I love my birthday. Honestly, it’s more of a birth-week celebration to me than an actual day. I schedule pomp and circumstance, and gather groups of people together. Knowing this about me, you would be surprised to learn that I am horrible about remembering other people’s birthdays. I have a friend I have known for more than 30 years and all I can recall is that her birthday is sometime in September. Sep. 15? Sep. 21? Your guess is as good as mine.
To solve my birthday forgetfulness issue, I opened a Plaxo account and requested that my friends update their contact and birthday information through it. There are a number of services out there similar to Plaxo (like Birthday Alarm), and all notify you of upcoming birthdays by sending you reminder e-mails. I chose Plaxo because it integrates easily with my computer’s address book program. With help from an online service, you’ll never be left apologizing for your disorganization.
In addition to a birthday reminder system, I also purchased a card organizer. At the start of the year, I print out a birthday list from Plaxo, buy cards for all of my family and friends in a single trip to the card store, and organize the cards in my organizer. I also purchase other types of cards for the year while on my trip to the store. Here is a list of what I usually buy:
- Birthday cards for family and friends on my Plaxo list
- Five extra birthday cards with one specific to a young child
- Five blank interior, thinking-of-you cards
- Three sympathy cards
- Five baby cards appropriate for showers and arrivals
- Five wedding cards appropriate for showers and wedding day
- Three anniversary cards
- Three get well cards
- Two graduation cards
- Five non-specific congratulations cards
- Three boxes of 10-count thank you cards
Your needs are likely different than mine, so if you’re interested in setting up a similar system be sure to make necessary adjustments. You also might consider giving a fully stocked organizer to a home-bound family member as a birthday or holiday present.
These organization systems prevent me from having to run to the store at the last minute, and I don’t have to worry about forgetting anyone’s special day. If your cards are disorganized, this or a similar system might be for you.