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Never miss a Facebook birthdayLearn how to easily import your friends' birthdays into Google Calendar and your phone, using a lesser-known Facebook feature.
If Facebook has done anything, it made us acutely aware of everyone's birthday. Log in and you'll see birthday alerts right here at the top. But what if, haven't forbid, you go a day or two without checking Facebook, you BFF's birthday could come and go and you're the one stuck writing a belated wall post the week later. Don't let this happen to you. Assuming that you have some kind of calendar software out there like Google Calendar of iCal, you can import all of your birthdays from your Facebook friends in less than a minute. First step, log in to your Facebook account and select events from the left side bar and then the drop down menu to select birthdays and now you'll see a listing of all your friends who have one coming up. Use that same drop down menu and select export birthday. The link you'll see is a web hosted calendar file so it will always stay up to date with your latest friends. Copy that link and then head in to your preferred calendar app. I'm gonna use Google Calendar. Down here on the left, I'll go to other calendars, pull down the list and select Add by URL. We'll paste in the URL Facebook gave us and leave the public sharing option down here unchecked. Click here to add it and now you'll see your friends' birthday all plotted out on your calendar. But to get that same info on your phone, it means to dive in to your phone's calendar settings and make sure that the box for Friends Birthdays is enabled. Now, if you visually check your calendar every day, this might be enough but I'm gonna take a few extra steps to make sure I'm also notified over e-mail. In Google Calendar, I'll hover over the birthday calendar I just added and click the little options list here to select notifications. This is gonna show me all of the ways Google can notify me about the events on this calendar. If I'm really crazy about this stuff, I can set up an Event Reminder here at the top to e-mail me about upcoming birthdays a few days ahead of time but since I'm kind of a jerk and I'm probably not buying anyone a present, I'll just check the option here at the bottom to send me a daily digest of each day events then I'll hit save. Now, when you check your inbox every morning, you'll see any birthday for that day. If you're not using Google Calendar, you can still get reminders from Facebook itself. Go in to your Facebook account settings and click on Notifications on the left bar. Hit Edit on your Facebook Notifications and then check the box for has a birthday coming up. If this option is great out, you may need to uncheck a box at the top that limits the e-mail frequency. Now you can look forward to a weekly e-mail from Facebook to help you remember those important dates. So there you go. Now, no birthday will escape your attention. For more tips like this, you can visit howto.cnet.com. If you have any more questions or tips for me, send them to me on Twitter or subscribe to my Facebook page. For cnet.com, I'm Donald Bell.