One of our customers took some time to talk with TeamPassword about password management. Chris Mechanic is co-founder and CEO of WebMechanix, a digital marketing firm in Baltimore. As a young CEO, he had some good productivity advice to share. Get to know Chris and the smart systems he has put into place for WebMechanix.

How did you manage your passwords before TeamPassword?

It was somewhat ugly and somewhat insecure. We managed passwords largely via spreadsheets that lived in Google Drive. It was a pretty substantial struggle to make sure everything was in there, and then there was also the security risk and difficulty granting permissions. We basically had two different spreadsheets, one for mission critical stuff that only executives had access to (e.g. FTP/hosting/CRM/CMS) and one for non-mission critical stuff that pretty much everyone had access to. We had like thirty clients at that time, so having a different spreadsheet for each client was cumbersome. So to answer your question, we basically had our passwords stored on a few different spreadsheets.

Why did you switch to TeamPassword?

We we were looking for a solution a few years ago and I knew Brian, one of TeamPassword’s cofounders. The price was good, we liked it, and then we said let’s go for it.

How do you structure your TeamPassword account?

We structure it in a similar way, largely—we’ve got a group in TeamPassword called “Sensitive Stuff.” Very sophisticated taxonomy, haha. That’s where we keep FTP creds, hosting information, and other sensitive stuff. Then we have different groups for different types of things. We have one group called “Client Tools” for tools that we use across many clients, like MOZ, say. Then we also have a group for “Client-Specific Tools.” For instance, if only one client uses live chat, that would go into the Client Specific Tools group. Then we also have a CRM group, which is more sensitive, so fewer people have access to it. We have a few other groups that are broken out by categories and functions.
We’re also careful about the titles we use for passwords. For instance, a lot of our clients use Salesforce. So when we are looking to login to Salesforce, TeamPassword will show ten different passwords. This was confusing at first because they were all titled simply “Salesforce.” But we learned that lesson quickly and we assigned each client a 3-5 character code (for example, Pepsi would be PEP), so now we can easily see which password to use.

What’s your favorite part of using TeamPassword?

Well, it’s beautiful because you don’t need to access a spreadsheet prior to logging in. Before, when I would need to login to Salesforce, I would go to Salesforce and try to remember the password. Then I wouldn’t remember it, and I would have to go open the spreadsheet. It sounds easy, but it’s that extra step, and if you do it 30 times a day, it adds up, and all the sudden you spent an hour trying to hack into Salesforce that day. TeamPassword eliminates that. It also makes us look sexy in client meetings. Clients’ll be like, “What’s that thing you’re using? That’s cool.” I’m like “Yeah, that’s how we roll.” 😉

What do you geek out about most at work?

I geek out about everything digital marketing. SEO, PPC, analytics, and conversion. I’m also into “CEO stuff” like management philosophies, operational efficiency, and leadership.

What do you do when you’re not working?

When I’m not working, I plan what I’m going to be working on later. Haha, just kidding. Really, I just walk around telling everyone how cool TeamPassword is. Haha. Seriously though, I like to read, work out, play tennis, hang out with my girlfriend, my family, etc. I’ve also recently bought a house and I’m becoming quite the handyman.

What is your best productivity tip?

To eliminate distractions by doing things in chunks. I like to work in chunks of time. Eliminating distractions is critical to that, but furthermore, you should also have a plan before you start working. A lot of the time, if you sit down to work but you don’t know what you’re going to be doing, you can end up dwindling away and wasting 10, 20, 30 minutes, or even an hour just getting into random stuff. Especially if you’re on the internet, or in your email.

Where is your favorite vacation spot?

Gotta be the South of France. It’s beautiful.

What advice would you give yourself ten years ago?

10 years ago I would have given myself the advice to invent TeamPassword. Just kidding. I would have given myself the advice to quit my job and start my company earlier. But then again, I was a total newb 10 years ago, so that may not have been the best advice 😉