Six Steps for Remembering People on Their Special Days

Don’t you just love opening your mailbox right around your birthday and finding thoughtful greeting cards wishing you a happy day? I know I do; it’s such a nice change from the usual bills and junk mail that stuff the box. In this day of instant e-everything, getting a physical greeting card on a special occasion lets you know you are truly cherished.

We all love to get those missives, but how good are you at remembering others on their special days? Do you always remember to send a card or are you usually the one scrambling the day of to find an appropriate way to get in touch, send an e-greeting, or high-five them on facebook…if you remember them at all? If you fall into the latter camp, keep reading. We’ve outlined six simple steps you can take, each in 10 minutes or less, to go from forgetful to one of those thoughtful few who always remembers.

1. Create a Monthly Calendar.

The first essential step is to create a master calendar. We strongly recommend doing this using old-fashioned pen and paper. No, we’re not luddites, but we have had too many clients build one of these using their e-calendar function only to loose everything when their computer crashes unexpectedly. Yes, even if they back up! So, use a gorgeous free birthday calendar template like the one pictured here that I found on The Pretty Blog to create your own. For a more basic one, simply use a blank sheet of paper. Title the sheet on both sides: “Birthdays and Anniversaries.” Then, divide the front page into a grid of six and do the same on the reverse. Label each square on your grid with a month. When you are done, put it in a central spot like on a pin board in the kitchen.

2. Make a List of People/Events You Want to Remember Each Month.

Make a note of each good friend and family member you want to remember in each month. If you are starting from scratch and don’t have a master list but do use social media, facebook is a wonderful resource since most people display their birthdates. Moms and sisters also tend to be another wonderful font of information on this front. The key here is to start. It doesn’t have to be a “perfect” list (there’s no such thing). Focus on your immediate family first and branch out from there.

3. Buy a Stash of Greeting Cards.

No matter what kind of cards you want to send, pretty paper ones or thoughtful e-greetings, it is much more efficient to shop for all of your cards at once. This is the fun part, so just enjoy it. Once you get them home, put them on your desk so that you are ready for the next task. If you love the idea of sending physical cards but don’t have time to hit the store, our Greetings.stash is a great one-stop shop for cards.

4. Address Them All At Once.

It sounds silly, but a lot of people actually go through the trouble of getting a card but fail to ever address it – so it never gets sent. Take the time to address each card now. You don’t need to write and seal the note now, just take care of the envelope’s outside. Ideally affix a stamp on each card as well so you don’t have to scramble for one later.

5. Store Them in Order on a Desktop Basket or Box.

Keep your cards in a spot where you will see them on a daily basis. For many, it’s in a small basket on top of their desks. For others, on their kitchen counter. It doesn’t matter where you keep them, just that they are all stored in the same place so you don’t have to waste time trying to remember where you put them. Get a tutorial on how to make the cute box pictured above at Design*Sponge.

6. Set Alarms in Your eCalendar.

This last step is crucial. You need to put reminders in place at least one week in advance of the date you want to remember. We find that setting an alarm for just before you typically walk out the door in the morning works best. When the alarm sounds, just grab your card from the basket and either drop it in the mail, or bring it with you to fill out and post before the end of the day.

How good are you at remembering people’s birthdays and anniversaries? Are you ready in advance or do you find yourself scrambling to find a card and present at the last second?