“Keeping Found Things Found: The Study and Practice of Personal Information Management” by William Jones; Elsevier / Morgan Kaufmann

“Information overload” is a very real problem for many of us, particularly with information technology making it so easy to create, share, and distribute information. Much of this information is important and useful but the more information we have to handle the harder it becomes to keep it organised and retrievable the next time we need it. Personal Information Management or PIM is all about taking charge of this information so that we can manage it, rather than it managing us.

This book discusses how successful PIM isn’t just about good organisation and intentions, but strategies for finding information, active maintenance of organised information, and finding the right tools for making sense of the information are all necessary.  It provides an introduction to what information is, how it is personal, personal spaces of information, and the background to PIM. The book then provides discussion of the activities in personal information management for finding and keeping information including organising information collections and designing organisation schemes; maintenance activities such as backing up information an transforming data formats; maintaining privacy and the flow of information, measuring and evaluating , and making sense of the information that we have. Solutions for areas of difficulty in personal information are covered in the later chapters including search, email, mobile, web support, and other tools for helping with personal information management.

This a very thorough guide to the subject of Personal Information Management with well referenced details of research in the area. It provides an excellent introduction for anyone interested in finding out more about the subject, but can also be used as a practical guide to behaviours, told through example scenarios, stories, and tips, to help manage your own personal information more effectively.

This book should be of interest to anyone who is interested in PIM, or who are struggling to manage their information, or who are interested in developing Personal Information Management tools to help others organise and make sense of the their personal information.

For more information, see the O’Reilly product page.

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