07 January 2018

What to do with last years inserts?

For some people part of the 'New Year' ritual is to swap over their diary inserts. Taking out last years and inserting the next years.

That said a lot of people do this on a rolling basis, archiving past weeks/months and adding in future weeks/months. They always keep 6-12 months in their organiser at any one time, with a split of say 3 months past and 9 months future, but the length of time and the split between past and future is a personal choice of course.

It will also depend on the type of inserts you are using and the size of rings or the capacity of your organiser to hold the amount of paper you need.

What ever camp you are in, what do you do with your old inserts? Some people archive them, but I have heard of people that shred them.

Personally I archive mine in an old large ring A5 Finsbury, it can hold 3-4 years worth of week on two page inserts comfortably.

A cheap and simple alternative is to use 'Treasury Tags', they come in a variety of sizes and lengths and they keep pages securely together, you simply pass them through the holes of the organiser pages and you can still turn the pages easily etc.

Why keep your old inserts? It's a question I've been asked a few times.

'Just in case' is a fairly lame response I know, but I've had cause in the last few years to have to go back through my old inserts and journals to prove where I was on a particular day or week.

Without my diaries and inserts it would have been difficult to prove my whereabouts convincingly enough to satisfy a judge in a legal case.

No, I wasn't accused of anything bad honest!! It was more about proving I had seen my late mother many times and spoken to her at regular intervals, when it was alleged I had no contact at all with her after moving to France in 2010.

My archived inserts helped me pin down dates in telephone records and dates to look for photographs of us together either here in France or in UK.

Whilst keeping your past inserts doesn't take up much space, you can decide how long to keep them for.

I still have my 1987, 1988, 1989 inserts from when I first started using a Filofax, they make fascinating reading! I was using my Filofax more as a journal than a planner, but I didn't really know the difference back then!

What do you do with your old inserts?


  1. I have my old Filo inserts back to 2002 when I first started using ring-bound organisers. I keep them in old binders.

    Before that I used, and still have, old spiral bound diaries back to 1997 when I first converted to paper.

    I hardly ever refer to them. They serve no practical purpose for me, but I just can't can't can't throw them out. It would be like throwing out part of my life.

    I'm sure other readers will attest to doing the same.
    There must be a bit of OCD in all of us who love to organise :)

  2. The old diaries provide the only really durable record of where I've been and who I've seen.
    For a recent visa application I had to list all visits to foreign countries over the previous ten years. At the start of that period I was travelling abroad a lot with work, so having all the diary entries was invaluable.
    The way I look at it, you're the only one who will keep much of a record of your own life.

  3. Last year as we prepared for a significant downsize in living space I finally shredded inserts going back to 1997. Like Maxine I barely ever referred to them, and they didn’t serve any practical purpose but I just could not let them go. As paper planners who prefer writing down on paper rather than on a digital app I guess keeping the inserts is all part of the organization we crave.
    It was funny to look thru those inserts including the meticulous monthly budget sheets I kept. In one afternoon last year I literally read thru the 20 years of my life and seeing its journey from a young divorcee with a three year old son to who I am today (including the daily trend of weight being put on!!).

  4. I have my old inserts since using ringbound planners in 2002. I love to read them, remember situations and sometimes I need to look after a specific date and see the notes i had taken.

  5. I keep the past two years. Rarely have I ever had to go back and look at them. (Actually, I'm not sure I have ever had to.) But only two years worth makes me feel little secure that it's there if I need it.

  6. "Treasury Tags"? So that's what they're called. I've wondered for years what I saw the SIS officers on "The Sandbaggers" were using to bind their "packs" (Files inside manila folders). Impossible to find in US stationery stores, but luckily there's Amazon! Now I can stop using "zip ties" to bind my old diaries...

  7. I don't consider myself to be a "Saver" or a "Packrat" by any means, but I have all of my planner inserts dating back to 1989. I often wonder whether or not the truck of planner pages (OK, it's really just a plastic tote....) will be something my kids, or their kids, will find interest in someday, leafing through the pages, discovering what Dad was doing, or thinking, or working on. There's NO WAY I could ever throw them away.....