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Personal Information Management (PIM) -- Its History and Background

By Yogi B, December 7, 2013

Personal information management, also known as personal knowledge management refers to the field of management where we study the behavior of people in respect to maintaining, using or storing their personal information. The simple meaning of personal information management is managing your personal data in such an organized way that you can easily and instantly retrieve it whenever needed.

Due to increasing dependency on the information technology, people try to save their personal information regarding their official or personal documents, web pages or supporting items to complete their daily responsibilities and time management, etc in a very organized way. This information could be managed on any software or could be stored on the pages of any diary whenever needed.

Also commonly referred with the abbreviation of “PIM”, the main idea of PIM is that information should be managed in such a disciplined and arranged form that easy and speedy access could be gained to it whenever needed. Care must be taken that information managed should be completely verified and error-free in order to avoid any sort of complication while using that information.


Managing the personal information has been a daily task for a common human being since Stone Age. Humans at that time used to manage their “tasks to do list” in their minds. It is in the nature of a common human being to organize plans for his future. Whether that future is a near-future like tomorrow or far-away-future like 20 years later, humans always make plans as to how they are going to lead their lives. As the technology advanced, human lives became easier and more complicated at the same time. Managing your time became an extremely difficult thing but using the personal information management system made it much easier. Becoming famous in 1980s, PIM changed the lives of many people and gained the status of basic necessity in the lives of millions of people. Different sort of workshops were held all around the world that trained people on the importance of PIM and how to get friendly with it. Also, commonly known as personal knowledge management, many people have understood that there are various tools through which they can benefit from this system.

Tools to manage personal information:

There are different sort of tools through which personal information can be managed in a very easy way. Personal information management tools basically are the software programs that help you manage your information in a very proper manner, also allowing you to access it within seconds whenever required.

Categories of personal information:

Following categories are included in the field of personal information:

Importance of PIM:

The importance of the study of personal information management is to devise new and advanced tools through which human beings can manage their personal information much easily and accurately. This study is being conducted worldwide in various universities and workshops.

Latest use of PIM:

Personal information management has lately become a part of social networking sites. Many different social networking sites are gaining fame and becoming part of the lives of millions of the internet users around the world. Among these networks, some of the famous ones like twitter or facebook play the role of showing off your daily information for you. These sites also work as birthday or anniversary reminders or also play the role of managing your photo and video albums. Plus you can also access web pages that would help you in your official or personal tasks through these networks.

Greatest benefit of PIM:

According to many experts, the greatest benefit of PIM is known to be the easy and proper management of time. PIM has trained many of the individuals to manage their times according to their tasks. With the help of organizers or task planners, an individual can easily plan his tasks of coming day according to their priorities. If any task is to be done urgently then that task should be listed on the top of the list, while less urgent tasks could be listed on lower rankings according to their urgency. Similarly, if a person is planning his “to do” list for coming day, he should include all the important information regarding the upcoming tasks that he has to perform the very next day. In this way, instead of remembering the details of the task, he could emphasize on the completion of that task in as little time possible.

Relation of cognitive psychology and PIM:

Cognitive psychology basically is the study of human beings learning, remembering certain information and then using that information for problem solving and decision making. PIM plays a greater role in the study of cognitive psychology, as it is the study of PIM in which humans save, store and utilize their personal information in order to fulfill their daily tasks. The study of cognitive psychology covers a wide aspect of artificial intelligence in relation to PIM.

Interaction of humans with computers due to PIM:

As the tools of PIM are in the form of software and are available only on computers, laptops or digital diaries. The study of PIM shows that human interaction with these machines is increasing day by day due to his high level of dependency on PIM.


Free Online Encyclopedia.

Noteworthy Productivity Tools for Personal Knowledge Management Authored by Axford, Mary; Renfro, Crystal.

Internet-Based Personal Management (for Non-Techies) Authored by Branzburg, Jeffrey.

Personal Knowledge Management: Working and Learning Authored by Jarche, Harold.

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