“1Password, find my stuff!”  (How to not lose anything ever again)

Paper: it’s the bane of our digital existence.

Most of it you can scan and keep in 1Password. But some of it you just can’t digitize away. Think of those handwritten postcards from your best friend. Your glossy, autographed Star Trek prints. Your passport. Your college diploma. Your tax returns (‘tis the season).

All that stuff has to be kept somewhere safe, somewhere not-on-a-computer. And for people like me, that’s a virtual guarantee it will end up lost.

If you’re nodding your head empathetically right now, I encourage you to read on. Because I’d like to let you in on a secret:

With a bit of encouragement, 1Password can actually give you the answer to an all-too-familiar question: Where did I put that thing?


How I trained 1Password to find my stuff

The first time I misplaced my passport on the morning of an international flight, I cursed my bad luck. The second time, I resolved to teach 1Password how to keep track of my most important possessions. That way, I wouldn’t have to.

I created entries for anything and everything I was afraid to lose: the lease for my apartment, my health card, even my winter gloves.1 In each entry, I added a section—“Where is it?”—and a custom field labelled “location”. I filled in each “location” field with the object’s last known hiding place.


Once I had catalogued enough stuff, all I had to do was create a new smart folder and configure it to match any items with a “location” field.


Now I could look up my physical possessions just as easily as my digital ones. And because “Find my stuff” was a smart folder, it would stay up-to-date as I added new items. (Picture a hyper-intelligent take out drawer—it always has the dim sum menu you’re looking for.)

I still can’t remember what I did with last year’s tax return. But whenever I do need to look up something that I’ve filed away in meatspace, the answer is now just a click away. “Hey 1Password! Where’s my stuff?”

How do you use 1Password to make your life a little more manageable? We’d love to find out. Share your creative ideas in the comments!

  1. Don’t knock it! On that first cold morning in October you’ll be glad you told 1Password where your gloves were back in April.
6 replies
  1. Marilyn Kennedy
    Marilyn Kennedy says:

    Walking to my bank’s ATM, my mind suddenly went blank (senior moment). I couldn’t remember my ATM code. I went back to the car, took my iPhone out, logged into 1Password, and found my ATM code. My 1Password saved the day!

    • Andrew Costen
      Andrew Costen says:

      I’m glad 1Password was able to help! This is one of the many reasons we made (and continue to make) 1Password.

  2. Jeremy
    Jeremy says:

    I certainly wouldn’t want to bloat my main vault with this idea, but what about the mobile app having a secondary vault that it creates and maintains on its own if you choose to use this proposed “feature” for mobile…

    the idea is that you enable camera use for 1P on mobile, and using a secondary vault (or I guess primary if people choose to have photos bloat the vault file), you keep track of secure documents (outside of people or other entries), and photos of other items that would be used for insurance, etc.. it could also double as a lending library tracker for those of you/us who loan things to friends and neighbors and forget who has them or when they were lent out. rather than just attaching images to regular items in the vault, you’d have a vault that was intended to be driven by images, perhaps with a list view as well as image grid view, sorted/filtered by category? my important documents would be one category, books and cds and dvds and those lent out another, and trinkets or other items that you’d want to recall where they were placed (or hidden) as described above in the blog article.

    I know there are plenty of apps that already focus on this, but why not use the app that we all love already? seems like most of the functionality is already there, and agilebits’ focus on interface and great app design would make for a killer solution.

    I know this is going WAAAAAY out there, but perhaps even investigate whether siri integration is possible? how awesome would it be to just ask siri to whom I lent my favorite dvd, or leaf blower? or where did I put my kids’ birth certificates and have her tell me they’re in the locked desk drawer before I went digging in the basement fire safe? if siri could interface with the db (which I do not know is possible), it would make your phone so much more helpful—after 1P was unlocked to keep out the evil doers, of course!

  3. Serge
    Serge says:

    Wouldn’t make sense to create new type of object – “asset”? As an option, at least to be able to create “templates”. I have tried to use this approach with security note and ended up adding quite a few custom fields. Which is fine if you have 1 or 2 objects but if you want to have multiple and add them often it would be time consuming.

    • Andrew Costen
      Andrew Costen says:

      That’s not a bad idea. I can’t make any promises, obviously, but I will definitely be happy to pass it along.

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