Gina has done a great post at Lifehacker on choosing and remembering passwords, suggesting some sort of system for making them all different.
I actually use someting slightly related to this myself – a way of writing down passwords where I know what needs rearranging and changing. That way, I can write them down, but if anyone gets hold of the list, they can’t actually use any of them without knowing what to move, and where to move it, and what bits to change. Very easy for me to remember, though. Yeah, if someone cracked one password, then got hold of the list, they could probably work out how to generate the rest, but there’s nothing stored that way that would be worth the kind of efford needed for an attack like that. Bank stuff is kept properly secure, using PWSafe, the password utility that was originally written by