Back in the old days the merchants of the stores had a code.
They would put in the lable with the code and then the price and you could always tell at a glance how much the store spent on the Item for sale. So if you wanted to put an Item on sale you could always know the reference price.
You cannot believe how many people do that, when hotmail got hack and the the passwords released on the nets something like 40% of them were 123456
My password for insecure stuff is something simple like a word but with numbers on the end.
Password for SSH connection to my router/computer and remote desktop connections or WPA-AES keys tend to turn into 64 bit random hex.
For example (HEX) 7483CD9059E64816AF73DA40207F4C5ED61C1DAD17DBB66B89 8D1AC551B6C8F5
Of course I don't actually remmber that, I encrypt the password with truecrypt and just decrypt it when needed, the truecrypt password is simple but is encrypted with AES so it is virtually unbreakable and since it is on a harddrive it would be pretty hard for someone to get to it even if they could break the password.
I use the first 4 letters of a websites domain followed by a prefix word that is the same for every one of my forum/website related logins, excluding facebook which has it's own password that i also use for steam and msn.
For games i use two different passwords depending on my mood.
Also i have an extensionless file with all my passwords noted on it hidden in a .rar file in a jpeg on my pen-drive.