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OS X - Apps and Games Discussion of applications and games available for Mac OS X.

Using iCal for alerts

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stonysleep's Avatar
Member Since: Apr 07, 2007
Location: London, UK
Posts: 71
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Mac Specs: Powermac G4/450 OSX 10.4.11

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While the title says iCal it kinda falls into Apple apps generally and i'm not sure where the solution lies.

A bit of background, I switched from using Entourage to Mail/Address Book/iCal about 18 months ago because of Tiger and Sherlock. For email and addresses this is brilliant because Mail does everything I need, the Address book syncs with my phone using iSync but the one thing I have still not got to grips with is iCal.

I imported my entourage data into iCal, which is (I think) 100% birthdays. However, I can't find a setting to make them all get an alarm other than going into each entry and changing them to alarm.
I suppose I could do that, but the other thing is address book's birthdays don't seem to talk to iCal. Now I tend to add all info for people into address which means that any birthdays I add to address book won't appear in iCal.

So, how does everyone else use iCal to remember birthdays and am I going to have to go into each entry manually?

At the moment I'm keeping hold of entourage and using it as a very glorified PIM, and any new birthdays, unless I remember or am told otherwise pass me by.

I'm now using Open Office Org for MS Office documents, so if I can get this fixed I can ditch my old version of MS Office X which will be good
Also, I may actually use iCal for more than just birthdays!

Thanks in advance
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Hey Stony! Long time no see!

I'm not too savvy when it comes to iCal, I have to admit, so I dunno if there wouldn't be a weird pref somewhere that would work but I googled iCal alert birthdays and there are plugins or add-ons you can use that help grab the birthdays and anniversaries from Address Book and sends it as an entry to iCal.

Event Reminder

Birthday Buzzer

Dates to iCal

Milestone Reminder

and an Automator script, icalbirthdays

Etc. I'm sure you could find more at MacUpdate. Hope this helps.
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dakineyj's Avatar
Member Since: Jan 24, 2007
Location: Kailua Kona, HI
Posts: 878
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Mac Specs: MBP 15", 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB RAM, OS X 10.8.2, iPad 1, 80gb iPod, ATV 1, iPhone 5

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I just went into address book and put in a name and birthday and it went to ical instantly. Then deleted the fake entry from address book and it removed the BD from ical instantly.
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stonysleep's Avatar
Member Since: Apr 07, 2007
Location: London, UK
Posts: 71
stonysleep will become famous soon enough
Mac Specs: Powermac G4/450 OSX 10.4.11

stonysleep is offline
Thanks MHC - sounds like there's something in there to add new ones to iCal

[edit] I found an option in the prefs for "show birthdays calendar"
I still think I may go with the automator for putting in the alarm... however, it does seem to only put in future events, so won't put in the history of birthdays (eg. If I'm looking at last year's calendar it won't show put any of the birthdays in as the event is in the past) which is a little bit irritating.

Anyway, I'm feeling like a bit of an idiot for not spotting the option in the preferences and will see if i can fix the glitches more to my liking
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Hey stony!

Well if you still want to use an add-on, I just saw this appear this morning on Apple's Downloads page, iCalBirthdays 1.4.
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