Answers to the question "How safe are password managers like LastPass?" suggest that storing personal passwords on a physical notebook might be a reasonable option:
I know someone who won't use Password Safe and instead has a physical notebook with his passwords in obfuscated form. This notebook is obviously much safer against malware... whether it's at greater risk of loss/theft is an interesting question.
Obviously, a piece of paper is secure against any malware attacks.
The requirement is for an offline access of credentials. For example a small notebook on which you write all your security details for all banks, stores, websites, even combination locks, addresses and all other details you may wish to be able to access from any location in the world.
Also, it can sometimes be easier to look up passwords in a notebook -- e.g. if you travel a lot, you could store passwords on your smartphone using a password manager app. However, this means your phone needs to be charged and operational all the time, which adds another point of failure.
Now, disregarding the posibilities that a notebook might be lost, stolen completely, destroyed or otherwise physically harmed, I'd like to focus on a one question:
How would you obfuscate (as mentioned in the first quote) passwords so that they cannot easily be deciphered by someone who is able to throw a glance at the notebook?
On the other hand, the algorithm must be simple enough so that the owner of the notebook can decode his or her own passwords in almost no time.
Could such an algorithm be considered more or less secure even if it's posted here on Information Security or does obfuscation always imply security through obscurity (i.e. keeping the algorithm itself secret)?
Could an obfuscation algorithm be designed in such a way that it would be impossible or unlikely to decipher the passwords, even if a hypothetical attacker had access to the notebook for at least several hours? Or would that naturally contradict the requirement that the owner can decode his/her passwords quickly?