ASIS&T 2006 START Conference Manager    

Planning Personal Projects and Organizing Personal Information

William Jones, Harry Bruce, Austin Foxley, Charles Munat

ASIS&T Annual Meeting - 2006 (ASIS&T 2006)
Austin, Texas, November 3-9, 2006


In a given week, an active person may be working on, or at least thinking about, several different projects. Some are work-related (“prepare annual report”); others are not (“plan family ski vacation”). Projects have duration (several days to several months) and a structure that includes basic tasks (“book plane tickets”) and subprojects (“decide on hotel”). This article describes exploratory research that looks at the kinds of projects people manage in their daily lives, the problems they encounter and the kinds of support people need to manage better. The personal project is advanced as a tractable unit of analysis for the study of personal information management (PIM): Over time, a personal project often involves several forms of information (paper documents, digital documents, email, web pages, handwritten notes, etc.) and several different supporting applications. In the context of a project, people face problems of information fragmentation that are more widely experienced in their practice of PIM. The article also describes current work on a Project Planner prototype that works as an extension to the file manager to provide people with rich-text overlays to their information (folders, files and also email, web pages, notes). The Planner explores an exciting possibility that an effective organization of project-related information can emerge as a natural by-product of efforts to plan and structure the project.

START Conference Manager (V2.52.6)