Birthday & Other Important Date Reminders

I'm not sure what made me think of it earlier, but one of my goals on my 24 Before 24 list is to send things through snail mail. Since I'm now living across the country from my family and most of my friends, I sometimes think about sending them something in the mail for birthdays or other special events, but I'm so unaccustomed to sending things via mail that I usually think of it too late for it to actually get there in time. Then I get all disheartened and scrap the idea altogether. Well that's changing this year people!

Since I knew that not thinking ahead enough of time was my primary issue to sending special events mail/gifts (I also want to send regular correspondence via mail as well), I decided to go in and tweak some settings and fix some things in my calendar to get the most out of my notifications. I'm pretty terrible at remembering dates, so I need some help from good old technology.

To change your phone's birthday reminder settings, go into Settings on your iPhone.

Scroll down until you see Mail, Contacts, Calendars. Click on this option.

Scroll down to the Calendars section, and click on Default Alert Times.

On this screen, you'll have a couple of options. For the purpose of this tutorial, click on Birthdays (though you may want to go in and see what you have set for the other two options as well for posterity).

Since I'm wanting to get the alert in time to send mail, I've selected 1 week before. You can choose the alert preference of your choosing.

Now you will automatically get alerts for all of the birthdays on your calendar, and since your Facebook calendar syncs up with your Apple calendar, that's all you need to do!

The tutorial above only applies to birthdays, and I wanted to have other reminders for other special occasions as well, so I took it one step further. To do this, go into your Calendar app and select a date you would like to remember.

Click the plus sign in the upper right hand corner to add an event. When I updated my iOS to 7 a lot of the stuff disappeared off of my calendar, so for this I decided to go back in and add my anniversary. You can add any significant event, though reoccurring events are particularly useful for this. Add the event details with title, location if applicable, and time or switch on All-day. Then click on the Repeat option.


Click Every Year in order to have this reminder automatically added to your calendar each year. This way, you never have to remember to update your calendar again!

To see all birthdays on your calendar at a glance, simply type Birthday into your search bar.

To see all other important dates at a glance, put a note in each calendar entry saying Important Date. When you put Important Date into your calendar search bar, every entry with this note will come up.

If you don't have an iPhone, do not despair! There are also sites like this one that will email or text you a set reminder, which is another great option.

What steps do you take to remember important dates? What do you send through snail mail? I'd love to know!

Yours Truly, Jen

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