Personal Information Management

Authored by: William Jones , Jesse David Dinneen , Robert Capra , Anne R. Diekema , Manuel A. Pérez-Quiñones

Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, Fourth Edition

Print publication date:  November  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781466552593
eBook ISBN: 9781315116143
Adobe ISBN:


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Personal information management (PIM) refers to the practice and the study of the activities a person performs in order to acquire or create, store, organize, maintain, retrieve, use, and distribute information in each of its many forms (paper and digital, in e-mails, files, web pages, text messages, tweets, posts, etc.) as needed to meet life’s many goals (everyday and long term, work related and not) and to fulfill life’s many roles and responsibilities (as parent, spouse, friend, employee, member of community, etc.). PIM activities are an effort to establish, use, and maintain a mapping between information and need. Activities of finding (and refinding) move from a current need toward information, while activities of keeping move from encountered information toward anticipated need. Meta-level activities such as maintaining, organizing, and managing the flow of information focus on the mapping itself. Tools and techniques of PIM can promote information integration with benefits for each kind of PIM activity and across the life cycle of personal information. Understanding how best to accomplish this integration without inadvertently creating problems along the way is a key challenge of PIM.

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