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Blended Technologies » Blog Archive » Automatically Adding Birthdays to Google Calendar

Automatically Adding Birthdays to Google Calendar

Have you ever missed 3 important birthdays in a period of 3 weeks? Well I just did and this experience inspired me to create a program to read birthdays out of my Gmail contact’s notes and add them into Google calendar 10 years going forward. I’ll never forget a birthday again!

Here’s how it works:

First, you load your contacts in Gmail contacts. Next you type their birthdays in the notes field. (Gmail offers no pre-defined field for birthdays.)

As an example, here is my abuela [2]:
Abuela as a Gmail contact

Next you download my program (birthdays.py but also get cal.py), follow the instructions at the top of the script (Entering Gmail account info and other settings, and installing a few Python libraries), And run it. [1]

Now you’ll have entries in your calendar like this one for all of your friends and family complete with reminders:
Abuelas Birthday

I scheduled this program to run once a week for me. That way if I add new birthdays it will pick them up. No, it does not yet delete birthdays if I remove someone from my contacts or change their birthday. But it is open source, so please add lots of features.

In creating this program I had to expand my mind a bit to learn about the Google Calendar API. I was lucky to have found Matt Poepping’s previous Python work with the Google Calendar API, where he had done much of the heavy lifting. I ended up expanding his code a bit, and after apologizing to him for the ugliness of my new code, we agreed to launch a full fledged project on Google Code so that everyone can benefit from this young Python library for Google Calendar.

Footnotes:
1. Sorry that running my program is a bit technical right now. If you’re interested in running this and find the directions too intense, just leave a comment and I’ll see what I can do simplify things.
2. Sorry I missed your birthday, Abuela!

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8 Responses to “Automatically Adding Birthdays to Google Calendar”

  1. Why Everyone Should Backup Google Calendar to Their Own Computer--Answer My Searches Says:

    […] If you’re an avid user of Google Calendar you may also like this post: How to automatically add birthdays to Google Calendar […]

  2. YE Says:

    This is definitely too technical for me; any chance for an executable file which would install this on the computers of the technologically challenged?

  3. Greg - CEO/Founder Says:

    YE,

    I’ve been thinking someone would request this. I’ll see what I can. I hope if I put in the work, a lot of people will find it useful. But yes, I’ll see what I can do. I’ll put a post on this blog when I’ve made it into something user friendly.

  4. YE Says:

    Thanks Greg! Seems wierd Google itself has not done it yet.

  5. Doug Castell Says:

    A customer of mine bought and uses http://www.calgoo.com to sync his GoldMine calendar with Google Calendar.. I think he has Outlook in the mix somehow, but it looked like a very interesting product.. Thought you might be interested :)

    disclaimer: calgoo is not related to me, and while i have downloaded the demo, I haven’t purchased it (or gotten to to do everyhing my customer has…)

  6. Greg - CEO/Founder Says:

    Thanks Doug. That does look interesting. It looks like it is free too. I wonder how it works? I’m almost tempted to try the demo as well.

  7. Mark Patterson Says:

    Why not enter Google Calendar events in realtime.

    http://www.mobilegcal.com

  8. Joy Says:

    Hi, this looks great…. I am not technical and am a bit lost. I was just wondering if there was an executable file for it?

    Kind regards,
    Joy