I’m going to show you a page of my Bullet Journal with a collection of my passwords listed on it. I hope that I can trust you not to disseminate the sensitive information I’ve written down.
After tackling the problem of recording future events, I realised that there was another key part of my Bullet Journal setup that people often assumed was a tool that needed to be digital. This part was the recording of passwords.
We all know that strong, long and complicated passwords are a key factor in securing our online lives. We also know that it is really bad practice to use the same password over and over.
Keeping a written note of passwords is something that’s frowned upon in many circles. What if my list is stolen? How do I secure it? How do I encrypt plain, handwritten text?
What I’d like to share is my method that has evolved over time. I call it The Bullet Secure method.
Here’s how it works:
Start a new page in your Bullet Journal called Passwords / Logins or something that works for you.
Think of a long, memorable phrase, that you can easily recall. It could be your favourite quote, a song title, a nursery rhyme, anything that will stick in your memory.
i.e. Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
Now write down the first letter of each word in the phrase. This will make up the bulk of your password.
giving us: hdsoawhdhagf
If you are using a service that requires you to regularly update your password for security, then add a number to the end of your phrase.
final password: hdsoawhdhagf01
Now to safely record this password in your Bullet Journal write down the first one or two letters of your passphrase, together with dashes for the rest and finish with writing the end number.
my new passphrase is: hd———-01
When you need to update your password, simply increase the end number by one more in the sequence and record that.
You now have a strong, difficult to guess, easily updated password recorded in the notebook that you have with you all the time. It doesn’t matter if someone else views your page, as only by knowing the exact phrase can they guess your password.
This method had worked for me for a long time now and has not let me down. As I’ve become more used to using the Bullet Secure method, I’ve learnt a few extra tips which make passwords even more secure.
If you’re really comfortable with the passphrase, you don’t need to record the exact number of letters as dashes. You can just use a line. For example one of my passphrases is now simply U______67.
If your phrase incorporates “I” or names, you can capitalise these letters to again make the end password even more secure.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall becomes: HDsoaw
If your phrase incorporates words such as “for”, “ate”, “one”, “to” or similar that sound like numbers you can record these as the number digit for even more security
i.e. I like eggs for breakfast could generate Ile4b
Finally if you are worried about losing your Bullet Journal and your passwords, simply take a photograph or scan of the page and store this digitally.
You don’t need to sacrifice security for recording data in an analogue format. Using this method, your Bullet Journal can hold all of your most important passwords, and relieve you of yet another thing to worry about.