Organizing, Redesign & Staging

Friday, January 18, 2008

Remembering that Special Day

My daughter has a birthday this weekend and, after all the party planning and details, I am looking forward to it going well. We are not doing it at our home (much to my delight) but it still involves goody bags, 30+ preschoolers, lots of adults, and scheduling of fun activities.

Let's talk about birthdays, specifically remembering everyone's. Obviously, remembering family's birthday dates are fairly easy -- and if you have a small child, he or she is your 'reminder service' on an hourly basis. How can you forget?

When I had a daily planner (3-ring, digest-size type) with paper, I used to write down not only birthdates and anniversaries but a note to myself to send a card, written 3 mailing days prior. Now I have it in my PDA and the computer shows not only the recurring birthday but lists the year (great for kids; not so nice for those of us getting older!). When I look over the month, I enter in 'tasks' that come up as to-do items on the PDA screen to remind me to send a card.

I thought these reminder ideas on were helpful.

Dozens of websites offer complete reminder services for birthdays. The information is stored online, so you never have to worry about losing your dates if your computer crashes. Here are six standouts.

Yahoo! Calendar...With a free membership at Yahoo! (, you can take advantage of the site’s calendar feature, which allows you to schedule all kinds of appointments with alarms sent to your Yahoo! Messenger account, mobile device, or e-mail address. If you choose to share your calendar with friends and family, they can view your dates and add their own. Cost: Free. service features an easy interface, e-mail or text-message reminders, a selection of e-cards, and an option to send flowers.Cost: Free e-mail reminders; 50 cents for each text message. will remind you of a birthday via a cell-phone text message or an e-mail with suggestions for cards and gifts. You can even sign up for a service that will send a paper card to someone through the U.S. Postal Service ($3, plus postage). The downside is that it’s slightly impersonal; you don’t get to compose the message in your own handwriting.Cost: Free for the first three months; $6 a year after that. a tasteful, simple, and thoughtful interface, this site assigns each member her own Web page so she can direct friends and family there to input their birthdays, rather than having to collect the information herself.Cost: Free.
SmarterChildAOL Instant Messenger users can create birthday alerts by adding SmarterChild to their buddy lists. Send a message to SmarterChild consisting of the word reminder. You’ll be prompted to answer a few questions if it’s your first time, then taken through the setup. At the appointed date, you’ll get an IM reminding you of your duties. Also available with MSN and ICQ.Cost: Free. Pal keeps track of as many birthdays as you like and will send up to four different reminders per birthday. It also automates the process of birthday collection by sending an e-mail to friends requesting their dates.Cost: Free.