Haraty, M., Tam, D., Haddad, S., McGrenere, J. and Tang, C., "Individual Differences in Personal Task Management: A Field Study in an Academic Setting." In Proceedings of the Graphics Interface (GI) 2012, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, May 28-30.
A plethora of electronic personal task management (e-PTM) tools have been designed to help individuals manage their tasks. There is a lack of evidence, however, on the extent to which these tools actually help. In addition, previous research has reported that ePTM tools have low adoption rates. To understand the reasons for such poor adoption and to gain insight into individual differences in PTM, we conducted a focus group with 7 participants followed by a field study with 12 participants, both in an academic setting. This paper describes different behaviors involved in managing everyday tasks. Based on the similarities and differences in individuals’ PTM behaviors, we identify three types of users: adopters, make-doers, and do-it-yourselfers. Grounded in our findings, we offer design guidelines for personalized PTM tools, which can serve the different types of users and their behaviors.