Hi, this is Gary from MacMost Now. Today let's look at using address book and iCal to create birthday lists on your Mac. So this marks about three years since MacMost started and recently I've been getting a lot of e-mails from people asking how they can help out, and, in fact, I rely on word of mouth to spread the word about MacMost so anything you do is greatly appreciated. I have some ideas at MacMost.com/helpout. You can do things like blog about MacMost, you can tweet about it, you can review it at iTunes, things like that. Anything you can do would be great, and in return, I'm going to do five episodes this week instead of my usual three. So, keeping track of people's birthdays is one of those things that you used to in pen and paper address books but of course, you can do it using address book on the Mac. Not only that, but it coordinates with iCal to make it even better. Let's take a look. So here I am in address book and I just added a new entry. Now, once I've done that, of course, I can add some default information like work and mobile phone numbers, things like that. I could also go to "Card" and "Add Field," and there I can see a whole bunch of non-standard fields like "Birthday". I can add that and add a birthday, so let's add that and put their birth date. So now I go over to iCal and in iCal, I can go to "iCal Preferences" and I can select "Show Birthdays calendar," so this calendar was already automatically created, I just needed to subscribe to it and it appears under subscriptions here. And I can see there on July 1st is my sample birthday. I can do various things here: I can control or right click on the Calendar over on the left, get info and I can change its color, change its name; I can open up address book from there. I can also double-click on the actual event here and I can click on "Show in Address Book," and it goes right to that person so if you see somebody's birthday is today or tomorrow, you can quickly get there and then if you have their e-mail address or phone number, call or e-mail them. Now, what's disappointing is there is no way to set an alarm for these events, so you can't get reminders as to when people's birthdays are coming. You have to check your calendar. Now there's been some work-arounds. There's some Automator scripts that will go ahead and take these and create some sort of reminders from them. There's also the ability to select the birthdays calendar, export it completely and then import it back in, of course, and then it'll be a regular iCal calendar, and then you can set reminders for those events. So you can set, say, for a week in advance for people you need to buy presents for or the same day for people that you just want to send a little hello via e-mail or Facebook. I hope Apple continues to improve on this in the future. The ability to have reminders is a must, but also other special dates like anniversaries would be really cool. But until then, if you're already putting people's birthdays in your address book, you may as well have this extra calendar in iCal as well. Until next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig, with MacMost Now.
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