Birthday App Recommendations

Currently I’m looking for an app that would allow me to manage birthday notification. Ideally it only reads the local information from my device via Contacts so it’s relatively private.

For which platform?

On iOS I like the Birthdays tab in Cardhop.


I’ve always just used Apple’s Calendar. “Jane’s 33rd Birthday” tells me everything I need to know.

Are you wanting to send something automatic?


I put birthdays in Google Calendar, then depending on the person I customize when I want a reminder; I set it for same-day if it’s an acquaintance, but for someone I want to buy a gift for or send a card to I’ll make two alerts, with the other several days in advance to remind me to make a purchase.

I know I’ll be using a calendar years from now, but apps that perform that specific function might not survive for years, so why pick something I’d eventually need to try to get data out of and export somewhere else?

I have Cardhop for Mac and iOS, and this morning the app on my iPhone notified me about a friend’s birthday, with a little musical tone on the pop-up. Cute, but it wouldn’t have helped if I needed to buy her a gift by today. (And the b’day was already an event on my calendar.)

+1 for the built in Calendar

I even created a contact for my wedding day with that date as it’s “birth date” to show how long I’ve been married in one glance. I do the same for some some other special days.


Yea that’s my thought. I’ve turned on notifications for Birthdays but it seems I don’t always get them. Also, I may not always check Calendar first thing or even before lunch. Often times I rely on the Calendar app on my watch sending me reminders of existing events.

Where do you turn on notifications? I see the birthdays in my calendar, but I don’t see a way to turn on notifications for them.

Since iOS lacks any support for contact groups, I once went through my entire birthdays calendar and created a yearly recurring entry in Things.
New people that get introduced to my life, who’s birthday is relevant to me will be added to that “birthdays” project in Things and their contact will get that date as well.

Why? – I found that seeing all birthdays in the calendar (in my case around 400) was too much. I’ve carried over my digital contact list for over 15 years. A lot of contact’s birthdays are nice to have noted somewhere, but are not relevant to me yearly. In Things I can manage them in a decoupled way and decide on a yearly basis, whether that contact’s birthday is still relevant to me or could be purged from Things.

iOS Contacts (and 3rd party apps like CardHop) sync over Groups created in iCloud or on the Mac, but it’s a longtime oversight that you cannot create new groups on iOS. However, since group creation is not really that common a task, if one doesn’t have access to a Mac it’s not too onerous to create groups in iCloud.