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A personal information manager (often referred to as a PIM tool or, more simply, a PIM) is a type of application software that functions as a personal organizer. The acronym PIM is now, more commonly, used in reference to personal information management as a field of study. As an information management tool, a PIM tool's purpose is to facilitate the recording, tracking, and management of certain types of "personal information".
Personal information can include any of the following:
Some PIM software products are capable of synchronizing data with another PIM tool over a computer network, including mobile ad-hoc networks, or MANETs. This feature usually does not allow for continuous, concurrent data updates, but rather enables point-in-time updating between different computers, including desktop computers, laptop computers, and personal digital assistants.
The time management and communications functions of PIMs largely migrated from PDAs to smartphones, with RIM (Research In Motion, now BlackBerry), Apple and others all manufacturing smartphones that offer most if not all of the functions of earlier PDAs. The convergence of many communications technologies, including telephone, email, social media, news and journalism, and radio transmission, in a compact, ubiquitous device, along with the ability of these devices to create, transmit and publish voice, text, photos and video almost instantaneously is a development that many social commentators expect will revolutionize the way humans interact with each other, and with government and the media.