I'm looking for a word that suggests both a place where new things can arrive and where you can safely store things, but where you wouldn't want to keep things that you are actively working on.

In particular, I'm designing an email "diet" system to help email addicts and I want to suggest to people that their [word] is a combination of the inbox and the archive. The closest thing that comes to my mind is "log" or "record" but that isn't good because it doesn't sound quite right to move something out of the log and on to the to-do list, which is a key step in this system's success. The log sounds more like a place that would be kept in addition to the inbox and whatever else, not as a place to move things in and out of. Analogies to real-world places like basement or icebox, if appropriate, would also be fine.

  • How about lock-box? Commented Mar 20, 2014 at 19:26
  • How about folder
    – Jim
    Commented Mar 20, 2014 at 19:35
  • 2
    These are fundamentally different things: The Inbox is for email you haven't processed yet, and the archive is for email that you have finished processing. I don't think you want a single repository for both those categories.
    – Jim
    Commented Mar 20, 2014 at 19:37

4 Answers 4


Depository: a place where something is deposited or stored, as for safekeeping.

Repository: a receptacle or place where things are deposited, stored, or offered for sale

  • Thanks, repository seems to be an accurate word. I should have added that I want a common word that people will connect with right away, like how inbox, folder, trash, archive are all short common words. Commented Mar 20, 2014 at 20:59

How about "cubby" or "cubbyhole"?

Cubbyhole: a small, open compartment as in a desk, bureau, or cabinet, for storing letters, documents, keys, and other items.

Besides, the small, open compartments usually found in a cabinet adjoining the front desk or reception area of a commercial facility like a hotel, and used for storing room keys in addition to other miscellaneous items to be delivered to incoming guests, but also left for safekeeping by in-house ones to be picked up on their return (i.e. mail, messages, documents, car keys, etc.) are also referred to as "cubbies" or "cubbyholes".

And so, "cubby" makes a lot of sense for the word you're looking for, since it suggests both a place where new things can arrive and where you can safely store things. ;-)

  • It's a good word for the physical world. Not used often in email.
    – David M
    Commented Mar 21, 2014 at 0:43
  • @DavidM Why not? Why can't it also be used for the virtual word? It is short, and sounds funny and snug -- sort of reminiscent of nursery school days.
    – Elian
    Commented Mar 21, 2014 at 1:09
  • I didn't say it was wrong. Just not used often.
    – David M
    Commented Mar 21, 2014 at 1:10
  • Stash, store, warehouse, coldstore, storehouse: a storage place
  • Cache, treasury, hoard, stockpile, reserve : stored items

(First two with thanks to http://thesaurus.com/browse/cache )

  • Bookcase or bookshelf : book storage
  • Mailbag, mail sack : sack for transporting and storing physical mail, too big to deal with in one go
  • Banker's box, carton, attic, crate, trunk : conjures up impressions of rarely visited and un-organized storage
  • Garage, parking lot : if you want to think of your message as a vehicle

(I wonder if perhaps I need to do your email diet, though I don't know if combining my inbox and archive in a stash would help me. Did you publish it yet?)


I'm not sure if it fits the exact context you are looking for, but I refer to the combination as my workflow.

Items that are in my inbox are newly received and/or require attention in the short term.

Items that are in the archive are typically older and/or don't require any attention for quite some time. (And, I've saved them, otherwise, they go into the trash.)

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