Archiving 2012

With the start of every year and the preparation of inserts comes the archiving of the past year.  Last January, I explained how I archive my old inserts.  In February, I explained why I archive my old inserts.  In August, I showed how I prep for the upcoming year once I receive the inserts.  So now the time comes to discuss archiving my 2012 inserts.

My system isn’t all that different from what it was.  However, I have made one small change—I swapped out my archival box.  I have received a lot of positive feedback on the old box, people asking where I got it and what the dimensions are.  Truthfully, I don’t know.  It came as one of many in a set that was given to me as a gift (picture me at my wedding shower, opening a large box to reveal a smaller box, which revealed a smaller box, and so on and so on).  If I had to guess, I’d say it came from The Container Store, something very similar to this.  For the purpose of archiving my past inserts, I simply chose the box that best fit the size I was looking for.

But let’s start at the beginning. 

Since I often find myself needing random information from the previous year, I tend to keep those inserts in my personal black Guildford.

For 2012, I bought monthly, weekly, and daily inserts.  I used to use the weekly inserts, but when I moved to the dailies, I no longer needed the weeklies.  I was afraid I’d want them half-way through the year, so I bought both for 2012.  After putting in birthdays and anniversaries, I never used the weeklies, not once, so this year, I bought only the dailies.  So each section gets a Post-it tab so that I can easily flip to whatever layout I need (monthly for quick glances, daily for more detailed information).

Since I use a compact binder for my daily planner, I can only keep two months worth of daily inserts in there.  The rest of the year’s daily sheets stay in my personal ochre Malden until I need them—when the upcoming month goes into the compact, the previous month goes back into the Malden with its corresponding monthly tab.

The previous years’ inserts stay in my archival box. 

While visiting family right after Christmas, I went to the Container Store specifically looking for something slightly different to what I already have for archiving past years. 

I found a box made for keeping 4 x 6 inch photos, and while they’re a tad bigger than I need, I chose them for one reason only:

The box comes with tabs for labeling what you have in there.  (Presumably, with regards to photos, the subject or year the photos were taken.)  But I’m using them to label the years of my inserts.

You can see that the box is wider than the inserts themselves.  The previous box was a better fit there—the inserts were very perfectly snug.  But there’s plenty of room for the upcoming years.

I only started keeping my past inserts in 2009, so I don’t have too many years archived at this point.

The label on the front of the box allows me to see what years belong in which box.

I bought two boxes, which will take me to 2020.  I’ll probably come up with something new between now and then, especially since I’ve been eyeing J’s archival system (my current set up doesn’t allow for flipping of pages whereas hers does—my pages are kept together with a rubber band and I have to take the whole thing apart to find something), but for now, this will do just fine.

So there you have it, my current archival system with a slight change.  Check back this time next year to see if anything has changed…


  1. Haha, sorry for the enabling! But I do have to say, I LOVE being able to flip through previous years- it was one of the things I was missing most about no longer using a bound-book system!

    1. Lol. I haven't looked into the storage binder, but I may. I like the boxes, but yeah, I can't flip through very easily. So we'll see. I feel like I steal all of your ideas, mostly with pens and inserts!

  2. I've been using the FC storage binders for 20 years. I have a post with a photo of all of them. It's worked great and it's really easy to look at past pages!

    If I didn't have the storage binder, I would probably use a box like you're doing. Or maybe some of those metal rings. Too bad FF doesn't make a binder.

    1. Right! I remember now that I did see your post on that. Sorry -- I should have included your link as well. Filofax does make (or did at one point) a "storage binder" but it has posts and not rings, so you can't actually turn the pages. Also, it's plastic and not good quality, especially for the cost.


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