Gaps between actual and ideal personal information management behavior

Lilach Alon*, Rafi Nachmias

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Personal information management (PIM) on digital platforms requires multiple practices of saving, organizing and retrieving information. This exploratory study offers a new perspective on PIM practices and focuses on the gaps between their actual and ideal use. Data were collected from 465 participants, 114 males and 351 females, who filled in a questionnaire that we developed and validated for 25 PIM practices. Findings showed significant gaps between actual and ideal usage for 22 out of 25 practices. These gaps were mostly positive, revealing that participants wished to use more practices than they actually did and were not satisfied with their PIM behavior. They were larger for women, and we also found age differences. Larger gaps could be associated with negative feelings and a sense of low efficacy in managing personal information. We offer various explanations of the gaps and suggest implications for consumer training and platform design.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106292
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
StatePublished - Jun 2020


FundersFunder number
Edmond de Rothschild Foundation


    • Actual/ideal behavior
    • PIM behavior
    • PIM practices
    • PIM typology
    • Personal information management


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