Birthday Reminders with Workflow and Fantastical

For close family I like to send them a video on their birthday of my daughter singing "Happy Birthday". I found out recently I missed one last year. I decided I wanted to set up Reminders for each of these to go off every year on their birthday so I don't miss one again. Yes, I know their birthdays show in the Calendar but this isn't the kind of thing I want to use that for. I live in Reminders so that's what I went with. However, manually setting all of these would be annoying so I figured I could probably do it with Workflow, even though this isn't one I'll likely use in the future and probably won't even keep in my main workflows. (though I may keep an archived file of it).

My initial approach had me trying to Find Contacts where a birthday was included, but I couldn't figure out how to get it to search the entire year. Every time I tried it wouldn't find anything. Then it dawned on me that I actually have some contact groups set up (which I manage in an app called Interact). It's simple to modify the workflow to search for those groups.

I then used the Repeat with Each action. I then filled in the Reminders section with the name and birthdate pulled from this list (I used a custom date of MMM dd to only pull the month and day.) However here is where I ran into my second issue. I couldn't find a way to set a recurring reminder and I didn't want to have to manually edit each one to make them repeat yearly.

I do have another app which syncs with Apple's EventKit, Fantastical (iPhone/iPad). Lots of people prefer this app, but I mainly use it for it's automation features. In this case, Workflow has a Add Reminder via Fantastical action which can take a string of text, written in natural language, as input and turn it into a reminder.

So I made a text box which looks like this, and pass that into Fantastical.


Like I said, this isn't a Workflow I need to use on anything resembling a normal basis, but even factoring in the two issues that slowed me down, I still think it was faster than manually doing it. Plus it was more fun.

You can see what the Workflow looks like below. If you would like to try it out you can get it here