Secure all the things in Secure Notes

The more I use 1Password, the more uses I think of for it. Of course, all my usernames and passwords are stored in the app, and I can’t tell you how much I love signing in to an iOS app that has enabled the 1Password app extension. It’s downright magical. If that’s all 1Password ever did for me, I’d be more than satisfied. But as 1Password has grown and developed, it’s given me so many wonderful options for keeping all kinds of data secure and sorted. For a girl who loves organization, it’s a dream come true!

One of my favourite improvements to 1Password is the Secure Notes category. With custom fields (and custom icons!), I’ve got my very own customizable database for any type of information I want to keep secure yet easily available. I want to share with you just how awesome this category can be, so here are a few of my favourite uses for Secure Notes.

Family medical history

Secure Notes: Medical info

Do you remember your complete medical history? How about your partner’s, your child’s, or your pet’s? I store information about each family member’s allergies, prescriptions, previous surgeries and other important details in a Secure Note shared in my family vault. Custom fields help me keep all the details nicely sorted, and the custom icons make these entries easy to recognize! I hope it’s never necessary, but it’s great to know that it’s available there, just in case.

Taxes

Secure Notes: Taxes

Thankfully, we only have to deal with taxes once a year. But that infrequency can lead to a lot of forgetfulness. There are all sorts of identifying numbers associated with filing taxes, even more if I want to file online. In years past, I have had to dig through my not-so-awesome paper filing system to locate all those details. Now I’m building a Secure Note with all my tax information, including a list of charitable donations and other relevant deductions I know I’ll want to remember. I can even attach PDFs of previous tax returns and necessary forms for reference. I’m dreading tax season less already!

Insurance Policies

While we’re talking about fun stuff, do you know your insurance policy details? Whether it’s for your home, car or health, this is the sort of information that you don’t really need—until it’s really, really necessary. In my mind, this is exactly what the Secure Notes category in 1Password was designed for. Knowing that this data is secure and available when I need it gives me a whole lot of peace of mind.

Hardware database

Secure Notes: Hardware

It’s the age of technology, and we all have a wonderful collection of gadgets and gizmos to help us do our jobs and entertain us throughout the day. And each of those gadgets comes with warranty information, user guides and an array of important details. If that information gets stored in my “filing cabinet” (ok, it’s just a box with a bunch of loose papers at this point) it may as well go in the recycling bin. Now 1Password is my go-to database for all my hardware information from cameras and iDevices to game consoles and home appliances. Very neat and tidy.

Where is that thing?

I work with some really smart people. A while back, Mitch shared an awesome idea for Secure Notes. In his blog post, he talks about training 1Password to remember where you’ve stored physical things that are hardest to find when you need them, like a passport or winter gloves. I’m still geeking out over it!

I’m amazed by how powerful custom fields have made the Secure Notes category. I use them so much that I could probably talk to you about them all day. But I’d rather hear from you. Have you used this feature to simplify your life? Please share your story in the comments.

32 replies
  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    How, exactly, do you add custom icons to Secure Notes? I tried on iOS and when editing the item, tapping on the icon does nothing.

    Reply
    • Megan O'Brien
      Megan O'Brien says:

      Hi Anonymous,

      At this time, you’ll need to add those custom icons using the desktop version of 1Password. I’ll let our developers know that you’d love to see this feature on iOS as well. :)

  2. Ryan
    Ryan says:

    I like to store images of my signature and my wife’s signature for signing PDFs and other documents. Before 1Password, they were stored in the open, now they are secure!

    Reply
    • Megan O'Brien
      Megan O'Brien says:

      Hi David,

      I admit, it’s a feature I just discovered while polishing up my Secure Notes for display in this blog post but I’m pretty stoked that it exists. When you’re editing the Secure Note (this is in 1Password for Mac), you can drag an image over the default icon to replace it. You can also double-click the icon while in edit mode to bring up an image chooser. This works for Logins, Identities, any item in 1Password.

      Happy customizing!

    • Megan O'Brien
      Megan O'Brien says:

      Hi Anonymous,

      I’m glad it worked! If there’s anything particularly odd that you think our developers need to make less buggy, please let me know. Clearly I think this is a pretty important feature and I’d love to have it working properly. ;)

    • Anonymous
      Anonymous says:

      Sounds good, Megan! I did save the console log output after the crash I experienced, so I will submit that to the support team now.

    • eva
      eva says:

      Hi Diane,

      I’m sorry, but we don’t have a library of custom icons that you can integrate into Secure Notes. However, if you are wanting to create some of your own, here are some instructions for you.

      -Eva

  3. Warren
    Warren says:

    Hi, firstly I absolutely love 1Password and will tell anyone who’ll listen. Howvever, unless I’m missing something, what I’d really like to see is a contacts category. The identity one has space for telephone numbers but it’s not quite the same. There are no decent apps for storing contacts which can be backed up and so on and it seems like an easy thing for 1Password to add. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Don
      Don says:

      This is a great idea Warren, I would also like to see where you could import from various sources like gMail, Outlook, Apple contacts…

    • eva
      eva says:

      Hi Don,

      As I just responded to Warren, I agree that this is a great idea. However, at least for the moment, we are going to retain our focus on building and improving 1Password’s core functionality.

      -Eva

    • Richard
      Richard says:

      I wouldn’t clutter up 1Password with loads of contacts. If you have Apple devices you’re much better off storing your contacts in Apple Contacts and have them in the iCloud. They would be much easier to get at and you can do so many things with an Apple contact (send email to the contact, call up the FB page of the contact, call the contact, pull up a map giving directions to the contact’s place, etc.)

    • Warren
      Warren says:

      Hi Richard, the reason I would like contacts in 1Password is I have a list of contacts which are sensitive from a security perspective. There are apps which allow you to password protect some contacts but you cannot back them up or sync them which is a massive pain. As long as one sticks to the categories, there’s no reason contacts would clutter up anything else.

    • eva
      eva says:

      Hi Richard,

      I agree, there are many other great tools for managing contacts. And managing contacts is not a core feature of 1Password. We do our best to find the happy medium between our strengths and our customers’ requests. That is the reason we do include phone, email and address fields is because there are some contacts that you want to keep secure.

      -Eva

    • eva
      eva says:

      Hi Warren,

      That is a great idea that we have been hearing a lot of requests for lately. However, our plates are pretty full right now and we would prefer to keep our energy focused on creating and maintaining 1Password’s key functionality at the moment.

      But thank you for asking the question. We love hearing the great ideas and suggestions that our customers have to share!

      -Eva

    • eva
      eva says:

      Hi Steve,

      I’m not entirely sure what you are asking, so I will give you two different answers. If you are just putting in information like policy numbers and premiums, you may simply type them in. If you are wanting to upload pictures of your policy itself, you can upload a file by following these directions.

      Please let me know if you have any additional questions that I may answer for you.

      -Eva

  4. Jon
    Jon says:

    @Warren: Have you considered using a zero-knowledge cloud service for your sensitive data? I use SpiderOak although there are others out there that have not been mentioned by Edward Snowden. ;)

    Reply
    • eva
      eva says:

      Hi Steve,

      Absolutely. And here are instructions to do so:

      Login item:*​ Edit item. Click ​_Download icon_​ if rich icon is desired. Double-click image well (the little icon square) to add a custom icon from your computer.

      Other type of item:​ Edit item. Click ​Add​ button at bottom of Edit window, and select the ​Icon​ option.

      -Eva

    • eva
      eva says:

      Hi Aaron,

      You can add attachments to our 1Password 5 for Mac and our 1Password 4 for Windows apps. You will find instructions for Windows here and Mac here.

      However, I suspect you were asking more about our mobile apps. That is not possible at the moment, but I have added your request as an upvote to add this feature in the future.

      Thanks for asking!
      -Eva

  5. Reinhard
    Reinhard says:

    In section “Hardware database” of your article above there’s a screenshot that looks just like a template for hardware stuff that you have created individually. I’m using 1Password on Mac and iOS, however I don’t see how I could create such a template. Could you please I’ve me a hint?

    Reply
    • Dave Teare
      Dave Teare says:

      Good morning, Reinhard!

      In Megs’ examples above she’s showing how you can bend a Secure Note to meet your needs for pretty much anything by using custom fields and sections. To make one of your own you can create a new Secure Note and then add a few sections and fields as needed – here’s what it would look like on Mac.

      All you need to do is start typing something into the Section area and new blank field will appear right away, along with another blank Section incase you want to add another. You can also customize the icon by double clicking on it or dragging and dropping an image onto it.

      I know you asked for just a hint so hopefully you don’t mind me giving away the whole story ?

      Take care,

      ++dave;

  6. Reinhard
    Reinhard says:

    Thank you very much, Dave, you made it totally clear. I guess the screenshot I referred to was on a Windows machine, that’s why I was confused about the looks. :)

    Reply

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