Archiving Data

Once you have used our programs for a number of years, you can find that the quantity of data you are keeping has grown significantly. A big portion of the large database is usually old appointments from years past or old clients you don't do business with anymore. Big databases run slower and can run into issues synchronizing, especially with online services like our ChaosHost cloud data service. This makes is all the more important to keep the old data pruned and your database working at its best.

While you could delete old data, there are lots of reasons to keep the data, especially if your industry requires record keeping for a number of years, or if old clients could return after a while to tell you they're back! Archiving old data gives you the option to bring this data back to your main database again later, if necessary.

Method 1: Only for archiving Appointments and Tasks

Since Appointment and Task data are both date-related, they are the easiest to archive.

If you go to the File menu, then Archive, you'll get a popup window where you can check Appointments and/or Completed Tasks and choose a Date. The default date is one year ago, but you can change it to whatever date you like. [Personally, I like setting it to the first of a year for a clean and predictable break between old and new.]

When you click OK, the program will create special archive .bak files in your data home location with the appointments and/or completed tasks prior to your cutoff date.

Your current database will now be missing those older items as they have been deleted, but should you decide in the future that you need them back, you can use the Advanced Data Backup Explorer feature on the file menu to restore some of all of the archived records.

Method 2: Archive Contacts/Projects/Appointments/Tasks

This method primarily applies to Contacts and Projects, but can also be used with Appointments and Tasks if you like.

Create a new Archive data folder

The first thing is to create a new data folder to hold your archives. From the File menu at the top left, choose New Data Folder and create a new directory. Usually, we would recommend making it a subdirectory of your current database and actually naming the folder "Archives", but you can do what you like - this is just our suggestion.

Once you make the new folder and click ok, our program should "Welcome" you and ask you to click OK to make these new data files. After you click OK, you should be in the new database which is empty since we haven't sent anything here yet.

Go to the File menu again and look for the option to "Reopen". This list should show your new Archive database AND your original database and this Reopen option gives you a way to toggle back and forth between the two sets of information. Click back on your original database to get back to the data where we want to archive old info.

Export data to the Archive

There are two ways to move data to your archive database.

For contacts, there is probably not a good report to run to search for items you want to archive. Instead, it is probably by picking and choosing that you can find names you could move to the Archives. If you highlight one or more contacts and right-click, you'll find options to Cut, Copy and Paste. Cut is a bit risky, as if you forget to paste, you really did a delete instead! So, we recommend using the Copy, then Reopen the Archive database and Paste (right in the middle of the Contact area). Once you are sure they were delivered, you can go back to the original database and delete.

For appointments or tasks, you can run a report to find all the items prior to a cutoff date of your choice. Below the Classic button on the lower left is a button for the Reports area. Choose Calendar or Tasks, then choose "Date" for the Field, choose "is less than" for the logic then choose a cutoff date like "1/1/2014" for the value. Click Go and the right side of the screen should display all the matches.

If these look like the right things to archive, you can highlight everything (Control-A works great for Select All), then on the toolbar above click Export. Look for the option for Transportable Records. This will let you choose the location to save this data and what to name the file. The MOST IMPORTANT thing is the location you save it. It needs to be the Archive folder you made and NOT this main data directory. The filename can be something simple like "apptarchive" but this file will only be around for the few minutes it takes to transfer the data to the other database.

Once your export is complete, reopen the Archive database. An "inbasket" should pop-up shortly or you can click on the little down arrow next to Options and choose Inbasket to hurry things along. This inbasket should find the data you exported here and start counting up all the separate events. When it is done counting, you can click Select All then click Accept to add these to this Archive database. You'll then watch the number that counted up start to count back down to 0 as it adds the items. When complete, you can close the Inbasket and change the date on the calendar to go back to the timeframe of the items you archived, where you should see all the old data waiting for you.

Return back to the original database and do your same search in the Report screen again, but this time you can select all and delete since you know you have the data safely stored in the Archive database if you needed it.

Method 3: Archiving Email (for Intellect users)

If you want to archive old email messages to long term storage outside of the Intellect program rather than just deleting them outright, then you need to know that email messages in Intellect are stored in actual folders in Windows. Each folder contains .MSG files. Each .MSG file is one email message.

If you were to gather emails that you could archive in to folders under Saved, you could copy (not move) these entire folders to somewhere else for long-term keeping. Once you made your copy, you could return to Intellect and delete our copy of the messages to bring the size of our storage and the size of the mail cache database down to something that could perform better.

If you go to the Help menu in Intellect, then to Information about my data, then Data Paths, you can see or even double-click on the path to the Mail folder to browse the actual directories and see the .MSG files you will be copying.

Again, it is important that you copy, not move or delete, messages and/or folders from the Intellect mail folder. Any changes to what files are stored where must be made by Intellect itself.


This help article applies to Intellect 4 or newer and Time & Chaos 8 or newer