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Birthday Reminder Helper

Birthday reminder services can naturally be part of any calendar program such as MS Outlook, Mozilla Sunbird, or Google Calendar. A birthday reminder could be just a calendar event plus an alarm of popup, Email or SMS.

For example, Andy Smith's birthday is on 1978-05-04, then in your favorite calendar program,  you may create a yearly repeating event from 2008-05-04, and define an alarm with such properties: 1 day before the event, and Email action.

It is conventional and natural that you store birthday information in an address book, eventually you can create birthday reminder events from the contact information. OC Birthday Reminder Helper is a set of procedures helping you to generate birthday reminders from Open Contacts.

Basically, the helper will create an iCalendar file containing birthday reminder events, which may be imported into most popular calendar programs.

Built-in Helper in Open Contacts

From version 5.2.3, Open Contacts has a built-in function to generate birthday reminders in an iCalendar file from selected contacts of the people list or the search results.


  1. Select contacts, and export to an iCalendar file through [Main menu -> Output -> Export to Birthday Reminder]. Before doing this step, you may want to customize the summary and the description of the event.
  2. Import the iCalendar file into a calendar program.


  • If some of the selected contacts do not have birthday information defined, Open Contacts will prompt the names of those contacts. You may then verify those contacts and do it again.
  • The date format supported in Open Contacts is ISO format: YYYY-MM-DD, or MM-DD.
  • If someone was born in a leap year, for example, on 29th of February, the yearly reminder event will be created on 28th of February in a normal year.


  • Among all contacts stored in Open Contacts, you may want to celebrate birthday for only some of them. It is convenient to put these contacts into a category, so you can select them all easily.
  • Many calendar programs such as Mozilla Sunbird and Google Calendar supports default alarm settings for events. Before importing the iCalendar file, you may verify if those settings are suitable for your need. For example, a common setting is to make sure the calendar program will remind you one day before someone's birthday through popup. With online services like Google Calendar, you may even setup up SMS as alarms.

Tested Calendar Programs

OC Birthday Reminder Helper was tested upon the following calendar programs.

Mozilla Sunbird

Google Calendar


Windows Live Calendar

Microsoft Outlook

For details of using these calendar programs, please visit respective user support forums. To evaluate calendar programs, please also read this blog.

Twisting Birthday Functions

In Open Contacts, you may use the Search Birthday function to look up contacts with birthdays within a period, and the Birthday Reminder Helper could help you to generate birthday alarms. You may twist these functions to handle date related events like anniversary.

If you plan to do something for contacts' anniversaries, in the Search Birthday function, you may change the Birthday field value to "Anniversary"; and in the Birthday Reminder Helper, you may change [Options -> General -> Birthday field] to "Anniversary", and modify the [Options -> Applications -> iCalendar Summary Format], then you can generate calendar events for contacts' anniversaries.

As birthday events are more often and important, Open Contacts focuses more on birthday, while giving you interfaces to twist for other events rather than providing you a generic interface for all sorts of events equally.