This week within the Guardian, author Rachel Sigee contemplated the query of why so many people frequent websites like Goodreads and Letterboxd to log our media consumption, and got here up with a solution that appears apparent looking back: It is dopamine.
Sure, the identical addictive mind chemical compounds that trigger our neurons to fireplace each time our telephones gentle up with a notification are what maintain us marking our progress within the books we have learn or assigning a star ranking to each film we have watched or monitoring the hours we have poured into a very immersive online game. Or (and that is the place issues get barely insidious), to construct lists of all of the issues we wish to—or really feel we “ought to”—learn, or watch, or play.
It is value contemplating (as Sigee does) whether or not it’s wholesome to “gamify” what is actually a leisure time exercise on this approach, and as a hardcore media logger, I’ll admit to typically feeling a way of exhaustion at considering the prolonged lists of all issues media I wish to eat that I’ll in all probability by no means get round to. Until I work out a option to reside eternally and likewise abandon my job and household duties.
However I am additionally not going to cease doing it. Even earlier than know-how introduced strategies to make it simpler, I intermittently have stored lists of, say, the films I watched with my then-girlfriend, now partner. Like scrolling by way of pictures in my telephone, simply seeing the title of a movie on that checklist would set off my reminiscences of the place we have been once we noticed it or the conversations we had afterward. A lot of every day life is ephemeral; conserving a report of a given day—even when it is simply one thing as inconsequential as lastly watching Weekend at Bernie’s (a surprisingly bizarre film) can provide you an anchor to cling to.
So with all that high-falutin’ nonsense apart, listed below are a few of the finest websites and apps round that can assist you begin conserving observe of your individual media habits: books, films, video video games, and music.
One of the best apps to log your studying
Goodreads is by far essentially the most extensively used guide tracker, however there are alternate options if you happen to do not wish to serve up but extra of your information to company proprietor Amazon.
Goodreads. You understand about this one. Goodreads has been round for occurring twenty years now, and since its acquisition by Amazon in 2013, the positioning has amassed a membership of some 90 million readers desirous to catalog what they’ve learn and supply standing updates on what they’re studying. In some ways, it set the usual for all these social cataloging apps, permitting you to customise your books into varied cabinets, write and skim opinions, befriend and observe different customers, make advice lists, and extra. It is not good—the UX is mainly unchanged from the positioning’s infancy, the design is cluttered and unintuitive, and the cell app is extremely gradual—however you in all probability use it anyway.
LibraryThing. Based in 2005, a yr earlier than Goodreads, LibraryThing has at all times been that website’s barely stuffier, extra critical competitor. Initially run through paid subscriptions, it has since switched to a free-for-all mannequin, however nonetheless goals to ship the products with out inundating you with advertisements. Whereas it affords most of the similar social options as Goodreads, it is undoubtedly tilted extra towards the intense enterprise of conserving observe of and cataloging your individual studying.
One of the best apps to log the films you have watched
In the case of monitoring your films, there is a clear winner (which additionally occurs to be considered one of my favourite websites on the web).
Letterboxd. This app- and web-based film monitoring social community has amassed a consumer base of greater than 20 million movie followers, and with good cause: It is extremely simple to look and log each film you have ever seen, add dates watched (I not too long ago discovered a stack of previous ticket stubs and logged a bunch of movies I noticed within the theater 15 years in the past), pen opinions, and observe different customers. You possibly can construct lists based mostly on any esoteric, hyper-specific qualifier you’ll be able to consider. Plus, there is a view that reveals you the posters of each film you have logged on one display screen, which is neat. (Cease by and say hello!)
SIMKL. This lesser-known Letterboxd competitor has lots of that website’s options and strengths, with one massive bonus: Its database additionally contains TV collection and anime (Letterboxd usually eschews TV completely, save for just a few “occasion” miniseries like WandaVision). You possibly can mark a whole collection as watched, or maintain observe of which episodes you have seen and what number of you could have left, making it that a lot simpler to handle the glut of streaming collection you are attempting and failing to remain on high of. However the coolest characteristic is the Chrome extension that integrates together with your streaming service watch historical pastpermitting you to log your viewing historical past in SIMKL with out ever leaving Netflix.
One of the best websites to log your video video games
There does not appear to be a definitive online game different to the likes of Letterboxd or Goodreads—and although I am going to talk about comparable choices to these providers under, neither has reached the identical stage of consciousness. Maybe that is as a result of…
Your system in all probability does it for you. Most trendy consoles make the necessity to log your video games out of date as a result of they already observe what you play and when, although chances are you’ll must fiddle round in your system menus to seek out it. The Nintendo Change, for instance, retains tracked of the video games performed by every consumer profile, however if you’d like the actually granular particulars, together with precisely how a lot time a selected recreation was performed on a selected day, you may must obtain the related Nintendo Change Parental Controls app. Here is see your hours performed per recreation on PlayStation 5 and Xbox.
In order for you a extra full accounting than simply the period of time sunk right into a given title, although, you are higher off with a separate service.
backloggd. Backloggd is the closest factor I’ve discovered to a “Letterboxd for video video games,” (therefore the title, in all probability). At present solely out there through net (although an app is reportedly within the works), the positioning lets you catalog video games as accomplished (together with whether or not you “mastered,” or “deserted” them, or just a few different choices), backlogged (that means you personal them however have not performed them but), the video games you’re presently enjoying, or add video games to a wishlist. You possibly can log “playthroughs” (the dates you really performed a recreation), evaluate video games you have marked performed, and browse different customers’ profile pages and observe them if you happen to select. The location is regularly including new options, but it surely already affords most every thing I am on the lookout for.
Grouvee. This one appears to have taken Goodreads as its inspiration. You possibly can mark video games as performed, presently enjoying, backlogged, or wishlisted; write (and skim) opinions; and mark your dates performed. What units this website aside is the flexibility so as to add standing updates for video games in progress, which is a pleasant contact if you wish to maintain observe of once you beat a selected stage or boss or what have you ever.
One of the best app to log the music you like
Like video video games, there is not practically as strong a music-logging infrastructure on the market—once more, in all probability as a result of providers like Spotify and Amazon Music largely maintain observe of that for you. Nonetheless, there’s at the least one music-lovers social community on the market value contemplating.
Musicboard. Musicboard payments itself as “a social platform that lets you maintain observe of all of the music you take heed to and develop your ardour for music with associates” and, certain, it does that. You should use it to create a profile, maintain observe of the albums and songs you have listened to, write opinions, and observe different customers. There are cool instruments to indicate off your listening historical past, observe forthcoming releases, and (if you happen to’re prepared to pony up $3.99/month for a paid subscription) view tremendous granular stats about your listening habits.
Or simply use a spreadsheet (or a pocket book) to trace every thing
Essentially the most versatile, low-effort option to maintain observe of something you are studying or watching or enjoying is, after all, to only log it away manually in a spreadsheet (or a pocket book, if you happen to’re into that tactile, “actual objects” shit). That is actually a legitimate methodology—we love spreadsheets round right here—however you may sacrifice the visible and/or social sharing points of different app-based choices.
Possibly you are OK with that—let’s be trustworthy, there is a good likelihood you’re the just one who cares about your media habits anyway. Personally, I like the inducement of issues like maintaining with a Goodreads studying problem or filling out my Letterboxd diary to maintain me on observe; previous pen and paper makes an attempt have failed to stay, leading to years of misplaced information. However, one studying website I used to frequent, Riffleappears to have disappeared this yr with out warning, and there is no likelihood your pocket book goes to cease working.