PIM Over the Years

I recently refreshed my PIM (Personal Information Management) setup, and having just finished re-reading my friend Dan Roam’s book on visual thinking (The Back of the Napkin), felt compelled to sketch out a little table:

A long time ago A few years ago Now
Mail Snail mail (Paper) Microsoft Outlook Gmail
Contacts Address Book (Paper) Palm Desktop Google Contacts
Calendar Agenda (Paper) Palm Desktop Google Calendar
Tasks Paper Palm Desktop Remember the Milk
Notes Paper Palm Desktop Evernote

I noticed a few interesting trends that mirror the overall evolution in how computing has affected the way we work and live:

Data Storage Paper > Single Device > Multi-Platform/Cloud
Sync Method Manual > Automatic
Mode Analog/Offline > Digital/Online

One platform still can’t do everything. Despite Google’s dominance and the advantages of a well-integrated set of services – specific competing platforms can still be better at certain niches.