I find most of my clients are overwhelmed with their passwords, listing them on random pieces of paper or one large piece of notebook paper that is far from organized. As people grow tired and frustrated of keeping track of passwords, they tend to use the same one over and over so they do not need to remember multiple passwords. As a web designer, I have not only my personal passwords to keep track of, but also my clients. I have found an easy, straightforward solution to keeping track of them all. I store all my passwords in a protected Excel spreadsheet – that way I only need to remember one password. While this method isn’t foolproof – if someone really wants to hack your file they probably can, but it is certainly more secure and organized than the scratch sheet of paper on your desk. And it is free. I also like that since I back up my files through a cloud program, I can access the file from any computer.
Creating the Spreadsheet: I suggest creating a blank spreadsheet first, saving it and testing the password before entering a lot of data. First go to File/Save As and select Tools next to the Save button. Select General Options and the General Options screen will pop-up. Type in a password to open and to modify. I suggest using the same password. Test the spreadsheet by closing it then reopening. You should now be prompted for your password two times.
Once the password is set up and tested, I recommend creating workbooks within the spreadsheet for different password categories – shopping, money, e-mail etc. This will help keep the worksheet organized – it can become unwieldy if your passwords are randomly entered.
I hope this tip helps keep your passwords and your workspace more organized. Here are some password tips and a password generator tool from Norton.