Confession: I am a Birthday freak.
In case you didn't notice I love my birthday, but do you know what I love even more? Everyone else's birthdays. I am really good at remembering birth dates. Not sure why. But I also have an amazing system in place just in case my life gets crazy. I thought I would share with you in case you want to step up your birthday remembering in 2013.
TOOL #1: BIRTHDAY ALARM
BirthdayAlarm.com is totally free. I started using this service probably 5 years ago. It is awesome. You could ONLY use this service and you would be all set. You plug in birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions for friends and family (with an option to send them an email requesting them to add their birthday to your account, but the requires them signing up as well). Then you can set reminders to be emailed to you.
I have every one's birthday (and a few anniversaries) in my account and I signed up to receive two reminder emails. One email 10 days before the event. This gives me plenty of time to buy a card and mail it OR send a specialty card via Treat (see below). I also receive an email ON their birthday. This reminds me to call them and sing Happy Birthday to them in a really loud and purposefully off-key opera voice on their special day.
Birthdayalarm.com offers digital cards which are hideous and outdated. Don't use them, people. Just don't.
TOOL #2: TREAT
Two years ago I added Treat.com to my birthday tools and I am in love. Treat.com is a greeting card service. They have a gazillion card options for you to choose, personalize and mail to yourself or directly to your birthday boy/girl. The card options are awesome and the quality is really amazing. They have cards you can add photos to and non-photo cards as well. Like this photo card for my SIL, Alison or the non-photo option we recently sent to our nephew, Porter.
Cards cost $3.49 each. However, you can also sign up for the Treat Card Club bundles you can buy. You can buy an 18 card bundle, 12 card bundle or 6 card bundle. The 18 card bundle is a one time payment of $35.82 and that makes each card just $1.99 each. You can add $0.44 to your order and Treat.com will stamp your card and mail it directly to the recipient.
Another great thing about Treat.com is you can add a Gift Card from Tango Card. They'll print a gift code inside of your card. The recipient can redeem it for gift cards from a variety of popular retailers, donate the amount to charity or redeem it for cash. Recipients can choose a gift card from one of ANY of these retailers: Amazon, Facebook, Fandango, Gap, Groupon, Home Depot, Nike, Pottery Barn, REI, Rixty Spa, Finder, Starbucks, iTunes, Target, Zappos, or 1-800 Flower.
Cool right? This is particularly awesome when sending a gift to my 13 year old nephew. Do I know what 13 year old boys like? Nope. But this takes care of it. You can choose any amount from $10-$200.
Oh, and you can also design the card and choose any future date to mail it. Sometimes I design all of them for a given month at one time and then set the mailing dates for one day before their birthday. Then I just make the phone calls on their birthday and I'm all set!
Treat.com also has a reminder system which is linked to your Facebook account to search for birthdays. I don't use them because there is not option for a reminder on their actual birthday, just one day before, and in one week increments before that. If you don't mind that just skip birthdayalarm.com and go straight for treat.com's reminder service which is also free.