Calendar: Displaying Birthdays (or Not!)

Calendar's "Birthdays" feature is a pretty handy way to keep track of your loved ones' special days, especially if you're prone to forgetting things. (Don't look at me like that, Dad—I'll try harder next year.) Sure, it's great, but how do you add to it or delete things from it? If you attempt to do it through the Calendar program, you'll get an unhappy message.

As you can see, though, Calendar tells us exactly what we have to do—edit the information within the Contacts program instead. You see, anything you put in the "birthday" field within Contacts syncs to Calendar. Neat! So open Contacts, find the person whose birthday you'd like to add, delete, or edit, and make the changes within that program.

After you're finished editing, your new birthday will show up within Calendar, all pretty-like.

Got that part down? Good. Now here are a few important notes and tips on handling this feature:

1. If you don't see the Birthdays calendar in your list at all, turn it on within Calendar> Preferences> General.

2. If you don't have a field in Contacts to add a birthday into, follow the instructions from this previous tip for changing your template. Hey, I wrote that!

3. Don't know what year someone was born? Don't sweat it—you can just put in the month and day. I've seen lots of people with "So-and-so's 5th Birthday!" on their calendars because they didn't know that a year isn't required.

4. Finally, it's good to know that you can actually be alerted of upcoming birthdays. To turn on notifications for them, go to Calendar> Preferences> Alerts and toggle the "Birthdays" drop-down menu to your preferred time frame.

Yay! And maybe next year, I won't forget a single birthday because of this.