Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Lost Birthdays

As the new year for the calendar comes around I appropriately have an idea for a post regarding birthdays aka a new year for individuals. Up until this morning I had maintained a separate calendar on Google Calendar for birthdays. Each birthday would get an annually repeating event which "never" ended (luckily I didn't have to stop repeating for anybody). The system worked pretty well for me except I never really checked it to see when a birthday was happening so it was relatively useless, of course that is a different issue.

Well today I was chatting with my good friend @alexredsox and he told me his birthday was in a few weeks. I quickly set off to add it to my calendar, but while I was off doing this he recommended I try a different approach. He is well aware of my love for gmail and most things Google, so he proposed a much better solution to the birthday situation. So if you too use Gmail and Google Calendar just do the following:
1. Go to your contacts in gmail.
2. Update the birthday field for your contacts (if you haven't already)
3. Go to Google Calendar
4. In the upper right go to Settings > Calendar Settings
5. In the Calendar Settings navigate to the Calendar tab
6. Click the Browse Interesting Calendars >> link on the right hand side of the "Other Calendars" section.
7. Once in "Interesting Calendars" go to the "More" tab
8. On the more tab subscribe to the "Contacts' birthdays and events" calendar. (This will add a new calendar to your Google Calendar that will show an event based on the birthdays in your contacts.)

Now for the advanced users here is how to add the Google Calendar widget to your Gmail
1. Go to Gmail
2. Navigate to Settings
3. Select the Labs tag
4. Enable Labs if you haven't already (I suppose if you are advanced this is probably enabled already)
5. Enable the "Google Calendar gadget"

Now every morning when you log in to Gmail for the first time you can quickly see any birthdays for the day. All without having a Facebook account.