Much has been written about passwords. How to manage them? Is it worth buying an app? How do you keep them all straight?

When people fret about passwords, their anxiety starts when it comes time to change the password. What will I change it to? How will I ever remember when I have so many?

Let me give you a hint about changing passwords I bet no one has ever told you.

You only need to change one character.

Did you know what? If your password is Password1! you can change it to Password2! And it will still work. That’s all. Just change 1 to 2 and move on with your life.

Let me share with you my method for creating passwords for work. At work, since I can’t rely on an app to input my login password to my computer, I need a password I can remember.

I used to work in a place that required two passwords. One for my everyday user account and another password for my administrator account.

The user account had the normal must be at least 8 characters with capital letters, lowercase letters numbers and a special character.

My administrator account *must be at least 16 characters with the same requirements.

Now how was I ever going to keep my passwords in mind when I had to change the first every 90 days and the latter every 60 days?

My Password System

Let me give you my password system that works perfectly for the working world.

  1. Choose a food. Pick one with a few characters in it. I like pizza.
  2. Choose a special character. I always like to start with a ! It gives some pop! to! my! password!
  3. Choose a number. Start with 1. It will make you life easier.
  4. When it comes time to change your password, add 1 to the number.

Now, create your first password by putting them all together.

Enter your food with a leading capital letter.
Now, add your number, starting with 1.
Finally, add your special character.
When it comes time to change your password, just add 1.

If that sounds funny, make it 1Pizza!!

Pizza was too short so I added an S to get my 8 characters. You could always use more numbers or special characters.


Now you have passwords for as many years as you need. Keep adding 1 to your current password and if you don’t remember it, just try the last 3 numbers you remember using. It will be one of them.

And if you need to reset your password because you’ve forgotten what number you were on, add a couple of numbers so it. Instead of 23Pizzas! make it 27Pizzas!

Get tired of pizza? Use another food. Foods are easy because they’re easy to spell and hard to guess. Common passwords are names of children, spouses, parents or pets. Foods are much harder to guess.

And by changing a single number every time, you can reuse the same password forever without running out of options.

No more stressing when it comes time to change passwords. No more frustrating bouts of trial-and-error.