Two phase study investigating the cross-tool and ongoing nature of PIM.
Previous research can be identified in (1) empirical studies and (2)
Phase 1: profiling PIM practices
-semi-structured interviews with 31 users, centered on guided tours of their
file, email and bookmark.
They analyzed the folder structure to investigate:
the concepts used to name folders
the level of folder overlap
And they compared participant's strategies between the three collections.
Phase 2: Longitudinal tracking of PIM practice
8 participants. They tracked the evolution of 3 collections. Snapshots of the
folder structure, including counts of items inside folders. Snapshot taken every
two weeks for three months and after five months.
During phase two the participant were also asked to try the software
Workspace Mirror: when the user creates a folder, the software asks to create
equivalent folders in emails and bookmarks.
acquisition varied among tools: file
collection highly prized, email valued less then files but sentimental or
professional value. Bookmarks valued less.
File management: they classified people in three groups: Total filers
(file majority of items on creation), extensive filers (file
extensively but leave many items unfilled) and occasional filers (file
occasionally, leave most items unfiled, have few folders.) The majority of the
people fell in Total filers.
Email management: Frequent filers (file or delete most incoming
messages), extensive filers (try to file many messages every day),
partial filers (file only a few messages a day) and no filers (do
not file any message). The majority of the people fell in extensive
Bookmark: extensive filers (file majority of items on creation),
partial filers (file sporadically) and no filers. The subjects
equally divided in the two groups.
Folder structure: they investigated the "concept" of folders across the
three media. And also of overlap.
Maintenance: little time devoted to it.
Retrieval: strong preference for browsing.
Cross tool profiling: classify 16 behaviors, according to the strategies
they used in the three collections.
Growth of collections: all three collections grow for all 8 participants:
file and emails grown more.
Changes in PIM strategies: 6 did not change between the two phases. 2
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS
Many participamt employed multiple PIM strategies within specific
Should files, mail and bookmark be integrated? Maybe files and emails, even
if they overlap but they also have different folders unique to the collections.
They didn't noticed any substantial change in organization in the two phases.
Disclaimer: I wrote these summaries to help me remember the
content and the main ideas of the paper. Since I am interested in certain
aspects, I may leave out others.