[Kde-pim] A new class of "Personal Information Manager"

Janne Ojaniemi janne.ojaniemi at gmail.com
Fri Nov 28 14:50:15 GMT 2008

AKA, "The Personal Wikipedia".

This is part 2 of my series of posts, first being the post about Korganizer.
The topic of this post is somewhat different, since there are no tangible
mockups and the like, but rather ideas and suggestions. But the ideas are
all related to a whole new app that currently does not exist in KDE, its and
pieces of this app does exist in other apps.

"PIM" stands for "Personal Information Manager". But I think that there's
lots of "personal information" that is not covered by current PIMs. What is
missing is a journal. Yes, Kontact has a journal, but it's not really what
I'm looking for. To give you an idea what I'm looking for, I'll give you
some links:

Journler: http://journler.com/
Bento: http://www.filemaker.com/products/bento/overview.html
Yojimbo: http://www.barebones.com/products/Yojimbo/
MacJournal: http://www.marinersoftware.com/sitepage.php?page=85

All is not lost for free software, since there are some apps that are
somewhat similar to what I'm looking for:

Zim: http://zim-wiki.org/index.html
BasKet: http://basket.kde.org/

OK, we now have one personal database (Bento), few journaling apps
(Journler, MacJournal, Yojimbo), one desktop-wiki (Zim) and a
data-gathering-app (BasKet). I'm looking for something that combines the
functionality of all of that. Sounds confusing? Yeah, I know....

The app I have in my mind is a journaling-app. It's a place for the user to
keep his journal. It could also contain video, images and sounds. It could
basically be used to write the story of the users life, from day-to-day.

The contents in the journal could be cross-referenced with each other (like
in a database). When you mention someone in your journal, the app could tell
you other things and events where that person is mentioned. It could also
refer to emails and IM-conversations you have had with that person. You
could point directly to other entries in your journal, you could tag your
entries. If you want to, you could go back in your life and see all the
things that have happened to you (assuming that you actually keep a

BasKet seems suitable at first glance, but it seems to me that it's geared
more towards notes and dataclips, as opposed to long-term journaling.

Think of this app as Wikipedia, but instead of being about everything on
this planet, it would be about your life. And it would me more
timeline-driven than context-driven (but it doesn't have to be, of course
you could browse the journal by content and context as well).  Data-entry
would be very simple and straightforward, encouraging the user to actually
keep a journal. The app could also provide a plasmoid for quick dataentry.
Of course all of this would tie deeply to Akonadi and Nepomuk.

Tagging and linking would be seamless. When user types an entry, he could
make any word in the entry a clickable link. For example, if the user writes
about "buying a car", he could make the word "car" a link, and clicking on
it would show other entries that are related to cars. Of course there could
be direct links to other specific entries as well.

The app would also tie in with other apps. Suppose that you are writing an
email to a friend. When Kmail noticed who the recipient of the email is, it
could fetch relevant articles from your journal. It could even fetch
relevant data based on the contents of the email.

Yes, I know that Kontact already has Journal-app. But it's not really
suitable. It seems to be more geared towards keeping minutes of a meeting or
something like that, instead of being about personal Wikipedia for your

Am I making any sense here, or am I talking crazy? If you feel that the
scope of this post doesn't really belong here (although it is about "PIM"),
let me know :).
KDE PIM mailing list kde-pim at kde.org
KDE PIM home page at http://pim.kde.org/

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