[Abrams, 1997] Abrams, D. (1997). Human factors of personal web information spaces. Technical report, Knowledge Media Design Institute Technical Report 1, University of Toronto.
“Human factors of personal web information spaces” is a detailed
statistical study of how people use bookmarks, including observations
on filing and navigation patterns.
Many of the issues raised in the paper have been addressed by recent
innovations in bookmarking. For example, browser-based bookmarks allow
you to automatically check if pages have changed or disappeared. The
flat tag-based organization of services such as http://del.icio.us
reduce much of the cognitive load of organizing projects.
http://del.icio.us also offers a chronological view of bookmarks.
This paper made me think about organizational strategies for
categorized tasks. Tasks in Planner and other PIMs that allow you to
directly hyperlink to resources (Microsoft Entourage, Microsoft
Outlook) act as bookmarks, creating a personal information space
annotated by the things you need to do.
Task- and schedule-related personal information suffers from many of
the same problems as the World Wide Web. Information overload comes in
the form of e-mail about tasks and appointments. The inbox is polluted
by irrelevant messages. Task- and schedule-related information tends
to be less chaotic than the Web because the former is personal by
nature, but it still lacks aggregate structure and a global view.
This paper makes me want to look into the organizational strategies of
PIM users. For example, how do people categorize their tasks?
Creation-time filing or sporadic filing? How do they choose
categories? How do they deal with long task lists? Do they really
reorder tasks for priorities, or just scan through them and pick
items? Can I characterize PIM users by scale, like the way Abrams
describes light to heavy bookmark users, citing characteristic