Need to Know, Weekly Featured Article

Wunderlist: Your Ultimate To-Do List

As I’ve talked about a long while ago in a previous post, being organized is incredibly important for success in the classroom, in the workplace, and just in life in general. However, for many of us (myself especially), it can be really challenging.

But recently, I’ve found myself being a a lot more organized thanks to a fantastic app called Wunderlist. Wunderlist is a to-do list application, though it is very much unlike anything that I’ve seen before. The long and short: It will help turn your to-do lists into DONE lists.

What makes it so special? Wunderlist, of course, allows you to type in tasks to help you keep track of all the stuff that you need to do, like any other to-do list app. But, aside from being incredibly versatile (there’s a mobile app available on kindle fire, apple, android, and, amazingly, windows phones; a desktop app on mac, windows, and chromebook; plugins for chrome, safari, and firefox; and, finally, it is accessible on, it also allows you to do some pretty unique things that other to-do list apps can’t. For example, you can:

  • unnamed-4Set separate due dates and reminders – if you’re anything like me, you need a heads up a few days in advance before something needs to be done. Wunderlist allows you to set reminders that are separate from the due dates for individual tasks, allowing you to receive notifications well in advance of task due dates. You can also set repeating due dates and reminders for weekly or monthly tasks.
  • Create sub-tasks – every have a project on your to-do list that is actually 10 different steps? Wunderlist let’s you input those specific steps as subtasks to be checked off individually as they’re completed. This will help you make sure that, by the end of your big project, you haven’t missed a thing!
  • Collaborate with others – many features of Wunderlist make it the perfect app for group work: you can share lists with friends/group mates, assign specific tasks to individual list members, and even post comments on tasks which are sent to other group members as a message. Wunderlist also provides users with a certain amount of cloud storage space, which you can use to upload files onto specific tasks.
  • unnamed-2Organize your organizer –Wunderlist also allows you to organize your list however you want using a number of tools; first, you can use categories to group similar lists together. Second, you can use tags in task titles to organize tasks across all your lists and list categories. Finally, Wunderlist has a number of organizing tools built-in, which will organize tasks across all your lists by date (daily, weekly, monthly) and priority (you can *Star high-priority tasks).

There are tons more features that make this app awesome, so I encourage you to check it out for yourself. The best part: IT’S COMPLETELY FREE! And, as a student, there’s not much better than that.

Give it a try! Until next time,

~ Christopher Ford


This app is one of many awesome apps that can do a lot to make life as a student easier – stay tuned for more posts in the future about great apps for students that you can download before the start of the FW 2015-16 term!

Weekly Featured Article

Welcome back to The New York-er! (Finally, I know.)

After a long, long break, I’m finally back and blogging again. A lot has happened since my last post (which, funny enough, was from the summer last year): 7 courses; trips to Kingston, Montréal, and Quebec; an award at the research fair; a CUPE strike; being offered a position as a House Don next year in residence; and tons more. Truly, it’s been quite a year.

But I’m back at Media & Communications for the summer until Vanessa takes over for me in the fall when I transition into donship. And, overall, I’m super excited – not only will I have the opportunity to work with a fantastic new team (all of whom will be introduced on our website very soon!), but I am also going to have the opportunity to be creative, to learn & grow, and to share through a number of really awesome things that we’re doing this summer. The creativity piece should come naturally through all the creative work we’ll be doing throughout the summer at MediaComm; however, returning team member Jeff has also come up with an awesome activity that we’ll be doing as a team throughout the year called the Creativity Challenge, in which we draw a theme at random from a hat, and each team member chooses a medium with which to feature that theme. For example, for our first week our theme is Pastime and the medium I chose was drawing. I’m really looking forward to pushing my creativity to new limits, and I think participating in these challenges will do that.

The learning and growth might be tougher, however; I will be doing summer school throughout the summer, so I will have to manage my time well in order to make the most out of my job, my education, and (last but not least) these warm summer months. Time management is something I’ve always struggled with, and so I am aiming to hone this skill throughout my time at MediaComm this summer, maybe with the help of some cool apps, like WunderlistGoogle Calendar, and Self Control (to put a damper on my addiction to skimming my Facebook newsfeed). I also plan on reading a ton this summer (my goal is to read about a book a week), listening to podcasts during my morning commute, and completing a few MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) on Coursera, Edx, and iTunesU.

Finally, for sharing, I decided to start writing again! For nearly a year, this blog was a pretty big part of my life, and I missed sharing my knowledge and experiences with you, my followers. I want to do start sharing like that again – only this time, it will be bigger & BETTER than ever before!

Let me tell you a little bit about what I have in store:

  • This summer, I plan on publishing an article a week – count on it being released every Tuesday or Wednesday
  • I’ll be sticking to three of my main interests: (1) student life (particularly at York), (2) technology & social media, and (3) social justice
  • From time to time, I may also stray from these three main interested, but rest assured: I promise to keep it relatively connected
  • Although I haven’t completely made up my mind yet, I think The New York-er might soon acquire a new design – and possibly a new name! Stay tuned over the next couple of weeks for updates!

It’s going to be an exciting year, and I look forward to sharing it with all of you!

~ Christopher Ford


Weekly Featured Article

What I’ve Been Up To At Media & Comm. (And Otherwise)

Well, it certainly has been a busy and exciting summer here at SCLD. There’s been lots to do and create, and all of us with the Media & Communications team have been working diligently on a variety of projects.

So what projects have I been working on?

I got back from Saskatchewan about a month after the rest of the team had already begun working, but thankfully I’ve managed to complete some stuff and catch up a bit since my return.

So far, I’ve completed first and second drafts of the 2014-2015 Parent & Family Calendar, a calendar that’s given out to the parents and family members of new students at the beginning of the academic year. It’s still in-progress.

Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 2.02.56 PM

Here’s a first look at this year’s front and rear covers – but SHHHH! It’s top secret!

I’ve also completed the first 5 blog posts for the Orientation Blog Series featured on our website, a few of which feature some of my photography and videos! Nikki and I have been working hard on this series, and you can check out her posts (which help introduce new students to the presidents and O-Chairs of their respective colleges) there too!


Here’s a sample photo of mine from the past few weeks. It’s been my first time experimenting with photography and video, and so I’m really excited to learn more and become more familiar with our team’s camera!

Want to see a sample of one of my videos? Check this out!

The best part about the series: it’s not over, so there’s still lots more about orientation to come!

I’ve also had the opportunity to work with the wonderful team over at Res Life! As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, I am currently the Media & Comm. liaison for Residence Life, and so far I’ve assisted in making a video for don training (which has since been completed) and am currently in the process of filming and editing another video that will be shown during don training. We also have a giant infographic in the works too, which I’m pretty excited about.

And of course, as always, I’ve been blogging, instagramming, tweeting, and pinning to my heart’s content.

However, outside of this work stuff, I’ve had the opportunity to visit New York City, spend time with family and friends, go camping, bike around main street in my hometown of Markham, and tons of other stuff. But ‘ve had a lot of work to do, too.  I’m currently still in summer school doing one (thankfully just one) course, Applied Ethics. That’s PHIL 2075 for anyone looking to take it. It’s really cool, and the textbook for the course is extremely interesting; I’m actually doing really well in it, too, based on my midterm mark and the marks from my two papers and two debates. However, it’s going to be a busy next two weeks in school for me – I have a paper due this thursday and an in-class marked debate to be a part of, as well as a final paper worth 30% of my grade due the following week. I’ll have to go pedal to the metal for the next little while!

But I still have to remember to have some fun along the way – summer is almost over, after all!

Until next time,

~ Christopher Ford

Here's a shot of my dad and I outside the New York Times HQ in Manhattan

Here’s a shot of my dad and I outside the New York Times HQ in Manhattan

Need to Know, Weekly Featured Article

The Best Apps To Have As A Commuter

It certainly is no secret – commuting to school and/or work comes with its own set of unique problems and challenges.

Luckily, here at SCLD Media & Communications, we’re all about using technology to overcome challenges. And so, on that note, let me share with you a few apps that can (hopefully) improve your daily commute! If it’s marked with a star✬, it’s one of my favourites!

✬GO Transit Mobile

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Developer:  GO Transit & Ryerson University

Cost: Free

Available on: Blackberry, iPhone (+ iTouch & iPad), Android, Windows

For anyone who takes the GO Bus or Train to York, this is a simply fantastic app. It allows you to search upcoming bus and train schedules, as well as plan trips for later on. You can save your most frequently-used routes in your favourites for easy access. It also tracks bus locations in real time using location services, so you are able to see just how far away your bus is (and you can set an alarm for when it’s getting close)! A word of warning however – the real-time bus tracking can sometimes be unreliable with older buses!


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Cost: Free

Available on: iPhone, Android

This is definitely one of my favourite apps, particularly because of how simple it is to use. Transit uses location services to allow you to see where the closest bus and subway stops are to your current location. It also tells you the different route options there are at each stop, and gives you real-time updates on when the next bus/train arrives! It also has a trip planning function, which can be extremely useful when you are in an unfamiliar area.


Developer:  RocketMan Inc


Available on: Blackberry, iPhone (+ iTouch & iPad), Android

RocketMan, much like transit, shows bus and subway stops nearest you, as well as a list of all upcoming trains and busses at each stop. However,  RocketMan outperforms transit in one way – it displays important news updates and alerts  straight from the transit companies. If there is a TTC stoppage, you’ll know about it via RocketMan.


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Developer: Maplet

Cost: Free

Available on: iPhone, Android, Windows

I wish I had a whole post to talk about this app, since there are so many features to talk about. However, in a nutshell, Waze is described as a “free community-based traffic and navigation app.” You basically just type in your destination before you leave and keep the app open while driving and the app automatically sends traffic and other data to its servers. It keeps you updated (hands-free, of course) with traffic data, road closures, police traps, and much more in real-time. Once you’re stopped, you can also use the app to report incidents/irregularities on the road, such as fallen trees or telephone lines, accidents or collisions, and more. There really is just so much you can do with it, and it’s an awesome app for any commuter who drives to York.

Oh, and also the maps are extremely interactive and customizable, and use cool little cartoon dudes to mark important locations/locations to avoid.


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Developer: MapMyFitness

Cost: Free

Available on: iPhone, Android, Blackberry*

*Limited support on Blackberry App

MapMyRide is an interesting app, because its primary function is for fitness. So, if you are someone who bikes to your bus stop or to school, you not only can use this app’s mapping and trip planning functions to find your way, but you can also keep track of your fitness along the way – a great addition to any rider’s app library.



Developer: Amazon

Cost: Free

Available on: All apple products (including Mac computers), Android, Windows

The Kindle app is not a transit-related app – but if you’re like me, you love using your time on the bus or subway to dive into a good book. The kindle app allows you to do just that, using the Amazon online store as your own personal library. Although books on the Amazon store do unfortunately cost money, they are usually cheaper than books at your local bookstore, and can be opened up on any one of your devices with the kindle app (as well as your kindle e-reader, if you have one). As well, there are many books – much like on iBooks – which are offered for free, and you can even load e-books and PDFs (yes, like for school readings and lecture notes) that you already own from your computer onto your device.


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Developer: Metro News

Cost: Free

Available on: iPhone, Android, Windows

This is another great reading app – however, rather than books, it features up-to-date news from Metro News.

Have your own app suggestions? Comment below, and let me know! 

Hey, that rhymes! :p

Au revoir! ‘Til next time!

~ Christopher Ford

Morgan and I all dressed up for Retro Day at SCLD! You can find Morgan on twitter @Wildly_Fit!

Morgan and I all dressed up for Retro Day at SCLD! You can find Morgan on twitter @Wildly_Fit!


Here’s an article for you to check out on the ACMAPS (Atkinson Centre for Mature and Part-time Students) blog – it mentions a couple more really useful apps for TTC commuters!


Weekly Featured Article

My (Not-in-Canada) Canada Day!

I did a bit of a bad thing this weekend…I left the country during Canada Day. I know what you’re thinking – Why, Chris? Why leave this beautiful country on the most important day of the year? Whyyyy? Relax, folks – I promise I had a good reason. For my family and I, July 1st has never just been Canada Day. In addition to being the birthday of our great Nation in the North, July 1st is also the birthdate of my brother, Justin!


There he is – what a beauty, eh?

And so, for my brother’s birthday (and, you know, just ’cause), we hopped in the car and drove out to NYC for a weekend. None of us had ever been to New York City, and so it was a wonderful opportunity to go away for a weekend as a family and discover a new part of North America. I had only been to the United States once before (I was in a hockey tournament in Rochester many years ago), and so it was pretty exciting for me, although I did not know a whole lot about New York City going into the trip. We left early Saturday morning and arrived there in the early afternoon, and we stayed until noon on Tuesday (Canada Day). Continue reading

Need to Know, Weekly Featured Article

I’ve Pinned A Winner!


As you may have already guessed from Morgan’s blog post yesterday, we at Media & Communications are discussing which social media platform is our personal favourite.

Now, in my opinion, all social media platforms have their positives (and their negatives, certainly), and every platform has its own niche or function which, in certain ways, helps it to out-perform others. However, if I had to pick a favourite right at this moment (because, just as social media changes very quickly, my opinions of each platform change quickly as well), it would definitely have to be…



For those of you who are unfamiliar with Pinterest, let me give you the main four steps of Pinterest – Discover, Pin, Organize, and Discover some more.

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 3.59.28 PMThe first step, Discover, starts with you! Whether you found it online or outside, any cool photos you have can be, quickly or easily, uploaded to Pinterest. As soon as you upload something to Pinterest or share it from another site or user, you have successfully made a pin!

That’s exactly the second step: Pinning! One of the great things that I found on Pinterest was not only that it very easily allows you to pin original content from your computer, but that it’s even easier to pin content that you’ve found on other sites. To do so, just copy the link to the awesome site you found, click “Add from a Website,” paste the link, and BAM! – Pinterest pulls photos from that site for you to share on your boards! And, of course, Pinterest links all photos back to their original source, and will not pull photos from sites that do not want them to be used.

I mentioned “Boards” not too long ago – that is the basis for the third step: Organize. When you “pin” something, you have to have a “Board” to pin it on, and therefore Pinterest has you create boards to house all of your pins.

But boards have a purpose – they allow you to categorize your posts, or to keep pins with similar themes together. The themes of your boards can be as specific as “Places I’ve Been,” or as broad-reaching as “Coffee.” The possibilities really are endless!

Once you’ve completed those three steps – you’ve discovered cool stuff, you’ve pinned it, and you’ve organized it in awesome boards – you can continue on to the best step of all: Discover Some More! Have a particular area of interest, such as DIY projects, fashion, or travel? Use Pinterest’s incredibly easy search tools and recommendations to find and follow boards of users across the globe (like me, if you’d like 😉 )! Then, you can share things from other users by pinning them on your boards!

Now I want to hear from you – what’s your favourite social media platform? Comment below and let me know!

See you on the web!

~ Christopher Ford

My friend Melissa and I at Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada

My friend Melissa and I at Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada

Weekly Featured Article

I’m Back! (And looking To Improve)!

Hello all!

Yes, it’s official – I’m back!  I flew in last thursday evening from Saskatoon, SK, and I was very excited to return home to Ontario and see my family, friends, and colleagues again. I must say however that it was pretty tough to say goodbye to all the new friends that I had made – and that’s also without mentioning how tough it was to say goodbye to the beautiful province that I called home throughout the month of May!

IMG_0804Regardless, I was still very excited – particularly, of course, to return to the community here at York University! So, as of this past Monday, I’m back here taking summer courses and working at SCLD. Continue reading

J'Explore! Mon Voyage à Saskatchewan, Weekly Featured Article

J’Explore – Jour 11 Jusqu’au 17

Salut tout le monde!

C’était un très memorable semaine, cette semaine. Beaucoup d’amusement, beaucoup de travail, et BEAUCOUP de français (bien sûr). Bien que je veux vous dire tout de ma semaine, je vais sauver les détails et récapituler les meilleurs parties.

Continue reading

J'Explore! Mon Voyage à Saskatchewan, Weekly Featured Article

J’Explore – Jours 8 et 9

Ce weekend, il avait devenu de plus en plus ardu de parler en Français tous les temps. Je sens parfois que je juste ne connais pas les mots – il me faut enchérir ma lexique.

Mais, heureusement, j’ai trouvé en ligne ce site SYNONYMES.COM. Et, je veux l’utiliser beaucoup pour la reste du mois.

En tout cas, il y a mon weekend.

Pendant Samedi, j’avais mon premier jour de l’atelier d’arts. Mme Donna a enseigné la classe, et on a commencé avec la peinture. Nous avons peint, en premier, les montagnes, l’eau, et un ciel bleu avec des nuages. Puis, Mme Donna nous montrait comment on fait les arbres, mais j’ai décidé de faire quelque chose un peu différent. J’ai peint un scène des montagnes en hiver – je pourrais voir moi-même comme étant sur un lac gelé avec ma petite amie, et les pins nous entourent. Le vent est fort, et nous faisons du patin à glace sur le lac.

Ça, c’était mon chef-d’oeuvre 😉


IMG_0501Oui, c’est à moi, et pas un enfant.

Ça nuit, une groupe d’étudiants et moi avons encore décidé d’aller au bar – après un petit débat sur où nous devrions aller, nous avons conclu d’aller à un bar s’appelait <<Sutherland’s>> (ou <<The Skuzz>>, pour les gens locaux). C’était pour le moins agréable.

Mais aujourd’hui, au lieu de peindre, j’ai dessiné avec les fusain (les crayons qui sont font du charbon) pour créer un portrait de moi-même. Avant ça, on a fait aussi les dessins du forms et des personnes dans la classe posent. Selon moi, mon peinture est meilleur que mes dessins – mon dernier dessin (de moi) était mon favorite des dessins, pourtant.

Il n'est pas très bien,  mais c'était bien pour mon premier essai

Il n’est pas très bien, mais c’était bien pour mon premier essai

Ce soir, on (mes amis et moi) ne fais pas plus des devoirs ni voit un film bien qu’on a planifié de les faire. Pourtant, demain – après la danse folklorique!!! Je suis enthousiaste pour ça – je dois faire tout mes devoirs (alors, deux presentations orale). Et, peut-être, je vais faire un blog aussi! 😉

À bientôt à tous!

~ Christopher Ford