Saturday, November 18, 2006

Lightweight PIM approaches

I looked at the Gyronix website this morning. It is an add-on tool to MindManager that is a lightweight, quick way of "queuing up" stuff that can be easily added to MM later, without dealing with the overhead of moving around in the MM maps and software itself.

I sort of use Word and (increasingly) Gmail for this myself w/r/t Compendium -- I can capture ideas quickly and with no overhead, put them somewhere easily retrievable, even (with Gmail especially) add metadata like tags etc., and then later, at some point, add them to a Compendium database (if/when I get around to it).

I am actually finding myself using Gmail as my de facto day-to-day PIM these days, more and more. I ask myself why? Some reasons are
  • it's always there, doesn't require starting some other software; low/nonexistent cognitive or operational overhead
  • tremendous ease of searching, retrieval, etc.
  • doesn't rule out anything else (like later incorporation into Compendium, documents, blogs (as I am in fact doing right at this moment), etc.)
  • ease of metadata (tagging, 'starring', saving as 'draft', etc.)
  • ease of incorporation with the most frequently used collaboration software of all (for me) -- email
  • I can just throw stuff in without worrying about how to shape it, fit it in to what is already there, but I know I can get at it very quickly, pick things up where I left off --i.e. it is lightweight

I don't say the above because I am advocating for using Gmail in this way, rather I am just wondering why it is that I am doing that more and more. For me personally, Compendium is becoming more an authoring tool I use to craft particular kinds of representations, interventions, and/or repositories (maybe it was always that for me); something about it doesn't quite work (for me) as a day-to-day PIM.

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