Forgetting a friend, relative, or coworker’s birthday can be downright embarrassing. Still, it can be brain-boggling to try to keep track of a year’s worth of birthdays. Maybe these simple organization tips can serve as perennial reminders of these special occasions. Picking one or two of these birthday reminder strategies may be just the ticket for preventing missed birthday mishaps or the birthday forgetfulness faux pas.
1. Ask for birthdays, and write them down.
Within the family, the company department, or the social circle, it may be appropriate to ask folks when their birthdays are. Clearly, the birth year may be a touchier subject, but the calendar date is generally fair game.
2. Keep a birthday notebook or computer file.
Plenty of birthday trackers list these occasions (usually in chronological order) in a notebook, document file, or other spot. This may be a super place to record anniversaries or other important milestones as well.
3. Set up an online calendar.
Internet calendar sites abound. Most of these offer birthday reminder capabilities. Birthday Alarm, Birthday Lab, Birthday-Reminders, and Punchbowl are a few examples. Some are free, while others may charge sign-up or service fees. Google Calendar and Yahoo can do this too.
4. Hang up a monthly calendar, and mark birthdays.
Got wall space? Why not tack up a calendar at the start of the new year, and list upcoming birthday? Add more, as the year progresses, and new birthdays are discovered.
5. Pick a perpetual calendar.
Here’s a great way to save some time. How about creating or purchasing a perpetual calendar, which may be used every year? Write down special birthdays, as new acquaintances are made.
6. Use a birthday reminder phone app.
Use a smart phone or tablet to prevent birthday forgetfulness. Tons of free apps offer such daily birthday reminders. These include Birthday Cards – Free Reminder, Birthday Sweet – Birthday Calendar, Countdown + Event Reminders Lite, MyCalendar Free, Reminder and Countdown Free, and more. Many of these apps can even send electronic birthday greetings.
7. Record birthdays in a datebook.
Lots of folks still carry hard-copy personal or professional appointment books. Some of these offer birthday listing pages. Many users choose to jot down important birthdays on their appropriate dates.
8. Mark contacts’ birthdays on an email address book.
AOL sends email notices when contacts’ birthdays are coming up, if such information is included in the user’s AOL address book. Yahoo Mail has a similar option. Many other email providers do not currently offer birthday reminders.
9. Find folks on Facebook and similar social networking sites, and heed birthday alerts that pop up all year round.
Facebook, Google+, Linked In, Plaxo, and other social networking sites allow users to see, record, and receive reminders of contacts’ birthdays.
10. Pay attention to online group birthday posts.
Those who are active in internet communities (such as Facebook groups) may notice fellow group members’ birthday greetings and follow suit.
11. Read and heed company or group newsletters.
Employee newspapers, company newsletters, and other periodic personnel or member announcements may provide handy listings of upcoming birthdays.
12. Listen for upcoming birthday clues.
Some people simply cannot help but telegraph hints that their birthdays are approaching.
13. Sign up for repeat gift order reminders.
More than a few savvy birthday shoppers set up perennial gift programs with favorite florists, gourmet food purveyors, or other retailers. This is especially easy to do online, where such merchants may send automatic reminders of such occasions. “Would you like to send Aunt Abby a floral wreath for her birthday again this year?” a pre-birthday email might say.
14. Enlist the help of a birthday-savvy friend or loved one.
Let’s face it. Certain people are simply birthday-centric, never forgetting these annual milestones. These celebratory sorts can be particularly helpful in the birthday reminder department.
15. Be bold with belated birthday greetings.
Just discovered a skipped birthday? Never fear. Online greeting cards (and gift cards) are quick and easy to send, offering immediate recovery from a missed birthday gaffe. And a late birthday greeting may be far better than no mention at all.
Note: Inclusion of programs, phone apps, and other services in this article do not imply endorsements. Users are urged to check out such offerings carefully before downloading or enrolling.
It may not be essential to remember every birthday in the extended clan, company, neighborhood, club, team, or other group. However, most of us are expected to mark the birthdays if immediate family members, close friends, and priority business contacts. Any of these practical strategies can serve as alerts for those birthdays that are most important each year. When it comes to birthday greetings, it truly is the thought that counts, and that thought often takes a little organization to keep it from slipping one’s mind altogether.