Personal Information Management (PIM) resources

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One of the reasons why this page has come to life is to provide a central resource to PIM research, theory and sources. A few such resources exist but they are either old, exist in a non-editable version or are not so resourceful. Some text from these resources is available on these pages as well (always accordingly cited). The main reason for copying the text here is that I came across many potentially interesting links but unfortunately these sites are not available anymore.

Probably the main reason for making this site available as a wiki is to let anyone edit it. Everyone who is interested in contributing/editing/administrating this site is welcomed to do so. Due to vandalism, please ask for an account by email matjaz.kljun – add

Personal information Management

PIM is an area of research and a practice of the activities like handling, storing, classifying, organizing, sharing, protecting, archiving information for various purposes.

In practice such purposes can be: saving a web bookmark to read that page later, write a post-it note for a wife and put it on a fridge, tidy up a desk and file away documents which will not be needed in the near future, call a client to make an appointment and write the note in a calendar, clean up cluttered email inbox, frame a family photo and hang it on the office wall for decoration and impression management, create a folder for storing project files, etc. So everyone manages information to support various needs and tasks.

PIM as an area of research tries to understand and interpret these activities and provide better solutions. This area of research is old as are personal computers, but is new as well as in last years more researchers became involved and a lot of knowledge has flourished. There are several PIM definitions and a few theoretical PIM frameworks. PIM also relates to several other disciplines but the main distinction between PIM and other disciplines is that its focus is on understanding interactions between people, their information and technologies involved in managing this information.

Personal information manager

Most people's understanding of a PIM application is an email client integrated with calendar and address book. But PIM applications are more than just an email client.

Personal Information Manager is every tool used to manage personal information. Three most used PIM tools or applications are certainly: a file browser, an email client and a web bookmarks manager. There are also other PIM applications like: calendar, address book, RSS client, to-do notes, instant messenger stored conversation, voicemail, project managers, photo/music/video managers, etc. In a broader sense an office file cabinet, paper clips, etc. are PIM tools as well. More and more PIM tools are now available online as well such us: blogs, wikis, social networks, forums and such.

PIM tools have always been a challenge to the HCI and PIM researchers and several research prototypes for personal computers emerged in the last three decades. Today a focus of research has become more interested in online PIM tools as well.

Other resources about PIM

A good starting point to become familiar with Personal Information Management as an area of study is Wikipedia

Other resources

Other links are available here.

PIM workshops

PIM Workshops are intended to bring PIM researchers together. Workshops are held approximately every 18 months as a part of a bigger conference.

List of past PIM workshops: