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Cutting Through the Noise: How I Organize My Spotify Playlists

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

Spotify is one of my most used apps. It gives me a soundtrack for walking to class, lets me be the DJ in the car, gives me motivation in my workouts, and so much more. With the help of recommendations from friends, watching films, scrolling through social media, and Spotify’s AI-powered personalized playlists, I am always discovering new music. Just as quickly as I discover new music, songs are being released! They come from artists all over the world and fit into genres both new and old. With so much music to listen to, it can be hard to organize it all.

By Month

The newest way I have been organizing my music is by creating monthly playlists. In a folder labeled “2023,” I have been creating playlists at the start of each month. I like to look at my music as a mini time capsule of what my life sounded like at certain times. By putting my favorite songs I’ve been listening to on repeat each month in their respective playlists, I can revisit a certain time in my life just by pressing play. This type of organization has also cleaned up my Spotify likes which used to house all of the songs I wanted easy access to. Now, all of my current jams live together in one convenient place! I find that monthly playlists are also a pretty good snapshot of my music taste since they reflect what I genuinely love listening to regardless of how well the songs actually go together.

By Genre

Of course, sometimes I am simply in the mood for one genre of music. My music taste is all over the place and one of my monthly playlists can jump from artists like Lana Del Rey to Playboi Carti in a split second. To keep a steady vibe going, organizing music by genre, or even perceived genres, can be the way to go. I say perceived genres because a lot of music transcends labels or can fit into multiple categories. Alternative, indie pop, bedroom pop… Songs with different official genre labels can just have a similar vibe to them and fit in the same playlist and that’s ok! I find my genre playlists useful for pleasing larger groups of people (such as in car rides with friends) and setting a stable mood.

By Mood

Interestingly enough, my mood-based playlists are probably my least listened-to but also my nicest-sounding. They’re almost cinematic in a way because the songs in them are cherry-picked to match the feeling or event they were inspired by. I think this is why they aren’t listened to as often; they’re a little too specific for everyday listening and therefore aren’t usually updated with new songs that fit the playlist’s mood. Despite that, organizing songs by mood is probably the most creative way to organize music on Spotify and I’ve had a lot of fun creating playlist names and covers to match specific feelings I want to recreate. 

With Friends

One of Spotify’s cool features is creating collaborative playlists! Spotify can use AI to create a constantly-updating playlist that combines the music tastes of you and a friend. You can also make a custom playlist with a friend and add to it as much as you want. I’ve made a few collaborative playlists and it’s always so fun to see what the other person will add based on what themes you’ve decided to go with. I think creating playlists with a friend is an amazing way to discover new music, share your favorite songs with others, and create the soundtrack to a party or other event that you’ll both be attending.

Spotify, collaborative playlist
Spotify Web Player

The way I’ve organized my music on Spotify has evolved over the years. I’ve created folders within folders to house all of the music and playlists I’ve collected and curated over time. From shoving all of my music haphazardly into my “Liked Songs” to painstakingly choosing the right cover picture to match my newest playlist, I’ve realized how important my Spotify organization is. I don’t think there’s a perfect solution to organizing every song or every feeling, but collecting music is wonderful no matter how it’s being done.

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Vera Gold

U Mass Amherst '23

Vera is a senior communication major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is the Facebook Coordinator of her chapter and loves writing about digital media, beauty, and entertainment.