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What is PIM?

Personal Information Management considers the actions of the individual in "finding, keeping, organizing, and maintaining information" as well as "managing [its] privacy and flow." (Jones 2008) This field has roots in multiple disciplines – library and information science, human-computer interaction, database management, artificial intelligence, knowledge management, information retrieval, and cognitive psychology. Perhaps the most salient definition of PIM has been supplied by William Jones and Jaime Teevan in their book entitled Personal Information Management. In it, they state that "PIM is both the practice and the study of the activities people perform to acquire, organize, maintain, retrieve, use, and control the distribution of 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 to fulfill a person's various roles (as parent, employee, friend, member of community, etc.)." (Jones and Teevan 2007)

About This Site

This site is the result of an independent study project undertaken at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It is an attempt to collocate resources that may be helpful for the beginning student of Personal Information Management. In doing so, it does not attempt to be comprehensive in its scope. It, instead, attempts to provide a foundation from which further learning might be realized. For this reason, resources intended for both the academic and corporate sectors have been included in the library.

Despite difficulties associated with an enormous corpus of literature pertaining to this nascent field, attempts have been made to identify core readings. These readings can be defined as those with which a student who pursues further studies in PIM should exhibit familiarity. They represent those publications that are frequently cited in published works or course syllabi, gathered and confirmed by e-mail correspondence with notable members of the PIM community.

This process, which has proven more arduous than initially anticipated, would not have been possible without the help of a group of individuals who provided input and assistance throughout. I would like to express deep thanks to those individuals who provided their assistance: Dr. Manuel Perez-Quinones of Virginia Tech University, Dr. Robert Capra of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Dr. Jaime Teevan of Microsoft Research, Dr. Raymond Yee of Berkeley, and finally, Hong Zhang of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Finally, I would like to thank my advisor for this project, Dr. Kathryn La Barre. In providing a guiding force and overseeing this project to completion, she ensured that a focused, pertinent end product was created. I hope that other students will utilize this resource in pursuing future studies in PIM.