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How do other people manage information? March 15, 2007

Posted by cjescribano in information management.
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Having had a good hard look at myself and my personal information habits, I decided to look outside myself to see what other people were doing.  First, I tried Googling “personal knowledge management” and “personal information management.”  Lo and behold the top-most rated site for both terms was Wikipedia. So, I went to see what I could learn there.

 Here are a couple of key points that made sense to me:

Personal information management (PIM) refers to both the practice and the study of the activities people perform in order to acquire, organize, maintain, retrieve and use information items such as documents (paper-based and digital), web pages and email messages for everyday use to complete tasks (work-related and not) and fulfill a person’s various roles (as parent, employee, friend, member of community, etc.). 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.

For many people, this ideal seems far away. There are a bewildering number of tools available for managing personal information. But these tools can become a part of the problem leading to “information fragmentation”. Different devices and applications often come with their separate ways of storing and organizing information.

 Wikipedia had precisely nailed my problem. I had too many choices, and they were not integrated.  It also cited some possible solutions, naming wikis and blogs as important elements of some organizational “bottom-up” personal knowledge management systems.  And there was a link to something called PersonalBrain. Now, what the heck is that?

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