Get the most out of Netflix streaming by being organized

Like many of you, I love Netflix. For just a few bucks a month, I can watch a slew of TV shows and movies on demand, across devices. Identifying what I want to watch is easy. So easy that my “queue” of videos gets out of control quickly. Perhaps this sounds familiar? Fortunately, there are things you can do to organize and take control of your Netflix account.

My kids watch shows on Netflix as do I. That’s fine until Netflix starts suggesting I watch Pokemon and Uncle Grandpa. No thanks, Netflix. The solution to keeping what you watch separate from what others in your house watch is to create a specific profile for each person. Thankfully, profiles are pretty easy to create.

In the upper right-hand corner of your screen, you’ll see a link for “manage profiles.” When you click it, a new window will appear with the option to “Add Profile.” Give everyone in your house an icon and a name and you’re good. The new profile will join your list and you can even edit restrictions for kids, which I recommend doing.

If you don’t have kids, or if you’re the only one watching Netflix, you can still make use of profiles. You can make up to five per account, so set them up for genres you like. Comedies, horror, documentaries, etc. That way, you’ll get great genre-specific recommendations … which leads me to my next point.

Rate what you watch. Netflix’s algorithm is pretty good at learning what you like — and dislike — and making recommendations based on those preferences. The best way to improve those results is to rate everything you watch accurately. You can do this in the Netflix viewing app or through their website, if you wish to bulk rate things you have watched in the past.

Next, I recommend using a third-party website to find what you want to watch. Sure, you can scroll through Netflix’s suggestions, but it’s faster to make use of a website that’s designed to help you find something decent. For example, What Is On Netflix lets you browse titles that are top rated by Rotten Tomatoes, IMDB, and more. Instawatcher is another good choice, as it lists what’s popular as well as each title’s rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

If you plan on watching on your computer, learn some keyboard shortcuts. They can save a lot of time:

Enter/Spacebar: Toggle pause/play
Left Arrow: Rewind
Right Arrow: Fast Forward
Up Arrow: Volume Up
Down Arrow: Volume Down
M: Mute

Streaming video services can be quite convenient. I enjoy Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Streaming, and others. (So does Erin, she doesn’t even have a cable television subscription any longer.) With a little effort and organizing, the experience gets even better.

4 Comments for “Get the most out of Netflix streaming by being organized”

  1. posted by MartiDIY on

    I would like to add Netflix but I need to master Amazon Prime first. Have you got a post on getting the most out of it too? So far we haven’t watched anything. I was on the phone for an hour and a half last night just getting the app downloaded. If Netflix is this difficult, I may not ever get to watch anything.

  2. posted by Tim Stringer on

    Thanks for the article, David! Another third party service I recently discovered is AllFlicks ( I find it very convenient to hone in on the information I’m looking for, and it supports IMDB ratings.

  3. posted by Ms Hanson on

    @MartDIY, don’t wait! I joined legions of cord cutters in September 2015 and wonder now that I waited so long. Roku TV features Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and scores of others, BUT cross-checking reveals some services offer the same shows included in monthly fees whereas others charge for them.
    More on topic though, any site that will help sift and sort the plethora of offerings lets me spend my down time more enjoyably than wading through myriad choices like I did before severing the cord.

  4. posted by Amber Kostelny on

    Great tips and makes complete sense. I haven’t dug into Netflix that deep to see these helpful organizing options. Cool, creative post!

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