How to Use Excel for Birthdays
By Lynn Burbeck
Microsoft Excel gives users the ability to create reminders for specific dates. This feature makes it an effective tool for keeping track of important dates, such as birthdays. Once the spreadsheet is created, you can sort the information by date and use conditional formatting so that upcoming birthdays will be automatically highlighted.
Arrange Your Spreadsheet
Create a series of columns in Excel for the information you need to track. Potential column headings include First Name, Last Name, Address and Birthday. Make these headings bold to set them apart from the rest of the spreadsheet.
Enter the names, birthdays and other information into the spreadsheet under the corresponding columns. Enter the dates in a format that Excel understands. You can access the format options by right-clicking the cell that contains a date. Once that cell is formatted correctly, you can copy and paste it into the rest of the column. This will eliminate the need for you to format the dates again.
Use the "Sort" function in the "Data" menu of Excel to sort the data by date. This will rearrange the data on the spreadsheet so that birthdays are listed in chronological order. You can choose to sort data in ascending or descending order. For data listed from January through December, select ascending order.
Apply Conditional Formats
Create a conditional format so that only birthdays occurring in the next week or month are highlighted on the spreadsheet. To access the conditional formatting tool in Excel 2010, go to the "Style" menu located under the "Home" tab of Excel.
Click "Highlight Cells Rules" and "Manage Rules" from the Conditional Formatting menu. Choose the option to create a new rule.
Apply the rule to the entire Excel spreadsheet by checking the cell range selected in the "Manage Rules" section.
Click "Format only cells that contain" as the rule type and select the option to format by date.
Click to select the "Dates Occurring" option and then select the formatting rule you want to implement, such as highlighting dates occurring next week or this month.
Click the "OK" button to save your changes and apply the conditional format to the spreadsheet.
Lynn Burbeck is a professional writer with over five years of experience writing for the Web. She has published numerous articles for print and online media including "Grit" Magazine. Burbeck holds a B.A. in journalism and political science.