TV experience. But the pros far outweigh the cons. The free system lets you build a profile based on the movies you love, rate and leave reviews for everything you’ve cinematically experienced and create lists on what you’ll be watching next.

It’s an interesting way to get to know someone, with customisable lists adding an additional element of fun to categorise any number of releases based on interesting discussion points. A film club gone digital, Letterboxd even has a Pro option that includes detailed stats through a diary that logs everything.  

JustWatch  

JustWatch is another site that allows its users to create watchlists based on their own unique preferences. It’s a useful tool to get to grips with, but it’s not the primary function of this impressive site. The free database contains a full catalogue of seemingly every movie and TV show under the sun, and it tells you where you can watch them!

"There’s no need to keep scrolling through Netflix, Now TV or Paramount+"

There’s no need to keep scrolling through Netflix, Now TV or Paramount+, hoping to find that niche Eighties show you’ve been seeking out for so long. Instead, JustWatch lets the audience select the country they are in and type in the project they are looking for, and produces a comprehensive list of where they can watch it.

It sets out the free and payable options, whether it’s available to rent or via streaming and is a fantastic resource for anyone who travels internationally frequently. A sports tab also gives in-depth coverage of scores, scheduling and the platforms needed to enjoy the biggest games and matches of the year.  

IMDb  

There are very few websites that can rival IMDb. Even Amazon Prime Video has built the software into their system, which leaps into action every time the interface is accessed. The Internet Movie Database tracks every release and everyone who works on them. Is there an actor you adore and would love to see more from? IMDb has got the answer for you.

IMDb app for tracking films

Plus, IMDb contains a comprehensive list of upcoming projects alongside their release dates, keeping audiences well-informed on upcoming scheduling. On top of all that, users can create their own login which they then use to forge various lists from a wishlist of what to watch next, to a ranking of the best rom-coms you’ve ever seen.

The rating system is also one of the best, allowing users to review projects for themselves. It’s a pretty social platform to use for those looking to connect to a wider movie community.  

Standout apps 

Outside of the biggest platforms in the industry, there are a variety of apps that users can download which provide even deeper organisational apparatus.

A standout is Trakt. With both online and app-based variations, the software produces schedules, lets users categorise releases how they see fit, keep track of everything that’s been watched and even logs shows episode by episode. It’s a social platform, letting users share their reviews and recommendations, while even adding a section for notes. Trending movies, popular actors and well-known directors are all logged via Trakt, making it easier than ever to find out what’s grabbing the industry by storm right now.  

"There are countless apps on the market but ultimately the best option is what works for the consumer"

TV Time is another worthy mention, which contains the standard tracking features of some of the major hitters, with the addition of a calendar system. Users can create a watch schedule that works for them, that also takes into account sudden releases. It has a built-in notification system, making the app work for you. Data-driven insights into what everyone else is bingeing is another brilliant feature that updates users on the trends and perhaps what they should be switching over to next.  

There are countless other apps on the market from Hobi and Cinetrak to Series Guide, but ultimately the best option is what works for the consumer. Each interface is starkly different, with some containing a lot more detail than most might need. While the Watchlist section of services like Disney+ or Netflix might be enough, these are just a variety of other aids that can help you along the way and bring a little more order to the digital chaos.  

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