Write a sentence you are likely to remember. Make sure it has letters and numbers. A proper noun or two would help. The sentence should have as many words as the maximum password length.
Arrange the words from the sentence top to bottom. A grid will help organize the letters. Any letters on the same row as a capital should be capitalized.
Pick your passwords vertically. IE, for the first password, take the first letter of each word and number of each date. Do this until you run out of suitable passwords. A good password sentence will yield 3 or more good passwords. This should be all you really need.
Your ultimate goal is to memorize your password sentence so that you have it down pat. By memorizing words, you're spending the same amount of effort as memorizing a single set of letters, but in a more natural form that you can use for a lot more passwords.
Let's say my password needs to be between 6 and 12 characters long, have at least 2 of the following: lower case letters, upper case letters, numbers, and punctuation.
I'll create my sentence:
6 4 2011
And collect my passwords:
IsRwmfSaBo6 - an 11 character password with 4 caps and a number
tAiyrAnOn4 - a 10 character password with 3 caps and a number
aGtiRdB2 - an 8 character password with 3 caps and a number
rNheAB0 - a 7 character password with 3 caps and a number
tAnHY1 - a 6 character password with 3 caps and a number.
5 passwords is a good haul. It should keep me Ragnaroking for a year or more under the current password change requirements. All I have to do is memorize a simple sentence: "I started Ragnarok with my friends Sarah and Bobby on 6 4 2011"
btw...this example has never been one of my passwords.
Edited by Ceer, 24 February 2011 - 11:58 PM.