Reading History

Hi Paperpile Team,

It would be amazing to have a history of the files one has been reading.

E.g. this could for each day simply be a list of the papers one has been reading sorted by the order they were accessed in. Not sure if duplicates should be allowed, or only the most recent access should be kept on the list for that day.

It would be nice to keep a list for each day, as one might remember reading something on a specific day or maybe a whole collection of papers, but not which paper exactly. Having a full history would assist in relocating papers when remembering such things.

Not sure how far back is necessary for the history to go, but I guess as far back as possible. Such a history could of course be extended with notes, annotations, etc.

This idea tries to solve the same issue as this request, but in a better way, in my opinion.



Hi Philip,

Thanks, that’s a great idea, we’ll put it on the list of feature requests to be reviewed!


Alternatively, an easier way to implement would be to add an option for sorting by most recently opened/read date. Either way being able to access recently read papers would be a nice feature to have


So… any news on this? Has it been thrown out or is it in the backlog?


I do a lot of garden pathing through PaperPile. I’d really like to be able to see that track and find things that caught my attention that I didn’t note at the time.


I would love this!! I go through a lot of literature and sometimes struggle to find something I know I read 3 days ago…


Hello all, how about using labels as a work around? For example, create a label entitled I_HAVE_READ_THIS_PAPER? You could use labels for other statuses, such as HEY_BRUCE_READ_THIS_ONE_NEXT, or I’M_STILL_READING_THIS_ONE, or PUT_THIS_ONE_ON_THE-BACK_BURNER… Actually, manually creating statuses might be a better way to go - I don’t see any way for PP to distinguish between a paper that you have merely opened, vs. started to read, vs. completed reading.

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It is nice to see appreciation for ones ideas :slight_smile: Thanks all.

@Bruce_Borkosky If the purpose was to keep track of ones reading progress, that would be a great workaround. My desire for this functionality comes from a need of being able to get an overview of ones reading activity, as you might go through a whole lot of papers, and not until later realize that something you read was important, so you need to go back and find it. It was also meant to be something happening in the background, not requiring any tedious bookkeeping for the user.

Lately, I have been thinking of this feature as being comparable to looking through ones browser history. Unfortunately, you also need workarounds to do that for specific sites, but this might be the closes approach until Paperpile provides something inherently. A custom solution could probably also allow for many additional features, but of course it all takes time to develop.

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yes, I agree that an automated tracker would be a nice feature. I 1+ this request. However, from a programming POV, the only automatic feature I can see that might be implemented is a flag when the PDF is first opened. I don’t see a way the PP could know when the reading was completed. But, yes, that would be nice.

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I’m more in Melissa’s camp. Bravo to those of you that have the foresight and organizational skills to tag everything. I do my best with respect to the content of my articles. But really mostly I start out with a keyword search, then download papers that are cited, or search for them in my 4,000 plus paper pile library. I’m usually starting out looking at a topic related to something I’m working on or trying to find a specific citation, and then I see something interesting and start to focus on that. Like Melissa, I’d like to go back 4 days ago and look what I have clicked on. I would be satisfied with that. As a qualitative researcher, I appreciate the value of having a history to re-examine as I am doing my research. This seems to be a relatively easy thing to do in paper pile, and any more sophistication of a history feature would be much appreciated as well.

Hi philippjp and all the others from this thread,

I am really think this new feature would be extremely useful.
My vision would be :

  • history of papers that you read/opened (that can be grouped by ‘today’, ‘yesterday’, ‘last week’, ‘last month’, etc…
  • history of requests made in the search bar would be definitely a plus as well.

I’d like to bump this and suggest that the user’s paperpile activity get written to text document that is saved in google drive. The app should have some functionality to use the document, ie a paper could say “last opened on …” which it read from the text file.

Thanks for the bump here, @captglasspac. I can confirm this is on our feature request tracker and still planned, although not yet near term. The request does come up fairly often so we do want to consider solutions for it, after implementing what’s currently on the pipeline. Needless to say, I’ve added your +1 to the topic.