A list of Personal Information Management prototype tools - what has been built so far

Below is a list of Personal Information Management (PIM) prototypes that have tried to answer/solve one or more problems we as users face everyday with managing our personal information. The list was put together for the research purpose and an early unpublished paper "PIM Research Protoypes Ideas and What Has Been Transferred to Mainstream Software" is available. Another paper with analyisis of PIM research tools focus is in its final phase.

In the frame on the right is a list of tags. Selecting a checkbox by a particular tag highlights prototypes that correspond to selected tag. More than one tag can be selected resulting in OR highlighting. Tags were chosen subjectively by the author.

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TAGS

Tools that introduce 3rd dimension to information management
Tools that adapt to users' needs
Tools that include agents to support users in their information management
Tools that help archiving information
Tools that provide automation of certain tasks like automatic categorization, automatic filing ...
Tools for managing calendar notes
Tools that support management around address book
Tools that try to guess users' context and suggest relevant information
A tool that uses database as a management and storing information
Tools that help unify or integrate information items of different types through screen sharing between different applications
Tools that try to add extra or completely different approach in managing email
Tools that try to add extra or completely different approach in managing files or documents (in a database)
Tools that support management of smaller chunks of information than information items (files, emails, web pages)
Tools that integrate information through indexing and datamining
Tools that help store unusual information types like small pieces of text, context information ...
Tools that provide unification or integration of different information types like emails, files, web bookmarks, contacts, calendar ...
Tools that help people with remembering certain or all of the events in their life
Tools that allow items to be multi-categorized
Tools that provide different perspectives/visual techniques to the personal information
Tools that try to connect physical information space with digital one or vice versa
Tools that support pile metaphor rather then hierarchy tree
Tools that provide searching/retrieving facilities with different metaphors to help reminding, show context ...
Tools that provide data integration between different information types by automatically process information, build ontologies or knowledge base about it and "understand" its content.
Tools that use spatial information management
Tools that allow tagging, annotating or extending metadata and allow fluid grouping, retrieving and searching information items by tags
Tools that act like agents with predicting and suggesting next possible steps in a sequence of subtasks
Tools that help supporting tasks with task unification, task document/time management ...
Tools that provide a thumbnail of documents in its presentation rather than list of items of application icons or other generic image
Tools that introduce time as one of visual clues to information retrieval
Tools to manage personal information of various types on the Web.
Tools that try to add extra or completely different approach in managing web bookmarks
Tools that provide zooming interface for limitless spatial area for managing information items

Deselect all

3D Bookmark browser A "leaf through" scanning system for bookmarks and web history (Searching/retrieving, Thumbnails, Web bookmarks history, Spatial management)
3DOSX A 3D file browser (Files/Documents, 3D environments)
Activity-Based Computing An task application's grouping system (Information unification, Task support, Display unification, Context, Zooming interface)
ActivityExplorer Task collaboration tool - a mix between personal and collaborative task related information management. (Information unification, Task support, Context)
Apple Data Detectors An semantic extraction tool for supporting task like creating a meeting calendar input from an email. (Task support, Task prediction, Automation, Agents, Email, Granularity, Calendar)
Archy A new desktop metaphor with zooming interface, persistent content, command line interface in GUI, leaping (moving through text with incremental search) (Thumbnails, Files/Documents, Spatial management, Zooming interface)
Arium A concept of a social and ontological desktop (spatial) metaphor with numerous information streams and (overlapping) documents collections (Spatial management, Multi-categorization, Time dimension, Contacts)
Athena A tool that simplifies the process of hierarchical organization by using text mining algorithms supporting: organization by topic, reorganization, automatic filing (Piles, Automation, Files/Documents, Multi-categorization)
Atomate A tool for easily create smart reminders and actions that can automatically do stuff based on where you are, what you are doing, and the messages and information you receive from anywhere on the Web ()
Attribute Browser An attributes based navigation in a file hierarchy (Searching/retrieving, Files/Documents, Tags)
Beamtree An improved treemap algorithm visualising the 3D structure (Files/Documents, Zooming interface, Multi-visualization)
Bifrost inbox organizer Automatic inbox categorization that lets users see their emails organized in inbox by categories to fight information overflow (Automation, Email)
Bookmark prunner lets score bookmarks on an importance scale and web history usage (Automation, Agents, Web bookmarks history, Tags)
Braindump A spatial toll for managing relations between web bookmarks (Thumbnails, Task support, Web bookmarks history, Spatial management)
BubbleFish A tool that lets users manage digital documents in a physical space (Physical and digital)
BumpTop A 3D desktop mimicking physical environment in managing files (Thumbnails, Piles, Files/Documents, 3D environments, Spatial management)
CAAD Automatically creating and adopting task information collections. (Information unification, Task support, Automation, Agents, Spatial management, Adaptation, Context)
CAFE (Categorization Assistant For E-mail) A tool for organizing, searching, and retrieval of e-mail in three different modes: busy, cool, curious (Agents, Email, Adaptation)
CAP (Calendar APprentice) A calendar scheduling application learning user's preferences and proposing scheduling meetings (Automation, Agents, Calendar)
ChittyChatty A system for taking handwritten notes where each pen stroke is temporally co-indexed with the recorded speech and users are able to return to recorded voice by clicking on a certain note (Information scraps)
co-activity manager Activity based virtual desktop with contacts and apps separated by activity. Similar to Giornata and Activity based computing (Display unification, Contacts, Context)
Connections A search engine that can provide also context related info by time proximity (Information unification, Task support, Indexing, Context)
Contactmap A tool for spatially manage contacts that serves as a reminding and information seeking (Thumbnails, Task support, Email, Spatial management, Contacts)
Content Map A whole overview of file hierarchy in a mind map like view (Files/Documents, Spatial management, Database)
Cushion Treemaps (later SequoiaView) A treemap improved algorithm where all rectangles try to be as close as possible to squares. (Files/Documents, Multi-visualization)
Cyberdesk Not a PIM tool per se, but an approach for integrating applications by context (Task support, Task prediction, Automation, Agents, Granularity, Context)
Data mountain A tool to manage thumbnails of web pages by arbitrarily position them on an inclined plane in a 3D environment using a simple 2D interaction technique (Thumbnails, Web bookmarks history, 3D environments, Spatial management)
Dataland (Spatial Data-Management System) Virtual limitless desktop with zooming interface allowing spatial management of documents' icons (Thumbnails, Files/Documents, Spatial management, Zooming interface)
DeepaMehta A semantic desktop (Information unification, Semantic desktop, Tags)
DigitalDesk A system that interprets a desk to provide digital facilities to physical paper management (Physical and digital)
Docking window framework Grouping windows on a desktop based on tasks (Task support, Display unification, Spatial management, Context)
Dynamic queries Visual presentation and information seeking of files with dynamic queries (Searching/retrieving, Files/Documents)
Dynapad A tool to spatially managing piles of documents (Thumbnails, Piles, Files/Documents, Spatial management, Time dimension, Zooming interface)
Email Nodes Management of email in piles on a spatial surface (Thumbnails, Piles, Email, Spatial management, Zooming interface)
EmailViz (Rhythms of relationships) An email visualization tool, visualizing various aspects of conversations' rhythms over time. (Email, Multi-visualization)
EmailViz (Treemaps, Correspondent Crowds and Author Lines) Three visualizations revealing hierarchical, correlational and temporal patterns in email (Email, Multi-visualization)
Enron viewer (or enronic) Visualization techniques and various algorithms for processing the e-mail corpus, including social network inference, message categorization, and community analysis. (Email, Multi-visualization)
Envision A matrix representation of search results by document characteristics (Files/Documents, Time dimension)
EzMail An email conversation visualizer through threads and email properties aiming at easing management. (Email, Multi-visualization)
Feldspar Information search by incrementally specifying associations remembered about an item (Information unification, Searching/retrieving, Indexing)
Forget-me-not A tool which constantly logs a user's physical context to facilitate personal event retrieval (Lifelogging)
Giornata A task management desktop (Information unification, Display unification, Files/Documents, Tags, Contacts)
GLIMPSE A command line search engine, designed for personal file system, that can index non-uniform data and many document types (Searching/retrieving, Files/Documents, Indexing)
Gnowsis Semantic desktop (Information unification, Semantic desktop)
GrayArea, ProjectFolders, email ProjectField, Old'nGray ... An intermediate area for files between important and delete stage (not to clutter important ones) (Information unification, Task support, Context)
GroupBar MS toolbar grouping task related windows/applications (Task support, Display unification, Spatial management)
Haystack A semantic desktop unifying semistructured information of different types (Information unification, Searching/retrieving, Automation, Agents, Semantic desktop, Indexing, Database, Granularity)
History Harvester Filtering a navigation history log based on both a generic and a user-defined filters (Searching/retrieving, Web bookmarks history)
Hyperbolic Browse (later Star Tree Studio) A hyperbolic tree/hierarchy visualisation with zooming. (Files/Documents, Zooming interface, Multi-visualization)
Implicit Query A tool for automatically generating a list of related information to a user’s current computing activities (Information unification, Automation, Agents)
Importance-driven compositing window management A window management with transparent parts of windows where important content resides (Display unification, Adaptation)
InfoATV Re-finding through visualization with a help of public data (Searching/retrieving, Time dimension, Multi-visualization)
Information Lens Application supporting techniques from artificial intelligence, user interface design, and organizational science to help people share interesting and relevant information (Automation, Email)
Integrated system allowed to mark (tag with dog-ears) thumbnails on a list created by a web browsers' back button, and filter the list of web history and bookmarks, using dynamic queries (Searching/retrieving, Web bookmarks history)
IRIS A semantic desktop that uses present applications and integrates them in its own interface. (Information unification, Agents, Semantic desktop, Display unification)
Ivan A list of info items created by time proximity usage (when on screen together) (Information unification, Task support, Automation, Context)
Jimminy A wearable personal note-taking and note-archival application that automatically displays possibly relevant notes to user's context (Task prediction, Agents, Information scraps, Physical and digital, Context)
Jurknow A tool for taking and recording arbitrary information and searching through it with in context resentation (Information scraps, Tags)
Kimura A system that monitors users' actions in digital and physical space and presents them as activity montages (Task prediction, Physical and digital, Context)
LifeLines Visualization of personal history of bibliographic data (Time dimension)
Lifestreams A tool that unifies documents of different types and presents them in a time order as a stream of documents (Information unification, Adaptation, Archiving, Time dimension)
Lifetime Library An online aggregator of a could based personal information. (Information unification, Lifelogging, Web bookmarks history)
Linked File system A file system supporting user made and links (Files/Documents, Indexing, Multi-categorization, Tags)
List.it Note-keeping tool to help you manage the tons of little information bits ()
Logic File System Allows file metadata to be queried with a superset of the Boolean syntax (Files/Documents, Indexing, Multi-categorization, Tags)
Lotus Agenda A tool for free text information input and management without imposing a structure in advance (Task support, Automation, Information scraps, Database)
M-ReFind A context-based media retrieval system which supports users to contextually annotate interesting media files (in a file manager) and web pages (in a web browser) and re-find them by context. (Information unification, Tags, Context)
Magic Touch A system to track user's activities in the office with wearable computing (Physical and digital, Tags)
Magnet Search engine of semi-structured data as recipes, emails ... (Searching/retrieving, Tags)
Magnet mail A magnet metaphor for retrieving email (Searching/retrieving, Piles, Email, Spatial management, Zooming interface, Multi-visualization)
MailCat Email client that predicts possible filing folders for incoming email (Task prediction, Email)
MailStacker Mail client with piles representation of emails (Piles, Task support, Email, Spatial management)
Mailview Not a PIM tool but focused on visualizing various trends and patterns. (Email, Multi-visualization)
Maxims An email client that learns how to prioritize, delete and archive email messages on behalf of user (Task prediction, Automation, Agents, Email)
Memacs Adding links to personal information items (e.g. photos) to a personal agenda (calendar) by time proximity to enhance memory clues. (Information unification, Lifelogging, Time dimension, Context)
MEMOIRS A system that perceives documents as events and let's users retrieve them by remembering these events (Files/Documents, Archiving, Tags, Time dimension, Context)
MessyDesk (MessyBoard) A tool for spatially managing photos and text excerpts dragged and dropped from other applications (web browser, fiee manager, word processor ...) (Thumbnails, Information scraps, Granularity, Context)
Mona An email client showing threads of messages in a graph and a conversational context with it (Email, Context, Multi-visualization)
Mountain Email visualized as layered contacts (represented by a layer) in a mountain like form. Not aPIM tool. (Email, Multi-visualization)
MyLifeBits A system for logging user's activities, storage and visualization of all user's digital data (Lifelogging, Multi-visualization)
NEPOMUK Social semantic desktop (Information unification, Semantic desktop, Tags)
NIRVE A text, 2D and 3D presentation of information space (Searching/retrieving, Web bookmarks history, 3D environments, Multi-visualization)
OntoFM Mind map like interface to the file system based on personal ontology (Searching/retrieving, Semantic desktop, Files/Documents)
PACO (AVS, DomainView, KnowledgeSpace) Attribute/tags file management (Files/Documents, Multi-categorization, Tags)
Padprints A web history trees (Thumbnails, Web bookmarks history, Zooming interface)
PaperSpace A tool that helps locate printed copies of digital documents, find digital versions and move between digital and physical document versions (Physical and digital)
Personal Chronicling Tools (PCT) A set of tools for event monitoring, interactive annotation, browse/search, and edit/publish. (Searching/retrieving, Lifelogging, Tags)
Personal Information Dashboard Visualization of a web life (Information unification, Lifelogging, Multi-visualization)
Personal map A tool for visualizing social network based on email history and trying to understand groups of people as users grop them in their minds. (Email, Contacts, Multi-visualization)
Personal Project Planner (Universal Labeler) Planning a project in word like processor and simultaneously manage file hierarchy (Information unification, Task support, Information scraps, Granularity)
Personal Role Manager An interface for organizing documents based on roles instead of traditional hierarchies (Email, Multi-visualization)
PersonalStreams and PersonalStills Memory-augmentation software presenting user's activities on computers as shot video excerpts or still images (Lifelogging)
Phlat Search engine which merges search and browsing through a variety of associative and contextual cues with unification through tagging system (Information unification, Searching/retrieving, Indexing, Tags, Time dimension)
Pile metaphor A Pile metaphor on a desktop (Piles, Files/Documents, Spatial management)
Placeless documents/Presto System for spatially managing documents in virtual groups based on attributes (Information unification, Piles, Spatial management, Adaptation, Tags)
Post-History and Social network fragments Two email visualizations: social networks and temporal rhythms of interaction ()
Poyozo An application that downloads all one's personal information from the web to the local computer ()
Project InfoSpace A new paradigm to unified information management through bidirectional links, multiple categorization (Information unification, Semantic desktop, Multi-categorization)
Protofoil An electronic file cabinet to manage scanned physical documents in an digital environment (Files/Documents, Physical and digital)
Provenance file search A file search engine returning results based on documents' provenance (Information unification, Searching/retrieving, Context)
Provenance log (based of TaskTracer) Logging relationships or links between documents (renaming, copy pasting ...) ()
Quill Narrative-based interface for document retrieval. (Information unification, Searching/retrieving, Indexing)
Raton Laveur The email-centric, embedded PIM application, unifying calendar, contacts, to-dos, notes (as scanned documents) and email (Information unification, Searching/retrieving, Email)
Re:Agent Email agent that learns actions such as filtering, prioritizing, forwarding cmail to voicemail using automatic feature extraction, (Automation, Agents, Email)
remail Email client focused on marking, email context and selective display (Email)
Remembrance Agent A tool that suggests/presents documents relevant to the current user's context/task by examining his/her physical context (Task support, Agents, Files/Documents, Context)
Rooms Virtual desktops to help windows clutterness (Task support, Display unification, Spatial management)
Scalable Fabric A task management display unification zoomable tool (Task support, Display unification, Spatial management, Zooming interface)
Self-organized file cabinet Electronic file cabinet that enhances physical file cabinet helping user organize, update and find information (Automation, Files/Documents, Physical and digital, Multi-categorization)
Semantic file systems SFS is a file system providing indexing and associative access to information via virtual directories (Semantic desktop, Files/Documents, Indexing)
Semex (SEMantic EXplorer) Semex organizes and allows browsing data in a semantically meaningful way by providing a domain model consisting of classes and associations between the classes. (Information unification, Searching/retrieving, Automation, Indexing)
SIS - Stuff I've Seen Desktop search engine based on a unified index of all information types with rich contextual clues. (Information unification, Searching/retrieving, Indexing)
Small-World Email Networks A visualization tool showing social relationships (also through time) (Email, Multi-visualization)
Snip!t A web bookmarking tool that can bookmarks only snippets of web pages (Task prediction, Agents, Web bookmarks history, Granularity, Web based PIM)
Soylent An egocentric social map builder for Contact Map (Automation, Email, Contacts)
Sphere Juggler Manually assigned information items to tasks and automatically monitoring task switshes (Information unification, Task support, Context)
SwiftFile A MailCat for Lotus Notes (Automation, Agents, Email)
TagFS A filesystem with hierarchical organization and support of tags (Files/Documents, Tags)
tagstore Storing and retrieving files and folders by tags without having to remember locations ()
Tapestry User based and collaborative filtering of email through annotations (Automation, Email)
Task Gallery A 3D window manager to support managing of task related applications (Task support, Display unification, 3D environments)
Taskmaster Task management resources integrated in an email client (Task support, Email)
TaskTracer A system that monitors users tasks, predicts future steps, gives access to past tasks and restores task context (Information unification, Task support, Task prediction, Automation)
TaskView A task centric email client (Task support, Email)
TaskVista and ACTA A To-Do list of items created by dragging files and emails in it (Information unification, Task support)
The information visualizer Multiple visualization of a file hierarchy in 3D (Files/Documents, 3D environments, Multi-visualization)
Themail A timeline of used words in communication with individual contacts and how they change over time. (Searching/retrieving, Email, Multi-visualization)
Thread Arcs (part of remail) Email threads represented with arcs (Email, Multi-visualization)
Thread-based email client Email client organizing email by threads (Email, Context, Multi-visualization)
Threadmap A treemap approach to show email discussions and highlighting positions, etc. (Email, Multi-visualization)
Time2hide The tool that helps computer desktop stay uncluttered with hiding old and unused icons (fading effect) using general and per icon settings. (Automation, Files/Documents)
TimeScape/TimeMachine A tool that preserves past and allows creation of future states of the desktop to access information from the past and future. (Automation, Files/Documents, Spatial management, Archiving, Time dimension, Multi-visualization)
TimeStore Two dimensional time/sender matrix interface to email (Email, Time dimension)
TopicShop TopicShop helps users evaluate and organize collections of web sites. (Thumbnails, Piles, Task support, Web bookmarks history, Spatial management, Tags)
Trails Web history site as a tag cloud (Searching/retrieving, Web bookmarks history, Multi-visualization)
Tree Viewer (Botanical tree) A large hierarchy visualisation resembling botanical trees. (Files/Documents, 3D environments, Multi-visualization)
Treemap A visualization technique that can reveal disk usage by files (Files/Documents, Multi-visualization)
UMEA Task monitoring application which organizes several information types in user predefined projects (Information unification, Task support, Automation)
Versionset A system that keeps track of document's relations and versions. A cross tool system aware of copy/paste system calls to record provenance. (Information unification, Searching/retrieving, Spatial management)
VIBE Positioning documents on a spatial surface based on proximity to searched keywords (Searching/retrieving, Files/Documents, Spatial management, Indexing, Multi-visualization)
VisMe A visualization tool that allows users to explore personal information via integrated displayed relevant concepts in interconnected timelines. (Automation, Tags, Time dimension)
Visual snippets Extracting logo, title and image from a web page to manage snippets instead of thumbnails (Thumbnails, Web bookmarks history)
Visualizing (treemap) in time Analyze personal digital collections by focusing on showing their structure and properties (treemap) in time to make sense of and analyze personal digital collections. (Files/Documents, Time dimension, Multi-visualization)
Visualizing electronic mail Organization of email in a hierarchy by domain name, organization or sender's names (Automation, Email, Multi-categorization, Contacts)
Web spy A web reminder system, monitoring a specified web area. (Web bookmarks history, Tags)
WebBook, Web Forager WebBook, a 3D interactive book of HTML pages. Web Forager embeds the WebBook and other objects in a hierarchical 3D workspace. (Web bookmarks history, 3D environments)
WebTop A tool that provides a list of documents related by various types of relationships (directory-document, bookmarks, direct link (inward and outward), and similar content relationships) to a currently opened document (Information unification, Agents, Context)
WebView Web bookmarks and history visualization (Thumbnails, Web bookmarks history, Time dimension, Multi-visualization)
WinCuts Application that allows users to cut their application windows so only relevant information is shown (Task support, Display unification, Spatial management)
WorkspaceMirror A tool to mirror folders between three main hierarchies (file, email. bookmark) (Information unification)
XSearcher an associative memory (provenance similar to Provenance Log, Provenance file search) based desktop search system, which exploits associations by creating semantic links of personal desktop resources from explicit and implicit user activities. (Information unification, Searching/retrieving, Semantic desktop, Context)
YouPivot A cross tool search and visualisation tool that helps search by context (time proximity) and annotate important moments in a history log for all personal information. (Information unification, Web bookmarks history, Time dimension, Context)
Zest Conversation overview of a discussion thread. (Email, Multi-visualization)




This list was put together primarily for my research. Although the present list is not short, there are other tools which probably deserve to be listed here. Please let me know, if you know a research PIM prototype (even if it is of commercial nature now). I would appreciate every suggestion and critique about the list, tags and mistakes I made putting the list together.