Personal Information Management

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Title: Personal Information Management
Author: Jones, William
Abstract: Personal Information Management (PIM) refers to both the practice and the study of the activities people perform in order to acquire, organize, maintain and retrieve information for everyday use. One ideal of PIM is that we always have the right information in the right place, in the right form, and of sufficient completeness and quality to meet our current need<jones 2004> (W. Jones & Maier, 2003). Tools and technologies help us spend less time with time-consuming and error-prone actions of information management (such as filing). We then have more time to make creative, intelligent use of the information at hand in order to get things done. This ideal is far from the reality for most people. A wide range of tools and technologies are now available for the management of personal information . But this diversity has become part of the problem leading to information fragmentation <ref Jones 04>.. A person may maintain several separate, roughly comparable but inevitably inconsistent, organizational schemes for electronic documents, paper documents, email messages and web references. The number of organizational schemes may increase if a person has several email accounts, uses separate computers for home and work, uses a PDA or a smart phone, or uses any of a bewildering number of special-purpose PIM tools. Interest in the study of PIM has increased in recent years with the growing realization that new applications, new gadgets, for all the targeted help they provide, often do so at the expense of increasing the overall complexity of PIM. Microsoft’s OneNote, for example, provides many useful features for note-taking but also forces the use of a separate tabbed system for the organization of these notes that does not integrate with existing organizations for files, email messages or web references. Users can rightly complain that this is “one organization too many” (R. Boardman & Sasse, 2004; R. Boardman, Spence, & Sasse, 2003)

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