This week, I have been working on my annual stack-o-birthday cards. A few years ago, my new year’s resolution was to send a birthday card to every close friend and family member, and since then the practice has stuck. The reason: I LOVE getting snail mail (cards especially), so I assume everyone else does too. It also takes more thought and planning to send a card than to just write on someone’s facebook page. I’m all about the thought and intentionality behind gifts.
I try to sit down at the beginning of the year and write notes in each card, address them and put them in order by date. One of the most important tools I use to keep me on top of sending out all 90+ cards is Google Calendar. Bradley and I both use it and love it. It allows me to make multiple calendars (mine are things like ‘birthdays’, ‘Leslie’s personal’, ‘Small Group’, etc.) and I can share some or all of them with him. And he can share some or all of his with me. This is useful because for instance, we both want to be able to see where our small group is meeting for the week, but I don’t need to know who he is meeting with at work during the week. Also, I can choose what color I want each calendar to be and any event in that calendar shows up in that color. I should note that all of the calendars overlay onto the one calendar I see on the screen. (Here is a screen shot of a few days on the calendar I see. It may be hard to tell on some, but birthdays are in orange, national holidays are in brown, my events are in green and our small group is in blue.)
Another great feature in Google Calendar is the reminders. For each event, I can choose to have a reminder sent to me either by email or to my phone. It can be minutes before or days, I choose. This helps me remember to grab the next birthday card in the stack and pop it in the mail.
Lastly, I don’t have to remember to type each birthday into the calendar every year, because Google also has a repeat feature that I can set for daily/monthly/yearly, etc. So next year, all of the birthdays are magically there again!
I am no techie, so I know I have only scratched the surface of what Google calendars can do. It is a wonderful tool that I would highly recommend. No more paper calendars, no more coordinating schedules. It is all right there for me (as well as Bradley) to see.