How to Create 1 Password for All of Your Accounts, Securely!

Wouldn’t it be great to have one, secure password for all of your 10,000 accounts? Even better – wouldn’t it be great to not have to enter a username and password again? To just go to any site and automatically login? And one step better – what if you could share this magic with your family and team members, organized and separated by client work and personal information?

It’s finally here, thanks to the team at AgileBits: 1Password.

As you can imagine, in a web design studio, we have thousands of logins we have to keep track of. We have found some pretty good solutions over time and some really bad ones too. Overall, in searching for a tool to keep things organized, we set out to solve these two challenges:

1) Organize all of the King Design login credentials, websites we use, and company info, and make them available to the entire team at the drop of a hat.
2) Organize and securely store all of our clients’ info and login credentials and make them easily accessible to certain individuals.

Here is a breakdown of the good and bad solutions and our recommendations for you:

Data Guardian

Initially, we used Data Guardian to store all of our passwords and Quickbooks to store our customer data, which was awesome until we realized that only one person could be in each of the applications at a time or we would write over each other’s entries. That’s not good.


Around this time we had started using Salesforce to track customer communications and log client info. So now we had Quickbooks, Data Guardian and Salesforce to track information. All were very powerful apps and all required logins to access. Life was getting more complicated. Salesforce taught us that some applications actually make your life harder. It is a super powerful program but we only used 1/10 of the features, so we decided to switch. We needed something more simple. We found Highrise.


Highrise quickly became the heart of our company. We were organized, could access all of our login credentials easily, tracks tasks, and manage our communications.

As we grew, we began adding more and more data to the accounts in Highrise. We also created an entry for the King Design stuff. The King Design “stuff” quickly became half of the data in Highrise. It became the account that held all of our logins to every website we use, all of our hosting accounts, our team’s contact info, software licenses, router info, and any other crap that we could shove in there.

Backpack Organizer

It quickly became a mess. So in 2010 we set out to find a better solution. We landed on Backpack Organizer, another 37Signals application, to hold our King Design info and our client login credentials and after a 10-month experiment, we realized that the program fell short of what we needed. What a waste. Defeated, frustrated and disorganized, we bagged that and went back to Highrise. Highrise has some great features and I was convinced that it could do what we needed it to do if we could keep the database clean and organized.

Back to Highrise

I spent a good two days cleaning up Highrise, tagging items and organizing it so that it would work for us. I discovered that we had one large client who had a huge amount of disorganized entries and the King Design folder wasn’t much better. But just about everything else was great. The other folders were organized, easy to find and for the most part only needed some updated contact info and some basic house cleaning. I was proud of the work I did and for about 3 weeks after I cleaned it up it was running super smoothly. But like any database, it would only continue to work if we took our time to enter things correctly and orderly. It dawned on me that we were trying to solve multiple challenges with one solution.

1) Organize all of the King Design login credentials, websites we use, and company info and make them available to the entire team, quickly.
2) Organize and securely store all of our clients’ info and login credentials and make them easily accessible to certain individuals.

Highrise works for organizing information about our clients. It’s secure, it has permissions based access and it’s simple to use. What isn’t working is the organization of our King Design credentials. I’d venture a guess that we waste a week of time each year searching for passwords or duplicating entries and cleaning up the database.

Still No Dice…Until…

In walks 1Password. (Queue the angel choir, a rainbow, sparkles!!!!)

Over the past 2 years, I have been using 1Password. 1Password will allow us all to share a database that securely holds all of our login credentials to every website we ever go to. It will then, through a browser extension, automatically fill in any login credentials to a website that is listed in the vault (database). This means you never have to remember a username or password again. It also means that we will no longer have a universal password (yes we’re guilty of it too).

1Password creates huge, super secure automatic passwords, like kOig4wYx7ac2yie5He8hEy0f, that autofill when you have our vault open on your machine. And if you go to a new site and register, 1password will ask you if you’d like to add the credentials you entered to the vault for future use. In which you reply “yes” and everyone who has access to that Vault then has access to that site with your credentials. Wait, “I don’t want everyone to have access to my personal sites.” Alas 1Password has developed multi-vaults. Like Dropbox, you can have your personal vault and a company vault.

Beautiful. Life just got easier, thanks to 1Password.

This has changed the way we work and I highly recommend it for anyone who has one password for all of their accounts, a team of people who needs to share credentials for multiple sites and anyone looking to shed the password predicament from their life.

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