Call it foresight, more than a decade ago, I knew one day I would be overwhelmed by the sheer number of user IDs and passwords I have to memorize. As of today, I have over 70 profiles. Each comes with a set of user ID and password, security question and what not. I try my best to keep my passwords somewhat unique, with the discipline to reset them regularly. It is a lot of work. But I don’t see other viable options.
Now, I don’t have a super memory. And I don’t trust some third party online applications that promise to keep my credentials safe. When it comes to online credentials, there is only one person in this world whom I can trust: Me.
For years, I manage my online credentials using pen-and-paper. There are tons of benefits. Off the top of my head, here are a few.
- You will never forget your credentials. Ever.
- You will remember when you last reset your passwords.
- You can afford to be really creative in dreaming up unique passwords across your profiles.
- In the event of emergency or unforeseeable circumstances, your loved ones can still retrieve your profiles.
To get started, all you need to do is click onto the image above and download the original image. Then follow theses simple steps below.
- Copy the above 3″ x 2″ image and paste it on a A4 size document. It should be able to fit 9 cards per page.
- Print them out and cut them up into 3″ x 2″ (or slightly smaller).
- Buy a deck of blank name cards. This should cost less than S$4.
- Glue the 3″ x 2″ printouts onto the blank name cards.
It should not take more than half an hour to prepare a deck of, say, 100 cards. Next, simply fill them up and store them alphabetically. You could use a name card holder to store your cards. If you are paranoid about your housemates who may pry into your Password Vault™, you can always lock it up inside a safe, together with all your important documents like letters from your ex’es.
I love my pen-and-paper Password Vault™ and I have been using this method to record my online credential for years. You too should give it a try today.