If you single-handedly are keeping the belated birthday card industry alive, you need a system.
Step 1: Put it in your face Hang a calendar in a place you see every day, like on the fridge—and write down birthdays in bright, unusual ink, so they stand out.
Step 2: Use a birthday file Buy a birthday file, available at card shops, or a plain accordion file. Then purchase a bunch of birthday cards for everyone you know, address them, and file them according to the appropriate month. Keep your file where you pay your bills.
TIP: Use a virtual calendar to track birthdays on your computer or phone. Set it up once, and it will send you birthday reminders year after year.
Step 3: Set up alerts Sign up for one of the many websites that offer birthday alerts, like hallmark.com or birthdayalarm.com, which will send you an email or text reminder when birthdays come up.
Step 4: Send automatic greetings Sign up for a service that automatically sends out birthday cards for you, like cardsremembered.com.
TIP: For those really special people in your life—you know, the ones who will kill you if you forget their birthday—consider signing up for a service that sends flowers automatically.
Step 5: Make them remind you Ask friends and family members to put their birthday on your MySpace or Facebook page. Why should you do all the work?
FACT: The most common birthday in the U.S. is October 5th—which means January 5th is the most popular day to get busy!