Having multiple online accounts to keep track of is becoming increasingly the norm for most people. Most of us not only have more than one e-mail account, but also multiple accounts on blogs, forums, healthcare sites, eBay and a myriad of other online features and sites that we visit on a regular basis. Additionally, there are online banking accounts, and most people pay at least some of their bills online. Although having everything conveniently accessible online can be quite handy, it does make it difficult to keep all of this account information straight. As a result, most people forget their user names and passwords for some of these sites and features on a fairly regular basis. A good strategy for organizing online account information can be helpful.
Gathering Your Online Information
Just as with many other things in life, getting started with organizing your information is the hardest part. You might not even remember all of the various accounts you have. Of course, you might have already saved some of this information, but if you are like most people, it can be difficult to locate the information when you need it. The starting point for getting organized is gathering all of your information together. This process is often best accomplished over a period of time, such as a week, to allow yourself time to recall and find all of the relevant information. If you have forgotten some of your passwords, start the retrieval process for this information. As you gather each one, create a temporary text file where you can note Web site addresses, user names information, and passwords. It's not important at this stage to create a highly organized list, as the main goal is to just remember all of them.
Organizing Your Online Information
Once you have at least the majority of your online account information gathered, it's time to create an organized filing system. The actual system you use will depend on your personal preferences, the method by which you work best, and the account information you have to organize. One popular method for organizing account information is to use a spreadsheet. Create columns for the information on the spreadsheet, such as one column for the site address, another for your user name, and yet another for your password information. You might also want to create a "Comments" column to store any special notes that are relevant to your use of that site. Another popular method of organizing online account information is to keep a notebook, with one page devoted to information about each site. This can be especially handy if you access the sites on more than one computer, or if you have a lot of detailed information, instructions or notes about the site that you need to retain. You can organize the pages in the notebook by subject or alphabetically by site name.
Keeping Your Data Secure
Of course, whichever method you use to record your site information, it is extremely important to keep this information secure. If you create a printed book of information, keep it in a secure location. If you keep a spreadsheet on a shared computer, consider securing the file with a password. Of course, make the password one that you will definitely remember!