I have a confession to make: I’ve had something on my to-do list for several months now that I’ve been procrastinating on.
- “Record all email accounts and passwords in one place.”
Over the last few months I have been using Clipperz to store my passwords for various accounts. I spend a lot of time online, so I have a lot of passwords. But I’ve been procrastinating on rounding up my email addresses and adding them to Clipperz. The problem is that I have a lot of email addresses, including some I don’t use that often, and I dread the thought of digging them all out and figuring out what the passwords are.
A better solution, you might say, is just to have fewer email addresses. But multiple email accounts are useful.
In fact, if you only have one or two email addresses and you’re active online – especially if you’re doing things for clients, employers or others – you need to use more email addresses.
Making web projects portable
Let’s say I create a website for a volunteer organization I belong to. Along with that website I create a Twitter account, a Google Analytics account, a Feedburner account and a bunch of other things related to this organization’s online presence. So what happens if at some point I hand over the responsibility for this site to another volunteer? I have to go through the rather laborious process of transitioning all these services to the other person.
If I’ve got multiple web projects (and I do) tied into those accounts, this can be a real problem. For some things, like a Google Analytics or Feedburner account, it might actually be easier to just ditch them and create new services for the project – but then we’d lose the historical data. And some services (Twitter, for example) won’t allow you to tie multiple accounts to a single email address.
Facebook is particularly problematic, as its terms of service don’t allow multiple accounts for one person at all. I’ll save how to get around that for another post, as it’s a somewhat complicated and troublesome.
So when you start a new web project – for a client or employer, as a volunteer or for yourself – you should create a separate email account to go along with it. There are lots of very good, very robust free email services out there (Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail and others). I’m partial to Google myself, because I tend to use a lot of other Google-owned services (Analytics, Feedburner, Google Voice, etc.), and creating a new Gmail account gives you easy access to those without the extra step of creating a separate Google account.
If or when you need to hand over responsibility for that web project, you provide the log-in information for the associated email account. And once you’ve done that, you no longer have notifications, data and other inputs from that project cluttering up your email account or other user IDs.
Use forwarding to manage multiple email accounts
Of course, in the meantime, you don’t want to spend all of your time logging in and out of different email accounts.
Once you’ve created that new account, the simplest thing to do is just to forward that account to your main email account. And don’t do what I did and wait a long time before you record all those accounts and passwords somewhere safe – keep up with it from the beginning.
What other tips do you have to manage multiple independent web projects? Please add them in the comments below.