iCal birthday reminders

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by JonDownin, Jun 18, 2006.

  1. JonDownin macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    #1
    Hello all! I have looked extensively to no avail. Is there any way to have iCal give me a reminder or alarm when people's birthdays that are in iCal are coming up? This would be of great help if it is possible. Anyone have any insight into this issue? Thanks.
     
  2. realityisterror macrumors 65816

    realityisterror

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Location:
    Snellville, GA
    #2
    I'm almost definitely sure it's not possible, which is quite annoying if you ask me... It's pretty pointless to integrate both alarms and birthdays, and not have them work together. :(

    Submit feedback to Apple to let them know you'd like this feature too.
     
  3. iGary Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #3
    Yes - set up a Calendar called birthdays.

    For each birthday, go under "Alarm" and set to your heart's desire.
     
  4. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #4
    There is functionality in Automator to select anyone who has a birthday in the next week/month, you might be able to do something to get a list mailed to yourself with any upcoming birthdays.

    I suspect if you used Find People with Birthdays from the Address Book Actions and then Get Details - like name/birthday and then use the Mail facility to create a new message to send to yourself.

    Save that action as an app and run it at startup and you should get an email to warn you of birthdays.
     
  5. JonDownin thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    #5
    The special setting for birthdays under iCal offers no alarm option when you go into details for the full-day event.


    I checked this out already and it very well may be possible, but automator is a bit of a beast in-and-of itself. It is a little hard to figure out. I'll try messing around with it a bit more.

    Thanks all for your suggestions. It seems there is no obvious way to get this done. :(
     
  6. iGary Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #6
    It doesn't?

    [​IMG]
     

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  7. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #7
    nope... the ones that pull in directly to iCal via Address Book don't have Alarms associated with them for some bizarre reason.

    I did come across this little app though Dates to iCal which might do what you want without too much work on your part.
     
  8. iGary Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #8
    Ah - I never used the Address Book link...always just put them in to repeat every year as an all day event. :)
     
  9. JonDownin thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    #9
    I'm not sure about the best way to take a screen cap, but I can assure you I don't have the option that is present in your pic. My birthdays are set up through Address Book, are your's set up the same way? The only option I have are "from & to (date)," "repeat & end," "calendar," and "url (?)."
     
  10. imacintel macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    #10
    I want my Mac Back!
    but If I want it to work, guess I gotta wait 10 days for HD.

    I saw the pics, made me want my mac.
     
  11. JonDownin thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    #11
    Maybe this is the most clear-cut solution...
     
  12. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #12
  13. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #13
    This is what I do, also. Now is the first time I wasn't annoyed with myself for not doing it the Apple way. Thank you, Gary! :D (And P.S. What the frack am I talking about?™ ;) )
     
  14. xcell macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    #14
    Show Birthday calendar

    "Show Birthday calendar" is an integrated function in iCal. I am asking myself why create a new calendar just to get the reminder function working? Pointless, indeed, if alarms and birthdays are not working together.
     
  15. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
  16. xcell macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    #16
    Guess the party's over then (?) :(
     
  17. Macheon macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    #17
    I came across this same issue. I solved it by exporting [from File menu] the Birthday calendar that came from Address Book, and then I made a new calendar and imported [from File Menu] the events into the new calendar. And Wah-lah, I had all the birthdays on a calendar and I could set up an alarm for each one.
     
  18. Ergolad macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    #18
    Solved?

    Hmmm. This works, but... what about when you have a new birthday to add from the address book? I tested this and it creates duplicates for the new calendar. From what I can tell, wouldn't I have to basically start all over again and reset all the reminders each time I did an export/import using this method?

    Really the reminder feature should just work in the Birthdays Subscription. Plain and simple. This is why I have an "Apple - Feedback" link in my bookmarks bar.

    In the meantime, I found this on another forum. May be a quick and dirty way of setting a standard alarm for an imported Birthday Calendar. Go to the link then scroll down to the "remember birthdays" section. I gather that you'd basically delete and recreate your calendar each time you wanted to update the imported calendar then use this app to set a standard reminder for all events (B-days) in the new calendar. Jeesh...

    Milestone Reminder looks to be a way to automate this process. Haven't tried it myself.
     
  19. berestede macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    #19
    iCal reminders using Automator

    You can set up an Automator workflow to get birthday reminders by email. Here's how.
    1 - Open Address Book. Go File>New Smart Group
    2 - Call your smart group 'Birthdays in the next two weeks' or something like that. On the drop-down menus, left to right, select 'Birthday' 'is in the next' and then type in 2 and then select 'weeks'. Click OK.
    3 - Now open Automator. It should be in applications or application utilities.
    4 - File>New . Select 'custom' if it asks.
    5 - You are now going to create a workflow. To do this you drag items from the columns in the middle to the wide column on the right. Start by selecting Contacts in the leftmost column. (It's under Library in Leopard.) A series of choices will appear in the middle column. Click on 'Find Address Book Items' and drag it into the wide right-hand column. Your item turns into a box of instructions once in the wide right-hand column. In your newly dragged box, type in 'birthday' (so that the box now reads Find: Groups, Whose Name Contains birthday).
    6 - Next drag Get Contact Information to the large right-hand column. Place it underneath your 'Find Address Book Items' box. Select which parts of the contact information you wish to be sent in your reminder email.
    7 - Now click on 'Mail' in the far left column, and from the choices drag New Mail Message across to the right hand column. Again but it underneath the last box. Type in the email address you wish your reminder to be sent to. Also make sure use choose the account to send the email from.
    8 - Now drag across Send Outgoing Messages.
    9 - Now select 'Files & Folders' in the far left column and drag 'Quit Application' from its choices to the right hand column. In its drop down menu choose 'Automator'.
    10 - Now choose File > Save. Type in a name for your workflow and save it in a place that you will remember (e.g. create a new folder called Automator Workflows in your Applications folder). Save the workflow as a workflow. Don't close anything yet; we haven't quite finished!
    11 - Now select 'Utilities' on the far left-hand column and from its choices drag Run Workflow to the top (yes the top) of the column of automator boxes in the right-hand column. From its drop-down menu choose the name of the workflow you have just saved.
    12 - Save the workflow again. You can now quit Automator.
    13 - Now open iCal. I have an event that occurs every Sunday. Either create a recurring event or choose something that happens repeatedly and reasonably regularly. Edit the event and choose Alarm. In the alarm choices choose 'Open file' and select the Automator workflow that you have just created.
    14 - And that should be it. You should now get an email at regular times telling you whose birthdays are in the next couple of weeks.
     
  20. alpich macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
    #20
    Thanks berested for your Automator option. I had not used it before but it was very easy. Now I don't know if you were using Tiger or Leopard but I found it didn't quite work automatically like I would have expected so I though I would post an adjustment to your directions that seems to make it just that little bit more Automated and mindless.

    So for those interested here is my berested adjusted Automator Birthday notification work around.

    Personally I like looking at only three or four days in advanced. I am more likely to do something about it. For this reason I have chosen a 1 week option for Birthday notifications and got it to repeat twice in a week in iCal. So if you are ready lets go:

    1 - Open Address Book. Go File>New Smart Group
    2 - Call your smart group 'Birthdays Coming Up' or something like that. On the drop-down menus, left to right, select 'Birthday' 'is in the next' and then type in 1 and then select 'weeks'. Click OK.

    You are now going to create a workflow. There are three columns. From left to right you have the Library, Actions, and Workflow columns. To create your Birthday reminder automation you will be dragging items from the Actions to Workflow. (Workflow should be the larger of the frames and should start empty.

    3 - Now open Automator in applications.
    4 - It sound come up with a start menu to chose from Select 'Custom' and click 'choose'. If it doesn't then just go to File>New and select 'custom'
    5 - Selecting 'Contacts' in the Library column (Leftmost column). Then select 'Find Address Book Items' in the Actions column and drag it into your workflow column (rightmost column). Your item turns into a box of instructions once in the right-hand column. In your new box, you can see 'Find Groups' and 'Whose: 'Name' 'Contains' 'EMPTY FIELD". In the empty field type 'birthday' (so that the box now reads Find: Groups, Whose Name Contains birthday).
    6 - Next drag 'Get Contact Information' to the large right-hand column. Place it underneath your 'Find Address Book Items' box. Select which parts of the contact information you wish to be sent in your reminder email. By default 'Birthday' is not selected. If you don't want to be wishing people happy birthday on the wrong day I suggest selecting it.
    7 - Next click 'Mail' in the Library column. Select and drag 'New Mail Message' from the actions column across to the workflow column underneath 'Get Contact Information' box. Type in the email address you wish your reminder to be sent and in subjects put something that will be obvious to you each week... like 'BIRTHDAYS!!!' Also make sure use choose the account to send the email from. I imagine that the default would work just fine but if you want a specific email address then this is the place to chose.
    8 - Next drag 'Send Outgoing Messages' from the Actions column to the workflow column underneath the 'New Mail Message' box.

    If you have read berestede's post you will notice that there is an additional action in here called 'Quit Application'. It is not needed because you are not going to add this to iCal manually. You are going to create a iCal Plug-in and I found it worked without this step. If you feel better about having a Quit call in your Automator plugin then it won't hurt to put it in. Just follow berestede's step 9.

    9 - Next save your work. Type in a name for your workflow and save it in a place that you will remember (e.g. create a new folder called Automator Workflows in your Applications folder or personal directory). Save the workflow as a workflow. Don't close anything yet; we haven't quite finished!
    10 - Now select 'Utilities' from the Library column and drag 'Run Workflow' from the Actions column to the TOP (yes the top) of the Workflow column. It should now be above 'Find Groups in Address Book' box. From its drop-down menu choose the name of the workflow you have just saved. Also you will need to de-select 'Wait for workflow to finish'. It won't work unless you do this (with or without the 'Quit Application' Action).
    11 - Save the workflow again.
    12 - Next select Save As Plug-in from the File menu. Name it something useful like BIRTHDAYS!!! and chose from the drop down box the iCal options and click Save.

    You should find that iCal now opens up with a new 'Automator' Calendar item and your first iCal event should be in today's date with the same name as you gave to your iCal Plugin. You can now quit Automator.
    13 - Double click on the event and click on 'Edit'. Remember when you are selecting a time for this to happen make sure you are confident your computer will be on. I chose Every Sunday from 9am to 9am.
    14 - You will also notice that there is no repeat yet. So if you want to be always reminded of birthdays then now would be the time to select 'every week' from the repeat pull down menu. Now the option 'end' should have appeared. You can leave this alone so long as you want to continue to be reminded of birthdays.

    NOTE: In the alarm preference notice it already has Open File and your iCal plugin BIRTHDAYS!!!. You do not need to do anything to this.

    16 - You should now be done and should now get an email each week telling you whose birthdays are coming up.

    OPTIONAL VARIATIONS. If you want to just see birthdays that are related to a particular group (ie. Work people, Friends, youth group members) then you can create a separate Automator for each exactly the same as the above but changing step 5 to:

    5 - Selecting 'Contacts' in the Library column (Leftmost column). In the middle column click on 'Find Address Book Items' and drag it into the wide right-hand column. Your item turns into a box of instructions once in the right-hand column. In your new box, you can see 'Find: 'Groups' and 'Whose: 'Name' 'Contains' 'EMPTY FIELD". At 'Find:' select 'People'. The 'Whose" should now read 'Groups' 'is' 'GROUP'. The group will probably be the first grouping of contacts you have in your address book. Click on the arrows on your 'GROUP' and select the 'GROUP' you want.
    5a- Next to your selected 'GROUP' there are '-' and '+' signs. Click on the '+'. In the new line click on 'Group' and change to 'Birthday' and change 'today' to 'this week'.


    So that is it. I got my mum to do this. My mum is so computer problematic that I often spend 2 min just reminding her where the Apple logo is in the menu bar. This is not a joke. I wish I could put it down to a medical condition but she has just always been like this with computers. Now she needed a little help but she got most of it right. I hope you did to.
     
  21. Mitou macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
  22. euphotic macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    Location:
    California
    #22
    How to copy ALL your 'Address Book' birthdays to iCal (with alarm feature) instantly

    Well there's another App that's called MenuCalandarClock. As of this post ver 2.7.5 if for Tiger and ver 3 is for Leopard OS.

    Find it at: http://www.objectpark.net/mcc.html

    It does many things but lets just get to an un-detailed:

    How to have MenuCalandarClock copy ALL your 'Address Book' birthdays to iCal instantly for you to then set custom alarms as you wish:

    1) Download the FREE trial version for your OS and install it.*
    2) Open iCal and click on the + button at the bottom left corner [​IMG]
    to make a new calandar
    3) Name it MCClock Birthdays (...or whatever you like-you can change it or it's color at anytime)
    4) Open the MenuCalandarClock Preferences by clicking on the calendar [​IMG] at the top right of your monitor (by the 'spotlight' icon) and clicking ":apple:"+",".
    5) Click on the Birthday Cake icon [​IMG]
    6) Make sure that the "Copy birthdays into this iCal calendar:" is checked, select the iCal calendar you created from the pop-down menu and click on the "Copy Now" button.
    6) DONE! Now go in and set the custom alerts or buy the app to have it do it automatically.

    * If you decide you want to unlock the extra features for the $19.99 registration and you're planning on upgrading from Tiger to Leopard soon, do it after you upgrade to Leopard. Otherwise you'll have to pay again for the Leopard MenuCalandarClock version.


    More info (if you like reading):

    MenuCalendarClock is able to write birthday dates that are in the Address Book application into a specified iCal calendar (and keeping the iCal calendar up to date). Checking 'Copy birthdays into this iCal calendar:' activates this functionality. You may then chose a local calendar to write the birthdays into. The 'Copy Now' button forces immediate copy action.
    You may even automatically set an alarm for the birthday entries. To do this check 'XX days in advance' and specify the number of days where you will be notified before a birthday day. Adding a sound to the notification is also possible (check box 'add sound to message'). This feature is only available in the registered version.

    More info (if you like video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mk3Qb0lgM4s):
    and
    http://revver.com/video/220538/review-menucalendarclock/
     
  23. macnovice211 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    #23
    what about this?

    Displaying birthdays on an iCal calendar in the Help section of address book tells you how to select a box in iCal to do this.
     
  24. karenflower macrumors 6502a

    karenflower

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    #24
    Haha. :D

    I find the iCal Events dashboard widget to be incredibly useful at notifying things ahead of time.
     
  25. t0rus macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2008
    #25
    iCal birthday reminders

    dude, if you got nothing useful to contribute, DO NOT POST! for personal expressions they invented BLOGs.


    for everyone else, this app might do the trick:

    http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/automator/icalbirthdays.html
     

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