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How to Remember People’s Birthdays

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 or, 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
  • 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!

You Will Need

  • A large calendar
  • Brightly-colored markers
  • A birthday or accordion file

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