How I use Notion to manage our shared household film and TV watchlist, as a curated subset what’s relevant to us, as opposed to being governed by algorithms.

A duotoned dark purple and beige version of the Apple film camera emoji, in front of a blue starburst shape

In this video (11min), I share my system for managing our watchlist:

Here’s what’s covered:
0:07 Why use Notion instead of a native watch list
0:55 My Notion watch list page setup
1:10 Meta-data for each film
1:23 Customising fields
1:52 The ‘watch together (TV)’ view (inc filters and sorting used)
2:30 Gallery view tips
2:47 Grouping by priority
3:06 How I use the ‘watch together (TV)’ view with my partner
3:13 What we’re watching (…or were, in November 2022)
4:16 The ‘watch together (movies)’ view
4:45 My personal watch list
5:27 The ratings view (eg. IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes)
5:51 Customising sorts and filters to your liking
6:46 The ‘Christmas movies’ view
6:58 Group by tag (eg. documentaries)
7:20 The key benefit of this system, and use cases
7:51 Comparing to a Letterboxd watch list
9:19 Comparing to an IMDB watch list
9:49 Notion iPhone widget/app

So why setup a watchlist in Notion?

  • Choose what YOU want to watch, instead of letting an algorithm decide for you
  • You can setup a multi-person list, like who wants to watch: person A, person B, or both?
  • You can add relevant fields for details you care about, like genre, rating, length, who recommended this, etc
  • You can create filtered views to see a subset of your list, like only TV shows, only movies, only Christmas movies, or ‘only movies we both want to see’
Screenshot of a database in Notion called What To Watch with films listed under Currently watching, Next in line, and Seen before or paused (might return to)
The ‘Watch together (TV)’ view in my Notion watchlist

Here’s what my list looks like! We’re currently watching:

  • Political comedy from the likes of Jon Stewart and John Oliver
  • White Lotus season two
  • City on a Hill season three
  • Chef’s Table: Pizza
  • The Future Of…
  • True Detective

Alternatives to Notion

Look, I get it: not everyone is going to have the time, money or desire to setup a dedicated Notion system for this. Don’t worry darling, there are plenty of alternatives! Each have their pros and cons…

Screenshot of the Don't Worry Darling film page on Letterboxd showing the poster, where to watch, a brief description and cast information
The Letterboxd film view page
LetterboxdBeing able to share reviews with friends, and seeing their ratings and reviews, alongside the Letterboxd crowdsourced rating. Also being able to see ‘where to watch’ information.Geared towards film, and so only offers a select few TV shows.
IMDBKnowing the crowdsourced ratings of each film have come from a huge population.Geared towards film, and heavy on advertising.
Native watchlist in your streaming service (like Netflix, Stan, Binge, Kayo, Foxtel Now, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Apple TV, Paramount+ or Shudder)No need to leave your streaming service to find it.Limited to the films and shows available within that service β€” and the list will be lost if you ever switch service or start a new profile.
Screenshot of the Letterboxd Watchlist page showing a grid of film posters
The Letterboxd Watchlist page
Screenshot of the IMDB Watchlist page showing the film poster and basic information like title, year, genre, cast and rating
The IMDB Watchlist page
Screenshot of my watchlist in Netflix
My watchlist in Netflix β€” with a caveat that Netflix is my TV junk food, no judgement please!
Screenshot of a Notion page called what to watch with categories for currently watching, next in line, someday eventually, seen before, and waiting for season, with show titles under each
Notion watch list template

Ready to set one up for yourself? Here’s the (free!) Notion template you can duplicate to get started!