Personal Information Management in Practice

 Personal Information Management (PIM) in Practice:

Learning from NAPO Professionals


Table of Contents


Project Dates

This project began in Spring 2016 and concluded in June 2018 with a NAPO member webinar and publication of the project research paper.

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Research Partner

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Project Leads

Dr. William Jones, Ph.D is a Research Associate Professor Emeritus in the Information School at the University of Washington where he works on the challenges of “Keeping Found Things Found” – most especially as this relates to the information people need to live their lives to their fullest.

He has published in the areas of personal information management (PIM), human-computer interaction, information retrieval (search), and human cognition/memory. He holds 5 patents relating to search and PIM (2 more pending).

William Jones wrote the book "Keeping Found Things Found: The Study and Practice of Personal Information Management" and, more recently, the three-part series, "The Future of Personal Information: Part 1: Our Information, Always & Forever;" "Part 2: Transforming Technologies to Manage Our Information;" and "Part 3: Building a Better World with Our Information."

Dr. Jones’s current special area of research is “Information, Knowledge and Successful Aging.” How can people of a pivotal age (later 50’s, 60’s and early 70’s) manage their information for optimal health, wealth, living and legacy?


Lori Vande Krol is a Productivity Consultant and owner of Life Made Simple, LLC, based in Des Moines, Iowa. As a national speaker and productivity expert, Lori helps individuals and businesses better manage their time, space and information. Specialties include research and implementation of online productivity systems for collaboration and management of electronic files, client information, business workflows, tasks, and projects. In addition, Lori is passionate about helping her clients achieve their goals and find balance in their lives, allowing more time for what matters most.

Lori has appeared in Bloomberg Business, NAPO News, The Des Moines Register and Des Moines Living Magazine; and on,, WHOtv, Des Moines Amplified and Blog Talk Radio.

Lori is a Golden Circle member of NAPO, serving on its Board of Directors from 2015-2018. She has also served as the Statistics Database Committee Chair, helped form the Information and Research Committee, and served on the Productivity Task Force, Member Information Project Task Force, and Leadership Development Committee.

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The purpose of this project was to promote the exchange of ideas leading to practical tips, guidelines and tools that might help us to get a “running start” when working with our clients in the area of personal information management. NAPO members were involved in the various stages of the project to provide experience and expertise in the practical aspects of personal information management (PIM).

If your organization is involved in market research, we'd love to brainstorm opportunities like this within NAPO. Please complete the NAPO Research Partner form by  clicking here.

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Research Methodology

The process we followed involved an adaptation of the Delphi Method, a widely used process for achieving consensus.  Rounds of the Delphi Method included:

  1. Via an online form, we asked: What forms of information are people concerned about managing? What are the notable methods that people use?
  2. Involved an open, online discussion in two areas: (A.) Approaches for organizing and otherwise managing personal information for the longer-term, and (B.) General miscellaneous techniques and guidelines to consider when organizing and otherwise managing personal information.
  3. Focus was specifically on an extensive table for use in initial inventory and assessment, with rows representing different forms or kinds of information and columns representing important considerations.

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1. NAPO Personal Information Management (PIM) Project Executive Summary

The remaining products are available to NAPO members only in NAPO University.  See below (How to Obtain Project Results) to access:

2. Full PIM Research Paper

3. Guidelines for PIM

4. Planning for PIM Reference Sheet

5. Planning for PIM Inventory & Assessment - Home and Family

6. Planning for PIM Inventory & Assessment - Work

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How to Obtain Project Results

All downloads are available through NAPO University. Please use the following link to access the documents along with the free member webinar: Personal Information Management in Practice Webinar and Downloads

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For More Information

Lori Vande Krol

Life Made Simple, LLC


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