Consolidating Online Accounts Using LastPass

Problem:

If you’ve been around the internet for any length of time, you could have hundreds if not thousands of accounts.  Each site takes a login and passwords and hints and tips and blah, blah, blah… Lots of time and information.

I hate having to remember all my login details and so I do what a lot people do – use a common password for accounts that don’t really matter and then more complex ones for the ones that do.  OK, so what’s wrong with this picture?

Well, I don’t remember all my accounts and passwords and after a while, I forget that I even have an account on certain sites much less how to login to those accounts.

In this entry, I’m revisiting using LastPass as my online profile management system and basically the keys to the kingdom.  Am I afraid that someone might get access to this site and steal everything else?  YES!  But its seems like there’s always going to be risks no matter how you navigate the internet, so this system is a better way of managing all my online accounts and passwords.

Objectives:

  1. Primary – Use LastPass to organize all my current sites that I manage and online accounts.
  2. Primary – Set-up Groups / Folder to organize my accounts into an easy to navigate system.
  3. Secondary – Review all old accounts still saved to LastPass and begin purging old unused accounts.
  4. Secondary – Update all passwords with LastPass to maintain strong passwords.

Action Steps:

  1. Create / Login LastPass Account – Figure out how to login to LastPass… I lost my old login and the hint was some code that I created way back when to figure out passwords.  I’m hoping that after using LastPass I won’t have this issue.
  2. Add new Accounts – Take all the accounts I identified in my “Identify and Organize all Online Accounts” entry and add any that I use into LastPass.  The items that I’m purging don’t need to be included. 😛
  3. Create Categories for Organization – I like to use categories based on purpose/function.  For example, all my personal social media and entertainment sites are in ‘Personal – Social’ and all my personal finance, bank accounts, taxes, and anything else that contributes to my net worth calculation is stored in ‘Personal – Finance.’  Some of the other categories include each of my companies and their websites; ‘Enterprise Toolbox’; ‘E-mail Accounts’; ‘Non-Profit Resources’; etc… Each person will probably have different categories, but I like to organize everything by purpose to make it easy to figure out where I need to go and not get distracted by other sites.
  4. Bonus: I’ll be adding a post for Optimizing Password Management with LastPass which will cover updating all passwords with LastPass and some of the other tricks you and do with LastPass that will make your life easier.

Results:

I love LastPass.  I used to use the site for managing all my passwords, but between updating to a new computer and getting distracted by other shiny objects, I completely forgot about this tool.  Recently, they upgraded to version 4.0 and the improvements are tremendous.  The tools is much more responsive and user-friendly.  I highly recommend check out LastPass and using it to manage your online accounts and passwords.

Make sure your Master Password is a strong one though and one that you won’t easily forget.  If you lose that one, you might be in big trouble after leaving the task of remembering passwords to LastPass.  There’s no password recovery other than the hint you leave yourself, so be warned – don’t lose your master password!

If you’re following my COO Guide, this step is crucial for better managing your time and conserve all that brain power for better things than remembering passwords.

And if you’re interested in learning more about the COO Guide – shoot me an e-mail via the contact page.  Cheers!

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Consolidating All My Phone Contacts Into One Place

Problem:

After going through my phone, I realized that there are hundreds of contacts I haven’t spoken to in years.  Many of them are out of date, have nicknames that don’t mean anything to me anymore or I simply don’t remember them.  I decided that for me to run my life and businesses successful, I had to get my contacts organized and consolidated into one easy to manage location.

I also take notes from any calls / meetings I have with folks and want to be able to record these directly to my contact records.  But this is a separate problem and will be addressed in a later post.

Objectives:

  1. Primary – Organize and Consolidate all my contacts into one easy to manage location.
  2. Secondary – Be able to access and update information via my cell phone. (coming soon)
  3. Secondary – Be able to add notes and comments to each contact and link them to calendar events. (coming soon)

Action Steps:

Like all good internet junkies, I began my research on how to consolidate everything on Google.google_snapshot

I love how there’s 22MM+ results for this topic.  Great.  Apparently, I’m not the only one with this problem.

I decided to take the approach found on 99u with their “Complete Guide to Organizing Your Contacts & Building Quality Relationships.”

The first part of the guide was what I wanted which broke out 5 steps:

  1. Export your contacts – from phone, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc…
  2. Create a back-up (just in case) on your desktop
  3. Import them into Google Contacts – using the contacts manager tool
  4. Use ‘Find & Merge Duplicates’ – one of the options that allow you to quickly consolidate everything
    I went from 1800+ contacts to roughly 1100.  Cut out about 40% of the work.  Nice feature.
  5. Manually Update the rest – unfortunately, you’ll still have to spend a few days manually updating / editing the rest.
    PRO TIP: Do a few letters of the alphabet at a time in 30 minute sittings to avoid going crazy.  Able to finish all my contacts within about 5 hours over the course of a week.

These are the steps that I’m taking to consolidate and organize my phone contacts.  Fairly straight forward, but very time consuming.  I plan to spend the next two days sorting out contacts this way.  By no means easy, but hopefully will be very rewarding.

Results: 

In Progress

2/13/16 – I’ve just spent over an hour trying to get all my contacts into Google’s contact manager.  Facebook no longer allows you to export contact info, but I’m searching for a work around.

LinkedIn was fairly straight forward.  And now I’m dreading all the nicknames I put into my phone.  Manually merging contacts is the WORST!

As I was going through the contacts, I realized that I was missing info that I know that I had on my phone.  Turns out my phone contacts aren’t all sync’d with my Google Account.  I’ve updated the steps above with an article on how to export your phone contacts.  Here’s the link again just in case you missed it.  Probably the easiest migration step and everyone should do this.  It’s like backing up your phone to the cloud, just in case your phone get run over by a construction truck.

2/15/16 – Time consuming, but worth it.  I’ve been trying to figure out a way to outsource this job, but in the end, you know details about these contacts that no body else does.  You’d probably spend more time teaching someone to do this then doing it yourself.

In the end, this helped me to build the foundation for my life and business.  Relationships are everything.  With this aspect organized, I’m able to:

  • Layer CRM systems on top of my Google Contacts;
  • Identify all my floating e-mail addresses;
  • and begin Eliminating Unnecessary E-mail Subscriptions.