A few months back, it struck me that if I got hit by a bus and became incapacitated (or worse), my co-workers would have a hell of a time trying to figure out how to access all of the online accounts I manage for the organization.
Think about it. How many online accounts do you manage? What would happen if you weren’t able to access them anymore?
Guess what. They live on.
I primarily work online. I manage social media. I create and update websites, e-newsletters and blogs. I add event listings to various sites. I shop online. I retrieve metrics online. I do half of my graduate work online. I have 8 email addresses (surprisingly, they all have their own purpose). The list goes on.
With all this online activity comes the task of remembering usernames and passwords, keeping up profiles and other information. I decided to create a spreadsheet of all the accounts I use along with their usernames, passwords and the purpose of the account. I add to the sheet every time I find myself logging on somewhere. The document is saved on a password-protected file server, and I put a printed version in a protected place with other important documents like social security cards and insurance coverage.
I’m up to about 75 rows and counting on my spreadsheet. If this sounds excessive, go ahead and do it yourself. I bet you’d be surprised as to how many accounts you have. It’s an interesting exercise to do because it forces you to look at your activity online. It helped me figure out what I was and wasn’t using. I was able to deactivate quite a few accounts, like that Digg account I started back in 2007 and never did anything with.
While it’s an ongoing process, I feel like I’ve got a better understanding of what my name, emails and other info are attached to in the online world. It actually seems more manageable now.
So, here’s my question. How do you manage multiple online accounts attached to multiple email addresses and companies? If you have some tips, please share! I’m always looking for better ways to manage my time.