Introduction. This paper considers the practices of information creation in personal information management by studying the work of keeping track in everyday life, e.g., creating lists and calendars.
Method. We interviewed ten participants from two Canadian provinces about how they keep track and we observed and photographed the physical spaces and the documents they created and used. Our data set consists of fourteen hours of interviews, 330 photographs and 500 pages of interview transcripts.
Analysis. We used the qualitative technique of constant comparison within an abductive framework of relational and discourse analysis to study a) how the domestic work of keeping track hooks into the requirements of organizations such as schools and workplaces, and b) how talk about keeping track relates to participants' presentations of themselves as good workers, parents, citizens, etc.
Results. The work of keeping track functions in terms of Dorothy Smith's concept of the ideological code. A managerial imperative pervades this work, even in domestic contexts, and participants made use of workplace genres and conventions.
Conclusions. Even in households, the work of keeping track is embedded within organizational contexts. Managerialism is produced and reproduced as an ideological code that shapes participants' information creation and their talk about it.