List of Books/Movies/Music

I’m having trouble deciding the best way to keep track of bands I want to discover, movies I want to watch, and books I want to read. I’m currently keeping them in Maybe/Someday projects within OmniFocus, but I’m not quite happy with the result, particularly as the list of books to read keeps growing.

Do you think a Maybe/Someday project in OmniFocus is the appropriate place to store these things—which are mostly reference items—or would it be best to keep them in Apple Notes, for example?

I think OmniFocus is a lousy place ot keep reference lists like this.

Personally, I use Reminders for this. That makes it easy to tell Siri "Add “stranger things” to my “watch” list, or something similar.

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With its new filtering feature, Omnioutliner has become a nice alternative for lightweight database needs like this.

I tend not to keep this sort of thing in OmniFocus. The exception would be if it’s something that I’ve committed to doing (e.g. a book I’ve committed to reading).

Books — I keep track of books that I want to read in Goodreads, which is owned by Amazon. In addition to being able to keep track of books you want to read, optionally grouped onto shelves, you’ll have quick access to reviews and details about the book. You can optionally add books using the iOS app - either by scanning the barcode or the cover. Goodreads also has a social media component, so I can see your friends’ lists and reviews.

Movies — I use IMDB to keep track of movies that are recommended to me. I’ll also typically add them to the “My List” on Netflix and the “Wish List” on iTunes as they become available.

If you’re concerned about forgetting about these lists, you could have OmniFocus actions that prompt a review. For example, you could have an OmniFocus action of “Choose next book to read” and include a link to your Goodreads account in the Notes field.

I hope this helps!

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That’s a good idea, I hadn’t thought about using Goodreads or IMDB.

Unfortunately there’s no equivalent service for music…

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For my music and movies purchases, I’ll use the iTunes wish list or the Amazon wish list to keep track of music I want to purchase as funds permit.

Goodreads is awesome. It comes also as an iOS app which basically mimics the web site.

For TV shows, I use a paid app on my iPad and iPhone called iShows TV. I think it uses the web sites a backend. This site helps track movies and tv shows as well.

I’ve tried tracking it in omnifocus but it’s much easier in other apps.

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Unfortunately iTunes, Spotify, and other music services don’t really work since there’s a lot of stuff missing. :/

I wouldn’t use OmniFocus for this, either.

I have a huge database of films in OmniOutliner, and it works great for me. One column for Title, one for Director, one for Format (DVD, VHS, etc.), one for Length, one for Genre. (Should have columns for Screenwriter and Stars, but haven’t gotten that ambitious yet.)

Then, using the new filtering capabilities in OO5, I can easily filter for whatever I’m looking for.

I tried OmniFocus but suddenly the database became cluttered and it’s not ideal for this purpose.

Now, I am doing this:
If I find something that I want to consume later while I am browsing the Internet, it gets captured in DEVONthink Pro Inbox.
Then, in the processing stage, I move the item to my Someday database. I have several groups: Books, Movies, Music, etc…

P.S.: I also use Goodreads to track my reading progress.

Oi João,

I have a hard rule that if I am not doing something in the next 8 weeks, it goes in my Someday/Maybe list. I use a Notebook in Evernote for this with “Work projects - Someday”, “Books to read”, “Gifts for others”, “Trips to make + details”, etc.

For Omnifocus I have a single Someday/Maybe project + context that it’s paused. As part of my weekly review I read this list in OF and empty that bucket into the corresponding note in Evernote. Each item can be 1) Put into the corresponding someday/maybe list 2) Go into the active system (add an active context) or 3) delete because it doesn’t interest me.

This works well with me because I usually do my morning processing in my iPhone and extracting someday/maybe items directly into Evernote can be cumbersome. I much rather deal with Someday/Maybe in one big batch Friday morning when things are quiet at the office.

Have fun!

I have single action projects like this in OF, all contained in a “Checklists” folder, with Someday/Maybe as the context:

  • Wines to Try
  • Books to Read
  • Movies, Music, and Media
  • Gift Ideas
  • Things I Want

I get why others would not want to keep these in OF, but I like to have them there because many will (eventually) become actions (buy the thing, waiting on shipping or delivery, book a restaurant, find the best price, etc.). With OF’s extensibility, I can easily add to these lists with a Workflow, and by keeping these all in a folder, I can easily filter them out of action lists.


Thanks for the answers everyone. I ended up moving those lists into dedicated notes in Apple Notes.

I second GoodReads for Books and IMDB för movies.
When it comes to music, I would recommend:
I where I keep both my music collection and my WISH list for music.

I like having the consolidation of all my lists in the same place soI’ve got something similar to @deturbulence:

A lists folder, followed by a batch of single action lists, mostly titled by verb:

  • Cook
  • Eat
  • Hike
  • Listen
  • Needs
  • Nice-To-Haves
  • Read
  • Shop
  • Watch
    (Various Others)

I’ll admit to being incredibly idiosyncratic which you probably see with Shop (actual active shopping list), Needs (things to buy asap that are real necessities) and Nice-To-Haves (exactly what it sounds like). Things like those divisions help me prioritize and cut down on spending.

Divisions aside, it’s contexts where I really go off-piste:

  • Lists like eat and hike have geography based contexts – city or state of a restaurant, trail, etc.

  • Things like nice-to-haves will have a time-based context, “future” (someday/maybe).

Make enough sense, I’m sure.

But for watch/read/listen type lists I have a series of “headspace” contexts. Things like “relax”, “create”, “learn” and so on. Then if I’m just looking for an article I wanted to get to for pleasure-reading I can look at “relax” or “low-energy” without having to sort through stuff I’ve bookmarked for work and the like.

It seems really strange as I write it out, but it works incredibly well for me.



You could use Workflow with Evernote or Apple notes, that way you keep them locally and organized.


Hello João,

I use Evernote for these type of things, mostly because I tend to cleanly separate Actions (Omnifocus) from Reference Material (Evernote).

If this is a book that I’m going to read, then its an action. If it is something that I can’t act upon and perhaps one day I will look into it, then it is Reference.


My lists are currently in OF as a Someday/Maybe but I am considering moving them elsewhere. I have been considering using Evernote but not sure if I will stay with that. GoodNotes will get a look for books. I have Airtable I could use to create some databases but that might be overkill. I have read that some people keep their lists in Drafts which sounds interesting with the upcoming release of a macOS app.

I keep a list of books I want to look for at book stores and a list of books I want to buy in OF. I use the tags “books” and “book store” to let me know ones I want to think about reading and ones I want to think about buying (not always the same list). I like keeping this in OF because I have a perspective built around this I use when I’m walking around a book store so I can have my list handy.

I created an Excel for Movies to watch and Books to read.