MacMost Now 365: Birthdays with Address Book and iCal

If you add birthdays to your contacts in Address Book, it will create a special Birthdays calendar in iCal. You can use this to keep track of your friends' birthdays, although functionality is very limited.

Comments: 15 Responses to “MacMost Now 365: Birthdays with Address Book and iCal”

    forkboy1965
    9 years ago

    Gary,

    My biggest complaint about iCal is the lack of the ability to offer reminders about birthdays and anniversaries. It is a missing functionality that really is inexcusable in my opinion (my 8 year old Palm PDA allowed me to do such – come on Apple!)

    But you sort-of demonstrate a work around that involves exporting the birthday calendar and then what? Re-importing it? Could you possible give us some more specific information on how this is done?

    And, in doing such would I wind up with duplicate entries for birthdays and anniversaries? I guess I could always turn off the birthday calendar then, right?

    Thanks.

      9 years ago

      You just export the Birthdays calendar, then re-import it as a different calendar. Not much to it. Yes, you could then just turn off the automatic Birthday calendar.

    forkboy1965
    9 years ago

    Thanks Gary. I didn’t envision it being quite so simple and straight-forward.

    Leslie Millones
    9 years ago

    Is a way to print out the address book as a list with everyone on it and their information? Sort of like a spreadsheet? I’d really appreciate knowing this. I’ve looked EVERYWHERE and can’t find out how to do this. Thank you.

      9 years ago

      Choose All Contacts, or a group, or select several (or all) individual contacts. Then choose File, Print. If you get a small Print dialog, then expand it by clicking on the triangle button on the right side.
      Then you can choose “Style” which would include a List or Pocket Address Book. You can also choose which fields to print below it.

    Heather
    9 years ago

    I have an iPhone 3GS and when I tried to sync the iCal on the Mac to the iCal on the phone through iTunes, it moved ALL of my birthdays on the birthday calendar to 1 day (Dec 13) for some reason. The birthdays are till correct in iCal and Contacts on the Mac and in the Contacts on the phone, but when you open iCal on the phone, all birthdays are listed on Dec 13. I tried exporting the birthday calendar, then importing it into the main calendar on the Mac, but when I synced again, it showed up as a separate birthdays calendar again, and did the same thing. HELP!!

      9 years ago

      That’s very odd. I think you should have someone look at it first hand. Or, turn off the birthday calendar. Hard to know what else to suggest.

    Kathy Crocker
    9 years ago

    When sync’g contacts between iPhone and iCal I notice that not all fields transfer over. For example, in iCal I added the field ‘work email’ but that field and its contents did not transfer over to iPhone upon sync’g. When I had a blackberry there was a screen in which you could match up the fields – is there any such tool for iPhone. thanks for any help

      9 years ago

      I don’t believe that custom fields in Address Book are supported on the iPhone’s Contacts app.

    Rick
    8 years ago

    I want to leave the birthday calendar on my iCal. However, somehow, for every birthday there is an 8am alert. I turned off the alerts on my MacBook, but they also go in the iCloud and an alert goes onto my iPhone every birthday at 8am. This is not fun of weekends! I cannot edit these birthdays on my iPhone. How do I turn off the alerts for all birthdays, but leave the birthdays themselves on the iCal?

      8 years ago

      There is a setting in iCal for “Days start at.” Change this from 8 a.m. a later time and you can keep the alerts, but have them go off later in the day.

        Rick
        8 years ago

        Thank you, but is there any way to not have the alerts go off at all? My weekdays start at 7:30, but not weekends…

          8 years ago

          Oh, yes. You can completely disable them. In iCal on your Mac, control+click on the Birthdays calendar. Get Info on it. Check “Ignore Alerts.”

            Rick
            8 years ago

            Yes, I ignore the alerts on my Mac, but they go to my iPhone through iCloud. I even turned that calendar off on the iPhone but it turns back on automatically

              Rick
              8 years ago

              Until there is a fix I set my calendar alerts on the iPhone to have no sound and will use reminders for reminders that need a sound.

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