Films/TV list

This living spreadsheet contains my record of films and TV I’ve seen — fairly complete from around 2005 to present, and reconstructing backwards towards 1986 when I started intermittently tracking that. It’s mainly for my own use in tracking, and particularly steering, but sometimes people ask.

There are three main sections, which in the default sorting appear in this order:

  1.  Watchlist – rows 1-400 or so (broken into sections, loosely prioritized, and labeled for sorting: ‘9-watchlist-top’ in yellow, ‘8-watchlist’ in blue, and ‘5-backburner’ in grey).
  2. Watched – approximately rows 400-1500, in light grey, with dates watched, or guesses.
  3. Lists – approximately rows 1500 onward. For lists and awards, such as BAFTA and Cannes awards. This section (in default sort) shows list items not yet seen. For each list, there is a column at right side of spreadsheet; you can see all items on a list by sorting the spreadsheet on column.

The default view in box below shows list starting at either Watchlist or Watched, depending on some random Google Sheets issue/setting I haven’t figured out.  You can scroll up/down/left/right by scrolling with cursor inside box (desktop) or swiping inside the box area (mobile). To get a different or wider view you can access the Google Sheets doc at:


  1. by default the Watchlist sections are at top, rows 2 to 450 or so. Display of these rows may be turned on or off, for convenience of putting the ‘Watched’ items at top instead. Click +/- at top of the sheet’s left margin to show/hide the Watchlist rows.
  2. You can sort the whole sheet by any column value; for example, to see all items sorted by year. To do so,
    a) click on the column you wish to sort by.
    b) in the menus, go to Data > Sort Sheet by Column, and select either ascending or descending order.
    To restore the default order:
    a) select column B, “STATUS or DATE SEEN” by clicking on the ‘B’ at its top.
    b) in the menus, select Data > Sort sheet by Column B > Z->A.
  3. You can also sort the sheet using multiple column values; for example to see all items sorted first by country and then by year. To do this:
    1. select the whole sheet by clicking on the empty cell at top left of sheet (between the ‘1’ and the ‘A’).
    2. in menus, go to Data > Sort Range, and specify the columns and sorting orders you wish to use.
  4. For a cleaner view of the list, without menus & formatting bar, go to View > Full Screen.

note: this makes it seem complicated. It isn’t really, I use it casually all the time without much thought, this is mostly to remind myself for later, or perhaps to script/streamline things if it becomes more productized.

  1.  Adding to / editing watchlists:
    a) *New* items for any watchlist should be added to a blank row
    b) To move items between watchlists, just change the STATUS or DATE SEEN field as needed.
    c) To move an item from watched to watchlist, copy the row’s contents into a new blank line in watchlist, delete
    d) use SHIFT-CMD-v so to copy multiple cell values into a new set of cells.
  2. For items seen multiple times, create a separate row for each time. (to preserve the date & diary form).
    However, entries after the first one can be hidden this way: in Column A, ‘Duplicate’, enter ‘1’ for any entries after the first. Then, this column has a filter which by default hides rows with anything but a blank in that field. To get a diary view, ie everything seen, change this filter so duplicate entries ARE shown.
  3. Row colors are [should be] set automatically using Conditional Formatting formulae. The ranges covered by the formulae seems to get chopped up from cutting and pasting, so I’ve been needing to periodically reset them. Google Sheets apparently does not have a simple way to express range of “entire sheet” in formulae, which is what wanted here.
  4. ROADMAP / Possible further features:
    1. enrichment/completion of data, various ways. e.g
      1. automated lookup of Wikipedia page, image, for item.
      2. lookup & storing of identiers, such as IMDB ID.
    2. A way to create designed view pages, e.g. for specific lists or categories.

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