1PW is Great but the lack of folders is frustrating [tags are not better :-)]

Community Member
edited August 17 in Business and Teams

1PW is the best PW manager there is but the lack of folders and the standard company response whenever they are requested of refusing to acknowledge their utility, and instead recommending tags is frustrating. We'll be going on a year soon as a user and it is still a hindrance. Every other PW manager listened to customers and implemented folders - Last Pass, Zoho Vault, Keeper and so on. But they lack key advantages 1PW has in other areas.

Here's a typical use case:

  • You have a Client with 10 different properties. Or a large building with 100 rooms. Folders and sub-folders can handle this easily. On the other hand it's insanely inefficient to create separate vaults for each. Yet it's crucial to have some type of separation. So what's a company to do? There is nothing to do other than end up with poor organization. Tags are great for unstructured meta data, they are horrible for addressing this.

Thanks for listening.

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  • Scott.S_1PScott.S_1P

    Team Member

    Hello there @PasswordSchmassword,

    I'm Scott on the 1Password support team. It's nice to meet you. 👋

    1PW is the best PW manager there is

    I agree 😁

    Here's a typical use case:
    You have a Client with 10 different properties. Or a large building with 100 rooms. Folders and sub-folders can handle this easily.

    Thanks for posting here to discuss folders vs tags. I must confess that I don't understand your example. Can you elaborate on the kind of information that might be stored about each property or room, as well as how the information is used or restricted within the team? I'd love to dig into the problem you are facing so I can better relay your use case to the team.

    I'll be on the lookout out for your reply.

    Thank you,

  • PasswordSchmasswordPasswordSchmassword
    Community Member

    Thanks for responding Scott! So here's a typical example and how we would handle it with most of the other PW managers:
    Client ABC (this would be the top level folder)

    • Property 1 (this would be a sub-folder that contains all the passwords related to Property 1). The folder examples below would be the same except would represent other properties.
    • Property 2
    • Property 3
    • Property 4
    • Property 5
    • Property 6
    • Property 7
    • Property 8
    • Property 9
    • Property 10

    The above structure is simple and has several advantages:

    • "Reduced noise". Who wants 10 top level folders when everything can be easily organized into 1 top level folder and 10 subfolders?
    • Much easier for team members for several reasons. One is that they may not remember every property name or address or sub-account name, but they do remember the primary Client. So all they have to do is go to the top level client folder and then it's easy to find what they are looking for even if they don't initially remember the sub-account name or address etc.
    • Easier to enforce consistency. Simply go to the subfolder and create any new password for the property. Now let's suppose that in 1PW and we instead try to use a vault and tags to represent properties. That's a horrible solution because it's easy for an employee to forget to tag a PW with a property, so now you end up with a PW in a vault and unless the name is really descriptive you don't know what it's for! Not to mention you end up with a silly list of tags that gets shared across the database even if not relevant to anything but one property. So tags are not a remotely workable solution to solve this issue, at least IMO.

    The only real option is to create a separate vault for every single property. So I guess we would have to create a ton of vaults titled:
    Client ABC - Property 1
    Client ABC - Property 2
    And so on.

    This is especially fun when in order to have some ability to organize due to the lack of subfolders you're already adding prefixes to folders to categorize them. For instance, current prefixes include "Client", "Internal" and so on. So using separate vaults in actuality looks like this:

    Client | ABC Electronics | Building A
    And we have to create 10 vaults like that.

    Of course it gets even more fun if building A has separate areas or other hierarchies you need to track in which case you might need to create separate vaults for every one of those!

    Bottom line - folder make things so much easier to organize when you are dealing with multiple levels of a company or property.

  • MrCMrC
    Volunteer Moderator

    Tags are more powerful than folders. An item can belong to only a single folder. But an item can have any number of tags, and therefore be a member of many tag hierarchies.

    You can do what you want with tags:

    The main issue now is that the UI doesn't support expanding / collapsing the tag hierarchies. I'd imagine this is on the 1Password To Do list.

  • ag_maxag_max

    Team Member


    Thanks so much for providing that very detailed use case. I've found a related issue internally and filed your feedback there. This should help our product and development teams better track interest.

    ** So here's a typical example and how we would handle it with most of the other PW managers:...**

    Typically, in these situations one solution is to organize each client as a vault and then use tags for other attributes (like properties, in this case) which you're already aware of. You addressed this and noted some concerns. One concern is the issue if an employee forgets to update an item with the correct tag - that could certainly hurt its findability, especially for vaults with many contents. In 1Password 8 you can enter =untagged in the search box to view all untagged items, which may help you track down it's origins (1Password will provide an item history and information about who created or last modified an item). To restrict the search to a specific vault:

    1. Select a vault in the 1Password app sidebar and press Ctrl/Cmd + F on your keyboard.
    2. Move your cursor to the beginning of the search bar and paste =untagged.

    Your search bar should look like: =untagged =vault:ClientA

    1. Press Ctrl/Cmd + Enter to view the full list of untagged items within that vault.

    ref: IDEA-I-1510

  • PasswordSchmasswordPasswordSchmassword
    Community Member

    MrC, thank you for posting.

    "Tags are more powerful than folders."

    I agree and love tags and use them extensively. In Evernote for instance I have a very small number of notebooks and use tags for everything because they are so powerful and make it so easy to find things. However tags typically have some serious issues being used as a primary method of organization when it comes to team use, which is why most every document management system uses them as a supplementary rather than a primary method of categorizing documents.

    In your example tags are literally being used for addresses (property 1, 2 etc.). Does that really seem like the correct use of tags to you in a team solution for businesses? Now be honest :-p. An address is highly specific to a password/client, it's the opposite of something that would typically be a tag.

    In our document management system we use folders/subfolders and tags. That scenario is beautiful because it allows creating a consistent folder structure, while allowing the freeform use of tags to help find things.

  • Scott.S_1PScott.S_1P

    Team Member

    Hi @PasswordSchmassword,

    I've got a work around that may be useful to you given the example cases you've shared. Can you send an email to [email protected] from your account email address? Mention this thread and that you'd like to talk to Scott in Business Support so the ticket is forwarded to my team.

    I'll be back in the office Monday morning and will be on the lookout for an email from you.

    Have a good weekend.

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