-Gretchen Rubin, author & blogger "The Happiness Project"
Anyway, I used to be awful about sending out cards for birthdays & anniversaries. Which is a real stupid way to be, because I LOVE TO GET CARDS!! Then it finally dawned on me. I NEED A WAY TO REMEMBER BIRTHDAYS & ANNIVERSARIES SO I CAN SEND OUT CARDS!
You'd laugh if you saw my scribbly, scrawly tiny birthday calendar that's in my 15 year old Day Runner planner--that I only keep around for that one tattered birthday calendar page. I'm a real slow learner. The system works well if I remember to look at the calendar ahead of time, so I can actually buy a card and send it out before someone's birthday or anniversary has passed--but I don't look at it often enough. And usually too late. It was a pretty stupid system.
- I started using Google Calendar a couple of months ago for appointments, events & things I needed to remember. It's best feature is its email or pop-up reminders that you set according to your preferences--minutes--hours--days ahead.
- It took me about 1 hour to enter every niece, nephew, brother-in-law, friend, neighbor, co-worker, relative or significant others' birthday and anniversary. This one time set-up will be automatically repeated FOREVER (that's how you need to set it up!)--or until Google disappears off the face of the planet.
- Use Google notifications (reminders) for every birthday or anniversary you enter. This is absolutely the best part of Google calendar. You can preset your calendar to send you an email reminder, or a pop-up reminder whenever you specify. I set my notifications to send me an email reminder 1 week before a birthday so I can buy the card & mail it out. Once I get the email reminder, I keep it "unread" in my Google mail box until the birthday arrives, just so I don't forget the special day.
- I repeat-You do it once & it's forever: You can easily set up all your birthday-anniversary reminders ONE TIME ONLY, & set them to repeat every year, forever! I love that feature.
- Tip #1- Change the Notification setting default: Before you start to set up birthday reminders, look to the left-hand side of the Google calendar screen, under the little Monthly calendar--find the link to "settings". Click on it & then look for the link to "Notifications" in the upper right-side of the new screen. You can preset all your birthday notifications to be the same & it will save you from having to change each entry, separately. In my case, I set up my reminders to come as "Emails" 7 days before the event. When you are all done, then you can go back & change the Notifications settings to something else, that will be more useful in your regular use of your calendar. As in all instructions--you'll see what I mean when you actually do it!
- Last tip-Enter birthdays on top: When setting up birthday/anniversary reminders, enter the info on the TOP light blue strip of the calendar page, not within the time-slots. You'll know you're in the right place because there will be a little note that says: e.g. Mom's birthday.
- Why GMAIL & Google Calendar Rule! I know I will keep my GMAIL account for a long time to come, so I don't have to waste time using some fly-by-night computer birthday service that may go out of business, nor am I concerned about a change in my email address. There's nothing wrong with having a GMAIL account, along with any work, hotmail or yahoo accounts! You may even prefer it. You can access your Google calendar & GMAIL wherever you are.
- It's so easy. I'm definitely not a Google Calendar maven, but I found the whole process very easy to do.
- Take the tour first. I highly recommend you take a look at the Google Calendar tour to get started. Email me if you have a question--I'll help if I can.
- Remembering birthdays & anniversaries is one of the easiest ways to make you & everyone else happy!
Simplify. Organize. (And relax.) Organizing your schedule shouldn't be a burden. That's why we've created Google Calendar – our free online shareable calendar service. With Google Calendar, it's easy to keep track of all your life's important events – birthdays, reunions, little league games, doctor's appointments – all in one place.
Using Google Calendar, you can add events and invitations effortlessly, share with friends and family (or keep things to yourself), and search across the web for events you might enjoy. It's organizing made easy.
Gmail now recognizes when messages mention
events, and you can add those events to your
calendar with just a couple clicks.
Just click a spot on your calendar (or use the Quick Add link) and start typing to add a new event
View calendars that others have shared with you, and let your friends and family see your agenda.
Send invitations for any event on your calendar by adding guests
Never forget another event again. You can even get reminders sent right to your mobile phone.
Calendar Sharing: Set up a calendar for your company softball team, and share it with the whole roster. (Your shortstop will never forget about practice again.) Or share with friends and family so you can view each other's schedules side by side.
Invitations: Create event invitations, send them to friends, and keep track of people's responses and comments, all in one place. Your friends can receive your invitation and post responses even if they don't use Google Calendar themselves.
Quick Add: Click anywhere on your calendar where an event belongs (or use the Quick Add link), and start typing. Google Calendar understands whole phrases like "Brunch with mom at Java Cafe 11am on Saturday," and will pop new events right into your agenda.
Gmail Integration: Add your friend's Super Bowl party to your calendar without ever leaving your Gmail inbox. Gmail now recognizes events mentioned in emails.
Search: Find the date of the Baxter family BBQ (you knew it was sometime this summer). Or, search public calendars to discover new events you're interested in and add them to your own calendar.
Mobile Access: Receive event reminders and notifications on your mobile phone.
Event Publishing: Share your organization's events with the world. Learn more with our Event Publisher Guide.
How do I sign up?
If you already have a Google Account, just visit the Google Calendar homepage, enter your username and password, and click "Sign in."
If you don't yet have an account, you can create one now.
Does Google Calendar connect to other calendar applications and devices?
Yes. Google Calendar uses open calendar standards to give you more choice when it comes to accessing your calendar. You can view your schedule using any application or device that accepts iCal or XML files. Learn more
Can I import events from Microsoft Outlook or other calendar programs?
Absolutely. You can import information from other popular calendar applications – like Microsoft Outlook and Yahoo! Calendar – quickly and easily. Learn more
Can I set limits on the info I share with others?
Yes. You control how much you share, and who you share it with. For instance, you can let Aunt Jane see details about your ballet recitals but not your Lambada lessons. Friends and organizations can share their calendar info with you, too, and you can view it alongside your own agenda.
What about privacy? Will Google share my information?
I have more specific questions about using Google Calendar. What should I do?
Please visit the Google Calendar Help Center.