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Paperback Keeping Found Things Found: The Study and Practice of Personal Information Management Book

ISBN: 0123708664

ISBN13: 9780123708663

Keeping Found Things Found: The Study and Practice of Personal Information Management

Keeping Found Things Found: The Study and Practice of Personal Information Management is the first comprehensive book on new 'favorite child' of R&D at Microsoft and elsewhere, personal information management (PIM). It provides a comprehensive overview of PIM as both a study and a practice of the activities people do, and need to be doing, so that information can work for them in their daily lives. It explores what good and better PIM looks like,...

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Customer Reviews

5 ratings

excellent foundation for learning about a new field

As someone who thinks a lot about strategies for dealing with personal information -- and someone who helps design computational tools to do so -- I found this book to be a wonderful map of the subject. It's a book that I had been looking for a long time. I will be using it as a textbook in my summer course on personal information management. I'm looking forward to sharing it with my students.

Ahh now I get it

I'm a college dropout(Information Studies), now working in IT as a Systems Admin at a fair sized hotel. When I left college to pursue other at that time more interesting things. I couldn't really see the big picture in why we had to learn what they wanted us to. Now I do, thanks to this book. I keep feeling inspired about the management of my information. Both as PIM in my own department, but mostly also for my users. I can suddenly see some meaning in the way they manage their PIM. I as the IT department have to facilitate their professional PIM. I have to give them the tools to make sure they don't lose stuff, but also so they don't drown in information. Suddenly I have a much more nuanced view of my job. Being the geek who loves his tech stuff, can do everything to keep servers and computer running, is not really enough. I have to know my place in the business of managing information and information flow in the company. This book could teach many programmers, much on how they can make their products more usable to the users. Make them understand some of how people look at the information being processed, stored, shared, pushed by the programs they write. We have to facilitate more styles of PIM than just our own, not everyone works like we do. I have to stop myself, I just love this book and the ideas it keeps inspiring to pop up in my head. There is so much for so many people in this book..

PIM for you and me

Dr. Jones does an excellent job in collecting and identifying the key components of what makes up the world of personal information and what we can do to live in the "flow" of that information in our everyday lives. The generous amount of information in the initial chapters was useful in laying the groundwork for identifying information that is personal to me. As the reading went on, the text proved to be thought provoking and I occasionally paused to ponder how a particular viewpoint applies to my own world. There were times where Jones uses a vivid image to convey the topic at hand with something we can instantly relate to (i.e an "I Love Lucy" TV episode was used to show how information overload can produce chaos). His discussion on managing the "flow" of information gives us all a thought model with which to judge and compare how we handle the inbound and outbound amount of traffic in our everyday lives. Instead of trying to control the information itself, Jones suggests managing the channel through which the information travels. Dr. Jones focuses on the journey that we all must take in finding a way to deal with the complexities of managing our own information. From finding and re-finding information, to developing new PIM tools and solutions, to sometimes changing the perception of how we navigate our information today, Jones does a great job. The book is a guide to potential PIM destinations that we can all take and to what treasures and pitfalls potentially await us in the discovery process. I contributed a side bar for this book and was very interested in finally reading the topic as a whole to obtain a full perspective on the topic of PIM. Jones did not disappoint and I take away numerous useful insights into how I can handle managing my own flow of personal information.

A metadata for life

I can use this book as metadata for my everyday interaction with information. By this, I mean that in this book, William Jones has successfully named and described the basic concepts and activities of an area in my life that I would normally "let go and flow," which can mean letting information overload and fragmentation live my life. How many of us would stop to deconstruct the elements involved when we are searching for that article that we came across six months ago and which could be useful now or for the contact details of a previous supervisor who you need to ask recommendation from? By laying out the multi-step and multi-faceted nature of the basic PIM activities of finding and keeping, Dr. Jones gives us some goal posts by which to manage, measure and make sense of information in our playing field. This is no small achievement for a book on personal information management. We have a tendency to reduce the topic of PIM to specific organizing technologies or to specific how-tos which makes it difficult to go a step higher and recognize the enduring needs and values that we are trying to seek and satisfy as we wade through our loads of information. In this book, Dr. Jones shares with us his own years of practice and study of PIM in a writing style that is succinct and engaging. He also connects us to the wisdom of other people through well-placed quotations and helps us with our imagination through simple, elegant line drawings. I was involved in checking the references for this book which gave me the privilege of reading Dr. Jones' research papers on PIM earlier than most readers. It is a pleasure to see the full book become a reality knowing that it will be useful to anyone who cares about the role of information in their lives. -- Glenda Claborne, a librarian and business analyst.

Finally, a bright light in the darkness of information overload

As someone who lives in fear of losing everything on my computer, this book and its eye opening discussions on personal information management (PIM) left me empowered to take more control over my own personal information for ease of future retrieval and storage, but also to control who else will have access to it. The book gave me a new perspective on PIM and on the information that(constantly) flows into and out of my life. My information - email, digital docs, photos, music, bookmarks, whatever - has a life of its own and a life cycle. Information comes in. Sometimes it's useful. Sometimes it's not. Sometimes (too often!) it just gets in the way. But I never really thought of my information as something to be actively managed. And not just to avoid bad things like identity theft or data loss. But also for good things like working smarter and in ways that better leverage my time. Many people already have a PIM system or tool that works for them and their specific needs, but one of the real assets of this book is in helping you deconstruct the constant flow of information even before you start making determinations of what info to keep, what to chuck, who can have access to it, and where it should permanently reside. Jones describes some really useful tools and practices to help become savvier about what information comes at you and what information you send back out and all with a focus on helping you manage your time, energy, and personal information better and smarter. I especially liked the books metaphors. I certainly feel as if sometimes I'm in a "sea" of personal information. How much of this I can control remains to be seen. I also liked the idea that PIM is about "weaving together" my personal information or building a structure in which the various kinds of information can be integrated into a coherent whole. I went into reading this book with many questions about my own PIM tactics and techniques and the book certainly did a great job of answering them through anecdotes, scenarios, current processes, and the "what next" sections that take the extra step to show what is up and coming in the future to address my problems and concerns. This book is written to speak to me, as well as a much more seasoned manager of information. You get the full spectrum of PIM, from the history and theoretical background to the current gadgets and fun, new tools that are changing the face of PIM. I would have never imagined that one day I might be wearing jewelry that was really a complete telecommunications system or that all my daily transactions, communications, scheduling, and information keeping could be done on a single, handheld computer or PDA. It is that full spectrum, from past to present to future, that makes this book both jam-packed full of pertinent and useful information while also being fun and exciting to read.
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