A Review of Organizational Structures of Personal Information Management


  • J Indratmo University of Saskatchewan
  • Julita Vassileva University of Saskatchewan


Personal information management (PIM) covers a large area of research fragmented into separate sub-areas such as file management, web bookmark organization, and email management. Consequently, it is hard to obtain a unified view of the various approaches to PIM developed in these different sub-areas. In this article, we synthesize and classify existing research on PIM based on the approach used to organize information items. We classify the organizational structures into five categories: hierarchical, flat, linear, spatial, and network. We discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each structure along with examples showing how to deal with the weaknesses. Finally, we provide design recommendations and a framework for researchers to experiment with various ideas for developing novel PIM tools.

Author Biographies

J Indratmo, University of Saskatchewan

Ph.D. candidate, Department of Computer Science, University of Saskatchewan

Julita Vassileva, University of Saskatchewan

Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Saskatchewan