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Home / Tips and Tricks / This shortcut automates sending birthday wishes to your contacts so you never have to remember again «iOS & iPhone :: Gadget hack

This shortcut automates sending birthday wishes to your contacts so you never have to remember again «iOS & iPhone :: Gadget hack

You should know the birthday of a parent, sibling, child or significant other, but there are just too many people in your family and contacts to remember everyone’s annual birthday. Still, everyone expects you to remember their birthday. To stop looking like a joke, go one step further than putting birthdays on your calendar and letting your iPhone help you send birthday wishes when their big day pops up.

With the Automated Birthday Greetings shortcut, created by @ robric18, your iPhone automatically scans your contact list for birthdays that are there or that you have added. Then you let send a custom text or iMessage via messages to everyone who has a birthday falls on the current day. Instead of having to remember dozens or even hundreds of birthdays, this shortcut does the dirty work for you.

Step 1
: Add the shortcut to your iPhone

Visit one of the links below to install the “ABG – Automated Birthday Greetings” shortcut. The direct link opens it in the shortcuts app, while RoutineHub sends you to the shortcut page for more information and so you can get the most up-to-date version.

Once you have the shortcut, it opens in the shortcuts app so you can review the content before adding your library. If you are redirected to Safari first, click “Get Shortcut” to see the workflow in shortcuts. If you get an error message that it cannot be opened, go to Settings -> Shortcuts, then switch to “Allow untrusted shortcuts” and try again.

After reviewing the shortcut, click “Add Untrusted Shortcut” at the bottom to add it.

Step 2: Add birthdays to your contacts

If you do not formally share contacts, you are probably just asking for a name and number and putting it in your iPhone. This means that you probably do not have birthdays for contacts, so you have to do it manually. Yes, it can be tedious work, but you can add all the important birth dates in no time, and it will be worth it in the long run.

To add a birthday to a contact, open the Contacts app or the Contacts tab in the Phone app. Then find the person you want to add a birthday to, tap their name and then tap “Edit”.

Then click on the green button next to “add birthday”. Enter the day they were born and then press “Done” at the top right when you are done. Your contact’s birthday has now been added! You can continue to add more birthdays to other contacts in the same way.

Step 3: Customize your birthday greeting

Before using the shortcut, there are a few things you should customize: the greeting and your name. On the “My shortcuts” tab of the shortcuts app, find the “Automated birthday greetings” shortcut and then tap the ellipsis icon (•••) on it. This shows your workflow where you can adjust things.

The first thing you should do is add your name to the greeting. If you do not want your name in it, you can skip this part. In the first “Text” action box, under the “Comment” box that says “Replace name below with your name”, replace the text with the name you want to use.

Next up, the birthday greeting itself. Find the “Comment” action box that says “SLOPES GO HERE” in it. That box explains the process a bit, but it’s pretty simple:

In the action box “Dictionary” below it, next to +1, is the standard greeting. To change it, tap it, delete the greeting and then build your own. To add your friend’s name, click the “Variable” button above the keyboard and select “Friend’s Name.” Then choose which name (first, last, middle or full) you want to use for them and press “Done”.

Continue printing your greeting. To say how old the person is in the message, press “Variable” again and select “Age”. Where it is, the age of the person in the greeting. Similarly, to include your name, select “My Name” from “Variables”.

When you’re done, pretty much everything you need to customize in this shortcut, so click “Done” at the top right to save your edits.

Step 4: Run the shortcut manually

You can run the shortcut directly from the shortcut app if you want to search for events for the current day. Just click on “Automated Birthday Greetings” from “My Shortcuts.”

It will ask you to access your contacts first. Press “OK”, then a list of each contact with a birthday that day will be displayed in a notification. An error can show if there are none for that day. If you do not want to send a birthday greeting to a contact, simply uncheck their name from the list. When you are ready to send the text, click “Done”.

The shortcut then prompts you to access the RoutineHub website. You do not have to allow it, but if you do, you will be notified when the developer has updated the shortcut. This way you can get the latest version quickly.

When you have pressed “OK” or “Do not allow” you will be automatically redirected to Messages and your birthday greeting will be automatically filled in the text field, ready to be sent to your contact. Press the send button to send the message. If there are other contacts to send birthday greetings to, you will return to shortcuts and then back to Messages to send the next greeting.

Step 5: Automate the whole process

One way you can make the shortcut better is to automatically trigger it every day so you do not have to remember to do it. To automate the shortcut, visit the “Automation” tab in shortcuts. Next, if you do not have any automation yet, click “Create Personal Automation.” If you do, first tap the plus (+) icon and then “Create Personal Automation.”

Now select a trigger. This can be pretty much anything, like stopping an alarm clock in the morning or disabling Do Not Disturb, but we select “Time of Day”, which runs the shortcut regardless of the time you enter. You can select “Sunrise” or “Sunset” or you can use “Time of day” and use the time selector to set it whenever you want. Then select how often you want it to run: “Daily”, “Weekly” or “Monthly”. Hit “Next” up when you’re done.

Tap “Add action” and then type “run shortcut” in the search field. This will bring up several options – press “Run shortcut” from the results.

When the Shortcut action box appears, tap “Shortcut” in the blue bubble. Click “Automated Birthday Greetings” in the list of shortcuts that appear.

The shortcut box should now say “Run automated birthday greetings.” Tap “Next” and look over your new automated shortcut. If you do not want the shortcut to ask you before it runs, so that it actually runs automatically, disable “Ask before driving.”

When you are happy with your settings, click “Done” to create the automation. The shortcut will be displayed on the Automation page in shortcuts, where you can toggle and adjust any settings in the future, and it will run every time your shutter release is satisfied.

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Cover photo and screenshots by Nelson Aguilar / Gadget Hacks

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