Templating in Personal Information Management; A Graph-Based Object-Oriented Model

Templating in Personal Information Management: A Graph-Based Object-Oriented Model


Meshaal Al-Saffar


As personal digital information (files, folders, web links, digital books … etc) increase, it becomes hard for the individual to keep track of them when organizing and relating them to one another from the person’s point of view. Many attempts cannot be underestimated in the domain of personal information management (PIM) using ontological-based models and many other models such as file systems, tagging, graphs and mind mapping. However, these models are designed to address specific information management problems and thus limiting the users’ flexibility to organize their information freely. Due to the architectural and functional limitations of the existing models, these models do not provide explicit interactive templating capabilities.

To address the problem of interactive templating in personal information management, I devised a new model that supports templating based on the graph model architecture. In addition to designing the model, I also developed a proof-of-concept software prototype to refine the model and to demonstrate the model’s interactive templating capability.

The prototype implements three test Templates (Text, Web Link, and Timestamp). The model has distinctive characteristics and is capable of implementing more templates that are complex. As a future opportunity, software engineers may use this model to build a standalone information management tool. The model’s human interactivity regarding the ability for end-users, not the template developers, to define the templates is also a possible area for future research.