How To Organize Your Digital Life
If you’re like most people, you know your Email, Facebook, Social Media and Voicemail Usernames & Passwords by heart – or at least your computer does. But what if you have to use someone else’s phone or computer, or only have a few seconds to reach your family or update your friends in an emergency? Would you remember ALL that information off the top of your head?
And we’re not just talking about emergencies. Imagine not having to remember which account it was that made you add two numbers and three symbols to your password before they would let you sign up. It’s probably the one you only have to log in to once every six months.
Of course that’s exactly why you let your computer memorize the logons for you in the first place. Which is fine until the computer decides to upgrade your Internet browser and clear your password cache without your permission, or your computer crashes and takes your logon information along with it.
It makes a lot more sense to have them all written down in one place – along with any instructions you or someone else using them on your behalf, might need.
So if you’re ready, let’s give all those user IDs, passwords and logins a place to live.
Your mission is to create a list of all your social media, email, internet and voice mail account passwords, usernames and other important information, not only for you to refer to, but in case you or your family needs that info ASAP.
And The Password Is…
Grab a pencil and paper and jot down the types of Social Media, Email, Voice Mail and any Internet Based Accounts and Favorite Web Sites that you must log into to use.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Flickr, Instagram
Your Personal and Work Email Accounts
Your Home, Cell Phone and Work Voicemail
Your iTunes, Pandora, Blogs, Cloud/File Storage Sites, Kindle/Nook Accounts
Internet-based Memberships With Recurring Fees like Netflix, Hulu, News Sites, or Professional Organizations.
Getting Them Down On Paper
Using the list you just compiled, locate and write down the usernames, passwords and any other information you need to log in for each account on the list.
Depending on where you have them saved right now, this will take anywhere from:
Five Seconds (you already have a list to refer to)
To Several Hours (you have to go to each and every site to find that information)
Giving Them A Place To Live
You can either create your own list on your computer, or use the Social Media Sheets that come with our the $5 Downloadable PDF Edition of our book How To Organize Your Digital Life. The nice thing about the book is that it not only comes with all of the Social Media Sheets that you need to record all of your passwords, logins and the URLs you normally use, but if you have your own business (or profitable hobby) it also comes with everything you need to record your business information including a business/office inventory!
Here’s What Goes Into The Sheet
The Social Media Information Sheet is broken into separate sections for each type of account. For each account you have, fill in your username, password, the URL you use to log in, the email address you used to register the account and what you use it for. For example, you might have one Facebook account for your personal use and one for your business.
For voice mail accounts be sure to list dial in numbers, passwords, what it’s for (cell, work, landline) and any instructions, notes, tips for using it or updating it.
For paid web memberships, note the fee, when and how it’s paid, your customer number and any customer service numbers or contacts.
Running Out Of Space?
If you’re making your own list, be sure to put each account and its information on a separate line.
If you’re using our Social Media Info Sheet and need to add more space or entries for accounts that aren’t on the original sheet, simply add additional pages to the Word document, then cut and paste the information from part of the document into the new page. Then edit it to add the information you need. Just remember to save it with a different name so you don’t overwrite the original file.
Work Benefits Information
On the Social Media Sheets, you’ll also find a section for your Work Benefits Information & Passwords. If you work for a large company or a non-profit you probably get quite a few benefits that you only use a few times a year (and never remember how to log in!).
For instance, the employee website with your health insurance elections, life insurance or 401K preferences or employee discounts and associate rewards.
Be sure to note all of your User IDs/Passwords, HR or Benefits Representatives, Customer Service Numbers, Member IDs and any special instructions that would help your spouse or family access the information or activate a benefit in an emergency.
Where To Store The List For Safekeeping
Where and how you store copies of the information sheet is up to you. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Store a copy on a password protected file on your computer hard drive.
Store a copy on a password protected flash or portable hard drive and place it in your local safe deposit box.
Store a copy on a password protected flash or portable hard drive and place it in your a safe deposit box in your pre-determined evacuation location.
Store a copy on a password-protected online file repository or on the file directory of your family’s personal web site. This way, you can retrieve them from any Internet-enabled computer.
You can also store a copy along with your will or important papers at your attorney’s office.
And While You’re At It…
Be sure to write down any instructions you have on how you want your spouse or family to post or update your social media accounts in your absence, whether you’re away on vacation or business, sidelined by an illness or otherwise unable to handle things on your own – if you know what we mean. And yes, we have a document for that along with the book too.
Would you rather have these instructions right at your fingertips? Then take a second to go download the PDF Edition of How To Organize Your Digital Life — it’s $5 right now on Gumroad.com.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together! We’ll talk later…
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