According to Wiki Answers we each spend between 1 and 4 years on the toilet during our lifetimes.
I have to say this doesn’t bother me particularly and that’s good because there’s probably not a lot I could do about it if did.
However, what does bother me is wasted time whilst sat at my computer working.
Whether you are making your living online (as I do) or in a regular job (as I used to do) we all know that there are many inefficiencies that just basically waste our time.
Recently been having a “regroup” in my business and one of the things I’ve been looking at is how I can identify and remove some of these bad habits and practices to increase my productivity.
One of these in particular I think applies to all of us and that is keeping track of usernames and passwords for different websites.
For me, this problem has grown continually since I started online in 2010 and I now probably have 80+ different account logins to keep track of.
Hosting accounts, WordPress logins, bank accounts, utility bills, C-Panel logins, training products I’ve purchased, social media services, internet marketing services I subscribe to, the list goes on and on!
My Old System
Whilst my browser helpfully remembers a lot of the logins this isn’t a universal solution as often I use different browsers (for testing) and also login on different computers.
So for years I had a password protected Word file which contained the URLs, usernames and passwords for my accounts.
In the last 12 months I would say that I’ve opened this file and looked up the login details I need at least 10 times per day. What a complete waste of time!
My New System
I’ve started using a system called LastPass.
The name is based upon the idea that your password for this system will be the last one you’ll ever need to remember. It’s free to use as well which is always nice 🙂
The login details are stored in encrypted format on their servers which means that they are totally safe (seriously, no one can see them except you). Plus you can use the system on any computer you like which is really good for me when I move between my desktop and laptop.
There have been many blog posts written about how you can increase your productivity but it seems to me that storing our username and passwords is something that most of us waste time with so I hope you find this resource useful.
If you are worried about security then I can tell you I felt exactly the same but the encryption and decryption is done on your local computer and not on the web (more details here). In addition, Last Pass had been established for a long time now so you really can have peace of mind when using it.
Why not give it a try as I have done? Let me know what you think of this and any other productivity boosting ideas that you have found to work below…
I’ve had Lastpass for some time and wonder how I’d do without it? It is a must have for anyone who has a lot of passwords to remember, like myself and it’s so easy to set up. I pat you on the back for recommending this to everyone.
Thanks Walter and good to know you are finding it useful already! Cheers, Rob.
I have always had this problem I used to keep everything in a speadsheet but I will give this a go, love this idea of making things easier for yourself. 😉
It’s brilliant Imran, I’m sure you’ll be glad you tried it! Cheers, Rob.
What a useful tip Rob, many thanks; I am going to use this & tell others about it too.
Hi Paul, Good on you – spreading the word! Great stuff 🙂 Rob.
Thanks for that. I’ve been writing usernames and passwords in a diary which is getting quite ‘chopperblock’!
Glad it help Peter – let me know what you think if you decide to give it a try, ok? Cheers, Rob.
Just set it up, very impressed, i see what you mean by saving time. (I did have to edit the optimize press ‘cos it took me back to their ‘sales page’ but it did remind me of the value of your gift) So thanks for the tip. best wishes.
Great stuff Mervyn! It’s only a little thing really but imagine the time we can save day after day. Well worth it I think 🙂
Great Tip, Many Thanks for showing us this Rob.
Ill give it a go.
At the moment I keep all mine in a little book,
but then I,m always looking for the little book!
Hi Tony, Thanks for your feedback. Yes, we all have different methods but I really think this is the best. Give it a trial for a week and see what you think. Cheers, Rob
Good tip, Rob!
There are a few files I need to share and synchronize (U.S. spelling, with the “z”) among my Win-XP, Win-7 and Linux computers, passwords in particular. There might be better alternatives by now, but when I looked (June / July of 2011), SpiderOak was best for me. There was no multi-OS, freeware password manager and general file synchronizer available at that time.
I am SpiderOak fanboy. They do not, and need not, pay me to say so.
This service provides several GB of storage at no charge (to get the user hooked, of course). Whenever a targeted file changes in one computer, software my other computers receive encrypted updates.
As with LastPass, encryption / decryption is done locally on the computers; SpiderOak’s server never sees unencrypted file blocks. So SpiderOak couldn’t give away my plaintext data even if they wanted to.
This machinery results in a system no more convenient than how your used the word processor, except that it keeps the file synchronized among any number of computers. So I work on my Linux desktop for hours, then grab my Win-7 netbook and run without pausing to update it.
SpiderOak offers one additional feature. By default, it retains all file versions until the user deletes them. Thus, secure, off-site backup & recovery is a side-effect of using it for file synchronization.
Though it is by no means a proper change-management system, a small team could use SpiderOak to work in parallel on a Web project before publishing it. The team could try new ideas and backtrack when they did not work out. Food for thought, off topic for this thread.
Also a bit off-topic: Once you’ve delegated password management to software, there is no reason to pick easily remembered (and easily guessed!) new passwords. For a source of robust, random passwords, check out the free-to-use password generator at http://www.axantum.com/Xecrets/PasswordGen.aspx.
Great tips and thanks – it’s always good to look at alternatives 🙂
I have this time problem and passwords issues everyday.I record my time and work out where i have been the most unproductive and eliminate them and create new productive habits daily its so important.Time is a valuable resource so using it wisely is a must.
I will definetely try lastpass as so far i have stored my usernames and passwords on a spreadsheet.
thanks for the tips
I hope you are well and great to see you here on the blog. Glad this helped – let me know how it goes for you.
Cheers – Rob
This should prove to be useful. Thanks Rob.
Now one to share, which is more under the heading of General Help, but could prove useful. I was looking for another method of taking foreign currency with me, without lugging around a pocketful of “readies”, taking into account the security aspect. I know evryone has either a debit or credit card of some desciption, but using these either in an ATM or to pay over the counter always costs you money on top of your purchase, usually 3%, which may not be a lot but can add up and why should you give someone else your hard earned cash, when YOU DON’T HAVE TO. I looked into cash cards, where you can load the card with the currency you need and yes guess what there are dozens of varieties available, but they all charge for usage, like your dear old credit card, except for two. I have confirmed the blurb they put on their site on the internet, with a verbal chat and believe it or not its Travelex. The card is know as a Cash Passport and you can either send for it, which may take up to a week or if you’re desperate, you can ask them to have it ready for you to pick up from one of their desks, at main Airport Terminals, etc..
So, they don’t charge to withdraw money from an ATM and they don’t charge for over the counter usage. Minimum loading on card must be £75. Like all other suppliers, they will charge for inactivity on the card(but then what’s the point in getting one) and there is a nominal charge should you not use all the foreign currency on the card and what to convert back to pounds sterling(about 6%, I believe). That’s it, hope this helps. Happy holidays.
Thanks for your tips here. I’ve heard about that but it’s good to get your recommendation.
Hi Rob, it’s been a while I know but just wanted to thank you soooo much for this tip. I have countless passwords etc., and spend a LOT of time (what a waste of time!), searching through my lists for the one I want. I’ve been meaning to do something about it (don’t we all) but you have galvanised me into action. Sometimes a small push is enough! Thanks Rob and keep up the good work.
Hi Kate, you are very welcome! Glad this helped and I hope it’ll save you a lot of time going forward as it has with me already 🙂 Cheers, Rob.
LastPass is awesome! It works just as well as Roboform in my opinion, and it’s free! I have hundreds of logins/passwords, and could not keep track of them without LastPass. If you don’t have it, what are you waiting for? Get it now!
Thanks for the testimonial Jessie – I couldn’t agree more!