Own a smartphone

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Face it: you’re going to have to buy one eventually. It’s about time you get out of the cellphone stone age and become a valuable member of society. You can’t just arbitrarily pick a smartphone though — each type has its own distinct personality and set of features.

iPhone: It’s hip and beautiful, and its App Store is mad huge. The only real problem with the iPhone is the touchscreen — after all, DamnYouAutocorrect is popular for a reason.

Blackberry: You’re all business. The BBM feature ensures your fingers are glued to your keypad all day, much to the chagrin of your non-smartphone friends.

Android: Although not really a phone per se, this Google smartphone operating system is very popular for its customizability — however, it’s also known for being somewhat unstable.

Anything else: You’re joking, right?


Order take-out

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You’re hungry, but you’re too lazy to go out. In fact, you don’t even want to use the phone. Why not order online? Each of these websites has an extensive list of restaurants that’ll deliver. Pick your restaurant, add items to your order, punch in your credit card info, and enjoy.

food-delivery.ca: Available in many cities across Canada, Food-Delivery lists thousands of restaurants, though not all are available for online ordering.

grubcanada.com: Divided into different city areas, Grub Canada is great for easily ordering from within your ‘hood. Their site is also the prettiest.

Just-Eat.ca: With over 225,000 meals ordered, Just-Eat promises delivery within 60 minutes of ordering and boasts a roster of over 500 restaurants.


Get your groove on

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Cruising for some tunes, but don’t want to run afoul of the law? No problem! These three sites will expose you to more music than you have space for on your iPod, and they’ll do it nice and legally, too.

Stereogum: One of the first mp3 blogs to debut online, Stereogum offers the ideal mix of music news, criticism, and free downloads. Based in the eye of the hipster hurricane — Williamsburg, Brooklyn — the site’s writers are knowledgeable but avoid the pitfalls of pretentious writing that plague many other music blogs.

HypeMachine: This mp3 blog aggregator is the best destination for remixes, mashups, and the latest hip hop, electronic, and indie rock tracks. Create an account and “love” your favourite songs — that way you’ll have a rad playlist ready wherever you have access to a computer.

Grooveshark: It doesn’t have all the newest songs, but this site’s library of full albums that are ready for streaming is unparalleled. Perfect for playlist creation and collaborative mixes at parties.


Get off iTunes

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If you own an iPod, you’re likely using iTunes for syncing and managing your music and video library. But not everyone wants to be fully immersed in Apple culture. It’s like Steve Jobs is peering over your shoulder whenever you buy a song or install an update.

There are dozens of free alternatives to iTunes that you can install if you’re a Mac or Windows user. Free your music library — download and install Songbird, Floola, or Yamipod.


Make friends

Since Facebook is sooo 2008, you need to get with the times and move to the social networks that matter.

LinkedIn: Eventually you’ll need to leave school, and when you do, LinkedIn will keep you in touch with all your professional contacts. It’s not as flashy as Facebook, but you’ll praise its existence the first time it leads to a job offer.

Foursquare: Using GPS, Foursquare lets you “check-in” at locations you visit. Earn points, see nearby locations, and find out who else is eating nachos at your favourite bar. Despite the creepy factor, at the end of 2010 this app reportedly had over 6 million users.

Path: This incredibly simple app allows users to share photos of special moments in their day using their iPhone or iPod Touch. It limits your number of friends to 50 so you only share with those who matter. This is a truly unique app. You’ll love it.

Twitter: Twitter isn’t as young as it once was, but it’s still got spunk. Use this service to post updates, share photos, and chat with friends and strangers. Be careful not to over-share: nobody needs to know what kind of cabbage you just bought.


Manage your time

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We get it. You’re busy. Blowing OSAP on cheap drinks seemed like a good idea until the papers and exams started piling up. If you aren’t using these time management tools, stop complaining!

Dropbox: The next time your hard drive decides to self-destruct, you’ll be fine. Dropbox creates a folder on your computer that stores files on a cloud, allowing you to easily retrieve them from any computer. You can even use it on your phone!

Doodle: Group meetings for class projects are almost tolerable with Doodle. An easy scheduling application, Doodle lets you schedule meetings fast. This web-app is great for school, friends, and even family lunches.

Google Calendar: The most robust calendar solution that doesn’t cost money, Google Calendar looks great in your browser and syncs in your phone. Let your anally-retentive self shine through as you share calendars between friends and keep tabs on your significant other.

Evernote: Evernote stores ideas in the cloud for easy access from your desktop, browser, or phone. Never forget anything again, whether it’s a new photo on Reddit or the date of your mother’s birthday.

(or waste your time)

You have an essay due in the morning, three presentations on Thursday, and a job interview on Friday. Clearly, you’re going to procrastinate as much as possible.

Sporcle: A procrastination tool that you don’t have to feel so bad about, Sporcle is a trivia site divided into categories, including entertainment, history, music, and science. Be it Irish history or terrible Nicolas Cage films, Sporcle has something for you.

Wimp: Wimp links to six funny or interesting videos every day. The team is usually a few days ahead of the online video zeitgeist, so expect to see new videos that your friends will be linking you to days later. This will make you cool.

Omegle: A Chatroulette without the naked dudes, Omegle allows for maximum anonymity. You can’t see who you’re talking to, but the conversations you can have on here are absolutely outrageous.

The Daily What: The Cheezburger Network popularized LOLCats and runs FailBlog. Their website, The Daily What, is a diverse collection of videos, images, and news items. Often it’s funny, but sometimes it will deliver breaking news more quickly than the New York Times.


Read some comics

Consider reading these webcomics if you like…

XKCD: Problem sets on a friday night; Cory Doctorow; “the algorithm”; stick figures

Achewood: Being weird; long, disjointed story arcs; stuffed animals; cute otters

Buttersafe: Awkward silences; veins; dogs; veiny dogs

Hark! A Vagrant: History; Mr. Darcy; fat ponies; Canada

SMBC Comics: Graph jokes; Theoretical physics jokes; Non-chronological jokes; Math jokes


Start searchin’

You don’t know search until you know these tricks

Keyword: Before you start, pick out words that are specific and relevant to your search topic. Like a library search, stay away from sentences and focus on the big idea of what you’re looking for.

Want to know how much J. Bieb’s hair sold for on Ellen? (We still can’t believe he cut it off!) Try “Bieber,” “Ellen,” “hair,” and “auction.”

Wildcards: It can be pretty difficult to search for something if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for. In these kinds of cases, consider using a wildcard (represented by an asterix, the symbol above 8 on a standard keyboard. We can’t type it here, because it’ll do odd things to this page).

You’ve forgotten the chorus for Justin Bieber’s Baby — and you can’t keep swooning until you remember it. Try “Baby, baby, [asterix], ohhh”.

+ and − signs: After you’ve picked out your keywords use + and − signs to narrow what you’re looking for. It further refines your search. Using a + is like saying “and,” and − is like saying “but not this.”

You’re searching for JB but you’re tired of hearing about his magical locks. Try searching “Justin Bieber” “-hair.”


Plan a trip

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Where to go

Wikitravel: Explore potential destinations on Wikitravel — a free, user-edited travel site with over 24,000 destination guides.

Getting there?

Travelocity:

Featuring a disgruntled gnome as their mascot, Travelocity provides discounts and deals on virtually every aspect of travelling. Want to save 44% going to Europe this spring? Yes, please!

Expedia: Cars and tours and trains. Oh my! Expedia is based in the US and includes 20 country-specific sites to ensure you get the lowest rate on that cruise with your second aunt.

Once you’re there

Yelp: Upon arrival, you’ll probably want a decent meal or a cup of coffee. Picking a quality restaurant in your price range isn’t easy — especially if you’re in a sprawling metropolis. On Yelp, users review the places they’ve been to, ensuring that your choice won’t leave you with the taste of horrendous, overpriced food in your mouth.


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