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Today we’re sharing about one of Toronto’s amazing sharing spots: the Toronto Tool Library and Sharing Depot!

The Toronto Tool Library has two locations, located in St. Clair West and on Spadina in the new CSI space! The Spadina location is also home to the TTL’s makerspace that hosts different kinds of workshops involving the use of special tools such as woodworking or sewing equipment. If you’re a regular homebody who pulls out their tools once in a blue moon to drill a new hole in the wall for shelving or pictures, you might want to consider investing in a membership at this amazing place.

Tool libraries work almost exactly like a normal library, except for an annual membership fee which goes towards buying new tools and maintaining the space. This library loans specialized tools to people with any range of experience — from those looking to use a power drill for simple assembly to a professional who may want to hone their skills — while simultaneously building and reconnecting communities to each other.

The wonderful benefit of this collaborative community is that users do not have to go out and buy expensive tools that they may use only a handful of times. This library is also very useful for those studying in certain trades that require the use of items that are relatively pricey.

The Toronto Tool library is not just home to all kinds of tools for home improvement, but also to seasonal equipment such as camping gear, toys, games, and event supplies. With a membership, you can greatly reduce the amount of purchasing and replacing you do on an annual basis.

It’s a smart concept: tools are an integral part of society, much like books. A power drill is used for an average of just 12-13 minutes in its lifetime in a private household! It only makes sense to rent because access is really what matters as opposed to ownership.

You’ll reduce clutter in your apartment, contribute to a community space and reduce your carbon footprint. Joining the Toronto Tool Library is an eco-friendly, cost-efficient habit to build into your life!

If you’re one of those people who has recently realised that saving money from not hiring a maid does not match up to the time you spend yourself in cleaning, then you’re probably looking online on how to go about hiring a maid in Calgary. Keeping that in mind, given below are the best possible sources of recruiting maid services in your city:

  1. Maid referral services: These are companies that have a panel of maids on their roster but not employed by them. Whenever a job comes up, they send out a notification to their list and see who is available. The main advantage of this system is that cost to the consumer ends up being lowest as the company does not have to bear overheads even when there is no work. The best example of such a company is www.askfortask.com, whose whole referral system is online and driven by reviews from consumers so you can choose the best maid.
  2. Maid companies: Maid companies recruit their own taskforce which they manage on a long term basis. The maids are typically insured and bring their own supplies. However as a result, this is also the most expensive platform for hiring maids.
  3. Direct help: Lastly, direct help are maids that work independently and advertise their services through ads on places such as Kijiji. Rates for maids found in this way are flexible and varied, where you can negotiate also. But the drawback is that there is no screening process involved, so you cannot be sure without trying if they are good at their work or trustworthy.

So, based on the above, the best option for house cleaning is to go through a maid referral service. The cost involved is comparatively less, while you still enjoy the benefit of maids that have had a background check, are reviewed and rated. Companies like AskforTask have also started offering insurance protection for no cost, something which was typically offered by maid companies only.

Thanksgiving can be a stressful family affair with things seeming to get out of hand. However if you prepare in advance, you can be sure to be at the helm of things when the time comes. Here are a few handy things to do even before the appointed day:

  1. Start with the recipe. Review it and highlight things that you will need such as ingredients and tools.
  2. Decide on your bird. Are you going for fresh or frozen? It is a good idea to put your order days in advance as demand will naturally be high the closer you get to the actual day. A number of stores in Brampton take pre orders.
  3. Trim your kitchen to the basic, keeping things you will need on the counter and out in front, while relegating all else to the back. As it will get messy on Thanksgiving, this helps in saving extraneous things from getting dirty, consequently saving on cleaning costs.
  4. Check and test your oven. Calibrate it for the required temperature to make sure it is working fine. Cleaning it is also recommended.
  5. Get house cleaning done. Thanksgiving is a social affair and guests are always involved. It is a good idea to not only impress with the food but also with the décor. Hire maid services in order to save your own energy for the meal making.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Summertime calls for a perfect tan that leaves you glowing, appear slimmer and hides away any blemishes. Moreover lying in the sun boosts your serotonin levels, making you happier all the while soaking in the good old vitamin D.

For a healthy, bronzed, sun-kissed look, without irregular patches and sunburns, that lasts throughout the season and a couple of weeks of autumn, here is what you have to do:

Before settling in for a tan:

1. Exfoliate your skin regularly with a gentle scrub to remove any dead skin that will block the rays of the sun from reacting with the skin and result in an uneven tan.

2. The night before, moisturize your skin generously to leave it silky smooth and eliminate all the dry patches.

3. Find a good spot to settle in that gives you direct exposure to the sun without any shades nearby.

4. Keep a book or magazine handy in case you don’t want to lie idle.

While tanning:

1. Applying sunscreen is extremely important. It will save you from developing the angry red patches of sunburn and instead allow you to achieve a smooth buttery glow. Gently apply the lotion all over your body ensuring to cover the entire body. Don’t worry if you go over the same area twice, just be thorough!

2. Reapply the sunscreen every 2 hours or as directed on the bottle and after every dip in the water.

3. For a perfect even brown tan, keep moving. Flip after every 15-30 mins keeping your hands away from your body so that no area is being blocked from receiving the rays.

4. Wear a hat or keep your eyes closed as direct sunlight to the eyes can cause them to burn as well.

5. Keep well hydrated by taking in plenty of fluids.

6. Remember to not overdo it.

After getting tanned:

1. Take a shower, hot or cold, after tanning to remove the layers of lotion and oils or sand and grit if you have been to the beach.

2. Follow your shower with another round of moisturizing with an aloe vera based lotion so that your bronzed look is not uneven or patchy.

3. Show off your tan in brightly colored clothes that will draw further attention to your sun kissed self!

 

 

 

Have you ever been reluctant to call in a repair man to fix something or call in help when moving something heavy? Is this because you fear while you may be solving one problem, it is equally likely that the help, through accident or carelessness creates 3 more? So you end up delaying the repair indefinitely.

Risks of Calling Help Directly

This behaviour is quite normal for the most of us. While others may see this as procrastination, we know it is more about people not fulfilling our expectations. No one will ever be as particular and careful about working around your property as yourself. For some of us, just screws not put in the same order is a big no – imagine the discomfort that will be caused if something actually gets scratched, tears or breaks during the moving/repairing process.

Some Helpers are Always Risky

Then there is the other side to having help over. What if they turn out to be a bad experience personally? They are either disgruntled, irritable or not motivated to see the task through. Half the time they blame the location, lack of equipment or something around the house as the cause of their work. And God forbid if anything should happen to them like falling off the stairs or a cut – you can bet they will claim damages.

Safe Alternative for Calling Help

So what is the solution to calling help but not having to worry about extra costs or damages? The answer lies in not calling help directly, but through an organisation that offers protection against possible damages. In other words, the company offers insurance protection against all tasks that you request through them. One such company is AskforTask, that operates out of Toronto and services over 100 cities in Canada alone.

Many Benefits of Task Platforms

You not only get access to taskers that the company has assessed and verified thoroughly (otherwise they won’t be insuring their work) but you are also able to check their reviews and rating and judge for yourself how good they are. Once you call them, you can also rest at ease while they do the work, at peace with the protection of insurance against any mishap. Hence through such platforms, you can thoroughly enjoy the benefit of having someone else do the work. Not to mention, due to the dynamic task assigning process of such companies, you also benefit from cheaper rates as compared to calling help directly!

For a lot of us, the word insurance switched from being a needless expense to a smart precaution against the majority of people who don’t know how to drive, news channels whose weather forecasts are always off, sometimes airplane pilots (anyone remember Donnie Darko?) and just the plain fact that nothing is really in our control. As we invest more in ourselves (better cars, houses, family), our fear of losing our investment also increases, which is where for a little premium, insurance gives us that peace of mind that ‘Hey, you may stumble, but you won’t fall’.

Of course, sometimes you also get to hear of overzealous individuals who end up insuring everything, from their teeth to their kitten. Golden eggs for the insurance companies. Plain mind baffling behaviour for the rest of us. So we wonder, where is the line one should draw between wise and eccentric behaviour.

Apart from the 4 prevalent categories of insurance that an average citizen deals in (auto, home, medical & life), for the rest there is an easy checklist through which you can decide if you should insure or not. It is as follows:

  1. What is the value of the item
  2. What is the value of the item as a percentage of my monthly income
  3. What is the risk factor involved (chance of damage/loss etc)

If it scores high on all of the above, then you should think more about getting it insured. Otherwise, you will be probably end up spending more on insurance premium than in just replacing the asset.

For example in some developing countries where law & order is shaky & chances of thefts are high, it is common practice of mobile service providers providing insurance coverage against theft on mobile phones as low as $200.

However with shifting trends we now also see scenarios where we may enjoy the benefits of insurance, without having to pay for insurance ourselves. If you’ve ridden in an Uber car or lived in an accommodation through AirBnb, you have been using services that are insured against damage. Similarly, if you get handyman, cleaning or moving tasks done through a collaborative consumption platform such as AskforTask, you will be covered against any damage that may be caused by the person while doing those tasks. Such would not be the case if you were to call any local movers or handyman.

Which is why, insurance is starting to look more like a friend and less like a burden.

Before the perennial winters of Canada set in, make the most of the summers by exploring all that this beautiful country has to offer. Whether you are mesmerized by the ancient European culture, an outdoorsy person who likes soaking in the scenic beauty, or simply want to relax before returning to the humdrum of the daily routine, you can have a splendid vacation, right here in Canada, without docking in the international air miles.

Experience marine life:

If you happen to be in the vicinity, visit the Vancouver Aquarium. It is a perfect outing for a family with  kids as you can enjoy the shark dives and the beluga whale and dolphin show, feed the sea otters and sea lions, and mingle with other free roaming animals. The sleek mammals soaring just beneath the glistening waters and performing amazing acrobats are worth a visit.  www.vanaqua.org/

Relax on a slice of heaven:

For a taste of old Europe right in Canada, go to the Fairmount Chateau at Lake Louise, a world heritage site, nestled between the Victorian glacier, mountain peaks and glistening waters. Enjoy the evening tea in their majestic dining area with a stunning view of the snow capped peaks and Lake Loiuse. www.fairmont.com/lake-louise/

Discover the ancient fossils:

If you possess some interest in paleontology, then the Dinosaur Provincial Park, in the southeast of Alberta, is the place for you where bones and teeth from the dinosaur era are yours to explore and fascinate over. Embark on a fossil safari on the rugged terrains and be blown over by the vast expanse of rich fossil beds and blue skies. www.albertaparks.ca/dinosaur.aspx

Explore the Canadian French:

Seep in the unique culture of the Quebec province which offers a distinct taste of French tradition in its art, food and even the music. This part of the country is rich in French architecture from early 16th century and if it piques your interest, head over to the stone walled Quebec City to know more about the Colonial France. While you are there, visit the historic neighborhood of Old Quebec, a world heritage site, and also the Chateau Frontenac, the world’s most photographed hotel.  http://wanderingtrader.com/canada-travel-guide/things-to-do/#sthash.XdWiMrHE.dpuf

Chateau Frontenac

Visit the top Canada attraction:

The city of Toronto is a melting pot of diverse cultures and people and one of the most cosmopolitan cities of the world. Climb the CN tower for a panoramic view of the city or sip cocktails at the Roof Lounge on the 18th floor of Park Hyatt. Moreover it is a hub of world class theatre, a shopper’s paradise and a foodies dream come true with wide variety of cuisines from various cultures. It is also dubbed as the New York City run by the Swiss but with cleaner sidewalks and friendlier people! http://wanderingtrader.com/canada-travel-guide/things-to-do/#sthash.XdWiMrHE.dpuf

Park Hyatt Roof Lounge

If you find your Android OS lagging in between functions and app usage, modifying a simple  functionality can help speed it up for a smoother experience. We’ve made a nice little screen grab to show you what to do.

Also given below is a step by step process in case your OS manufacturer has slightly different settings:

1. Go to Settings

2. Scroll down to the bottom of the menu till you reach Developer Options (usually the second last option, just before About Phone)*

3. In Developer Options scroll down till you reach the setting for Window Animation Scale, Transition Animation Scale & Animator Duration Scale. By default all three of these will be set to 1x.

4. Change the scale values on all 3 from 1x to 0.5x and restart your phone.

You should see a noticeable difference in how quickly you move between windows & menus. You can also turn these to Off if you want to speed it up more.

*For some Android OS, you have to first enable Developer Options. This can be done by going to About Phone>Build Number>and tapping repeatedly on it till you get the message ‘Your are now a developer!’

With summers upon us, now is a good time to tackle the neglected mess that has been our backyard for the past so many months. A complete makeover or a general cleanup around this time of the year will allow you to enjoy all kinds of outdoorsy fun and soak in the sunshine while it lasts.

Your plan of action:

Either you can revamp your backyard by investing in landscaping and chucking out some old elements that have become victims of the weather, replacing them with new stuff. Or you can just go about the general clean up and be done with it.

Be prepared:

Before getting started, make sure you have all the tools like gardening gloves, shears, fertilizers, clippers, sunscreen etc. Survey your backyard for any patios, walkways, pavers, boxes around planters, fences, gates, gazebos, and more that need repair and stock up on items needed to mend them as well.

Manicure you lawn:

Start of by raking to remove dead grass and leaves to make the backyard look clutter free. Then aerate your lawn so that it can soak up the water, air and fertilizers, allowing everything to reach the root of the plants. Next, fill in any bare patches that are making your yard look shabby, with turf builders or by seeding.

Fertilize:

Feed your nutrients starved lawn a heavy dose of fertilizers early on in the summer to help them grow lusher and healthier for you to enjoy later on in the summer. As for the plants, read on about any particular kind of fertilizers they need before supplementing them.

Tackle the flower beds and shrubs:

Remove extra mulch, dead leaves and debris from your flower beds. Pull out the nutrient hogging weeds and maintain a healthy lawn to crowd out the weeds. Turn over the winter soil and maybe cultivate new plants for a blooming garden. Spruce your shrubs and trees by giving them a trimming.

Smarten up the hardscape:

Finally, polish, paint, mend or replace the furniture and other hardscape for a tidier, smarter looking backyard.

Maintenance:

Now that you have put in hours of back breaking work into your previously desolated backyard, a good idea would be to devise a maintaining schedule and follow it  to ensure that the backyard remains upkeep and tidy.

Between school activities, social media, crazy working hours and endless household errands, it is often a chore for the entire family to be present at the same place at the same time, both physically and mentally. But summers often provide a respite from the hectic schedules and hence, it is a great time for some family bonding.

1. Volunteer

Promote compassion by volunteering with children. Serve food at a homeless shelter, help at a retirement center, walk dogs for a dog rescue league, or assist with a carwash to raise money for a non-profit. When you volunteer with a child they learn to help other. It also makes them appreciate what they have and instills a sense of gratitude in them.

2. Play Games

Board games and athletic sports teach cooperation and team work. Teach children to follow rules and resolve conflicts by playing games with them. These activities provide a critical foundation for social and emotional development. Moreover, outdoor activities are better for health and a good way to enjoy the sunshine while it lasts.

3. Eat Together

Meal times should be mandatory, not only during the summers but throughout the year. Everybody has to eat, so why not eat together and make it a priority to leave behind all the gadgets and use the meal times as a way to connect with the family and share your daily news. As it’s said: the family which eats together, stays together.

4. Be a Tourist in your Hometown:

It is easy to overlook the opportunities right where you live! Go sightseeing in your hometown and explore its heritage. The history of the place you live and grew up in can be a fascinating and eye-opening experience. Tour the most historic buildings, discover if any battles were fought where you’re standing, check out monuments and statues, or visit a cemetery to search for the oldest tombstones. Every place has its own legends and history. Discovering what makes your town special can create a meaningful connection to the spot your family calls home.

5. Start a Yard Sale Hop Game:

Split up in two teams and discover the yard sales happening in your area. Make a competition to see who can find the strangest, or the largest and the smallest items. Decide the maximum amount a team can spend so that nobody goes overboard and then meet up at a pre-determined time to compare your treasures. This activity helps you meet new people while teaching your kids value for money.

6. Watch a Sunset or a Shooting Star:

Find a great spot in your community that offers an uninterrupted panoramic view, pack a light snack, sprawl on the blanket and witness any one of natural phenomenon that we are too busy to appreciate on our daily basis.

Apple has a knack of including hidden features in their iOS. Simple gestures or shortcuts that allow a user more convenience (shake to undo, drag down to request desktop site and other useful value additions).

Similarly, the stock Apple EarPods with Remote and Mic are no different. While you may have been using them only for increasing and decreasing volume, they offer far more features to not only control the Music player but also access your iPhone/iPod/iPad in other ways. Read on below for a complete guide to all you can do with the Apple EarPods Remote for a truly hands free experience whether jogging, commuting, tasking or out on a wild adventure.

The EarPods remote consists of 3 buttons: Volume Up, Volume Down and the Play/Pause button in the middle. Combination of these buttons in different apps can allow you to control more of your Apple device without having to dig it out from your pocket.

Buttons Action
With Music. (also applicable with other audio apps such as podcasts, audiobooks etc)
Tap the PLAY/PAUSE button x2 SKIP to the NEXT track
Tap the PLAY/PAUSE button x3 REPEAT CURRENT track or GO BACK to the PREVIOUS track
Tap the PLAY/PAUSE button x2 & HOLD FAST FORWARD current track
Tap the PLAY/PAUSE button x3 & HOLD Rewind current track
Siri
Press & Hold PLAY/PAUSE button Activate Siri
Tap PLAY/PAUSE once to CANCEL Siri
With Camera
Tap the VOLUME + button x1 Take Picture
With iPhone
Tap the PLAY/PAUSE button x1 ANSWER/HANG UP call
Press & Hold PLAY/PAUSE button REJECT incoming call. If in the middle of a call and another call is coming – END current call and switch to SECOND INCOMING call

Too much to remember at once? Use our chart below to bookmark or share till you get used to the controls.

Launching a startup can be an exciting and anxious process. In 2012, my brother and I set out to launch our own start-up AskforTask.com, a p2p marketplace for daily errands. In 2 years, we went from 0 to 150,000 active users, but that journey didn’t come without making some fundamental mistakes. In our very early days, we focused on learning from the early adopters; this is why we stayed in beta for six months and in one city, Toronto. Today, AskforTask sees over $500,000 worth of jobs every month, saving people over $20 million and is available in over 100 cities.

Although we are still a long way from where we want to take AskforTask, I want to share the 3 common mistakes I made in first 100 days and how the new founders can avoid them:

1. Waiting to Make the product “Perfect”

Many founders want to create the perfect product that every user would love and waste valuable time in the process. Instead of attempting to perfect the product, a good strategy is to ship Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and then proactively seek feedback from early adopters and implement changes on a regular basis. This makes the product better in a practical way and the users/early adopters feel valued to see their feedback being implemented.

2. Focusing On Strategies That Scale

Even though it is every founder’s mission to acquire millions of customers right away, the reality is far from it. In fact, it is difficult to even get one person to use and love a product right after launching. Instead of focusing on growth techniques that scale, founders should focus on techniques that don’t. While this sounds odd, it creates a community of loyal users that actually use the product and help founders understand where the demand actually exists in their targeted market. A great example is how airbnb realized the professional photography was essential for people to love a listing.

3. Being Scared of Pivoting or Re-launching

Most of the time, founders are on the right path to disrupting a new industry or economic area, but even though their perspective is correct, it is not exactly what the market is adapting to at that time. Founders are scared of pivoting, and launching into something that works better. Unless you are household name, it doesn’t matter if you pivot to a different product. The founders of Airbnb launched and re-launched a few times before getting it right. Therefore, founders should always utilize the biggest strength of the start-up, which is being resilient and adaptable.

When launching a startup, mistakes are inevitable. But surrounding one’s self with good mentors, like-minded individuals, and keeping an eye on the big picture are all integral to ensure any mistakes that are made are as minimally damaging as possible.

– Muneeb Mushtaq,
C.E.O., AskforTask

What mistakes did you make starting up? Let us know in the comments below!

Some people are naturally handy, some aren’t. Some parents teach their kids how to fix things, others don’t. What jobs should one hire a handyman for, and what should one be able to fix themselves? There is no simple answer, but it is not recommended to hire a handyman for anything gas, electrical, or plumbing-related, as these all require specific licenses.

A handyman should be reserved for jobs that most don’t have time for, don’t have the proper equipment to complete, or simply are physically incapable of completing the task. Below are six examples of what to hire a handyman for:

1. Carpentry – Whether hanging a shelf or erecting a small shed, a handyman should have the tools the layman doesn’t, accompanied with the savvy know-how. Need a shoe rack or entertainment unit put together? This should be right up their alley.

2. Installation/Assembly – Cabinets and furniture often come with installation kits (especially those from certain Swedish companies), a handyman can tackle installing kitchen cabinets or putting together a bed frame without using frustrating out-of-the-box tools. Hire a handyman, go to work, come back to a completed piece of furniture, simple enough.

3. Wall Hangings – Mirrors, paintings, and TVs are not something that should fall to the ground. Specifically TV mounts (which can get expensive), should not be hung lackadaisically. Better to trust some one who has experience in this instead of having Uncle Fred try to “jimmy rig” a $3,000 TV to the wall.

4. Painting – Many handymen/women are skillful painters as many start off with this as their focus. If the job is too big for a Saturday afternoon, this is a great task for a handyman to complete.

5. Garage – A garage door malfunction, or removing loads of recyclables/junk from within are good examples of when a handyman is needed. The garage is a handyman’s bread and butter, so why not put them to work in their element?

6. Soundproofing – A generally underused feature, soundproofing can do wonders for loud children, a room where the band to practices, or for renting out part of a home. A handyman can install soundproofing foam, and test the decibel levels outside the room to ensure peace and quiet.

Some people don’t have time to do odd jobs around the house, therefore a handyman can save time and money in most cases.

Don’t forget to find a handyman on AskforTask.com for any of the above services. Freedom is only a few clicks away.

In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to worry about products in our home causing us harm, unfortunately, this is not the case. Some of the most common cleaning products contain the harshest chemicals around (like benzene or chlorine), however in most places it is not required to list all or any of the ingredients. Here is a short list of products that may be in your home to avoid. 

Simple Green Concentrated All-Purpose Cleaner

Containing solvents known to damage red blood cells and irritate eyes, this product also suggests the user significantly dilutes the product, which most are likely unaware of as it comes in a spray bottle which suggests it is ready to use.

2000 Flushes

Very easy for a child or pet to pick up and play with. Contains a lot of chlorine and is dangerous to breathe in which means it’s probably not good to have near exposed skin when it is attached to the toilet bowl.

Lysol Disinfectant Power Toilet Bowl Cleaner with Lime & Rust Remover

A “harmful or fatal if swallowed” warning and the fact that it can cause “irreversible damage” to the eyes are the only two reasons needed to not own this product.

Comet Disinfecting Cleansing Powder

A popular product for public restrooms, but likely shouldn’t be used anywhere. Containing 146 chemicals (some of which may cause cancer, asthma, or reproductive disorders). The worst of these  include formaldehyde, benzene and chloroform.

Easy-Off Heavy Duty Oven Cleaner Aerosol Spray

Aerosols still exist? This cleaning product can burn the skin and eyes, and it is suggested to not  allow on clothing. It’s not okay to breathe in the mist either. Do not purchase without a biohazard suit.

Scrubbing Bubbles – Antibacterial Cleaner

This friendly-looking product contains butoxydiglycol, a solvent banned in the European Union. Can inflame the lungs, not good for a spray product.

Single-Use Plastic Bottles

Something most know by now is that plastic bottles shouldn’t be reused because chemicals can seep into the water. Adding heat from outside or sitting in a car for a period of time only increases the chances. Considering bottled water is not nearly as regulated as tap water, in general it is wise to steer clear from it. If the fact that the Pacific Ocean is filled with plastic isn’t enough, knowing how easily dangerous chemicals can get into bottled water should be a strong deterrent.

Sources:
http://huff.to/QyWGLQ
http://bit.ly/1s4MyKy
http://bit.ly/1tzZ1p5

A person bent on committing fraud is likely to put a lot of effort into their crime, therefore it is important to be cautious as well as vigilant in order to ensure it doesn’t happen.

Fraudsters are now able to see your PIN in images using thermal-image camera attachments on their phone.  The criminals in question can even see the order in which the PIN was typed by the strength of the heat signature. To deter this, rest fingers on multiple buttons to create varying heat signatures.

Avoid easy-to-know passwords and PINS. Many people make the mistake of using one password for everything, and telling the wrong person about it.  Don’t write down the pin either, they are pretty easy to recognize.

If you lose your card, cancel it right away. While it may seem easy to track your transactions to the time and place they occurred, many variables are in place. Can you prove it wasn’t you? Can you get the security footage? Can you identify the person committing fraud? Avoid all of this by reporting any lost or stolen cards as soon as possible.

Think of how easy it would be for someone to send your information overseas, for another person to make online purchases with. Interpol may not be too interested in investigating small charges made online, meaning your money is gone forever, costing you time/money/credit.

Other simple tips: Do not post your card number online, do not click “remember number” on websites or when using public computers, and change PIN numbers every so often.

The best type of protect against credit and debit fraud, is prevention.

The average Canadian is expected to walk away from their post secondary education carrying roughly $25,000 in debt, and the current state of the jobs market doesn’t help. According to a study by CIBC a graduate with a fine arts degree is expected to earn less than a high school graduate, 12% less when the cost of education is factored in. The Canadian unemployment rate sits at 7%, however the rate of unemployment among youth aged 15-24 is nearly double the national average at 13.4%.

So what does this do to young Canadians who are fresh out of University and searching for a job?  There’s been a massive spike in what is referred to as discouraged workers. Discouraged workers are people who have had such a tough time finding gainful employment they have simply given up searching for work altogether. According to an overview of Canada’s jobs market from November 2013 to June 2014 the number of discouraged worker grew by 67% from 8,500 to 14,200. While the number of discouraged workers is on the rise earning money is still a necessity.

What we’re seeing now is a shift in the marketplace, where Canadian youth are starting to shun traditional methods of employment. Burdened with heavy debt and discouraged by the odds of landing a full-time job more graduates are pushing for an alternative way to earn a living. Companies such as Uber, Airbnb and AskforTask are giving discouraged people an avenue become their own boss on a reliable platform. People with a car and some spare time can start up their own cab company, picking up passengers with Uber. Airbnb is letting people cash in on spare space by renting out extra rooms. AskforTask allows people to build their skill set and earn money by running odd jobs. What this is creating is an open marketplace for individuals to share their resources and making a new economic engine to drive the workforce forward.

The squeeze of the jobs market and the pressures of student debt are omnipresent as the summer comes to a close. But Canadian graduates are resilient, and with the sharing economy booming employment is never far off.

Pet ownership is a $6.5-Billon industry in Canada. According to Ipsos roughly a third of Canadian households own either  cat or a dog, out of that 35% own a cat and 32% own a dog. As a result of this booming industry services like dog walking and cat sitting are in high demand. At AskforTask we see postings everyday for people seeking a reliable person to look after their beloved pet.

Here’s just a few of the ways AskforTask can make taking care of your pet easier.

1. Having trouble hauling that 45LBS bag of cat food back home? Hire a Tasker to do the heavy lifting for you and get it delivered to your house.

2. Want to take a spontaneous trip but your usual pet sitter isn’t available? AskforTask has plenty of trusted and experienced sitters available for in house pet care.

3. Does going to the groomers stress your four-legged friend out? There are plenty of groomers on our site that will come to your house instead and save you the stressful car ride.

4. Find yourself staying late at work and worried about the dog not being let out? Find a community member who can help you out in a pinch with AskforTask.

There are a lot of reasons to be a Tasker. It’s a great way to build your portfolio, earn money at your leisure and make connections in your community. However we couldn’t have Taskers without Askers; there are plenty of reasons to be an Asker with AskforTask and post a task for free!

1) Local help: Our Taskers are members of the community, students or neighbours who are looking to earn a little extra income or pad their resume. Hiring a tasker means giving back to your neighbourhood.

2) Pick your price: Since our launch in 2012 AskforTask has helped Canadians save over $15 million in jobs. Our easy bidding system allows you to pick the person you want to work with for the price you want.

3) Trusted service: Pick from a variety of Taskers, browse their profiles and read reviews from happy Askers.

4) Secure payment: Once the Tasker has completed your job pay them securely with PayPal. Never worry about having the right change again.

5) Build a Sharing Economy: Borrow rather than buy. According to a global study by Neilson 45% of Canadians are willing to rent their stuff to others, while 42% are willing to rent from others.

It’s Friday, you can practically touch the long weekend and the last thing you want to be doing is sitting at your desk, working. On days like these it can be difficult to stay focused and productive; we’ve all been victims of our own lack of productivity at some point in time, barely touching our paperwork and coming out at the end of the day unsatisfied with how we performed.

There’s no reason you can’t keep your productivity levels as high on a Friday as they were at the start of the week. Here are some tips to help you get through the work day drag and tackle what’s in front of you.

1. Start with something that interests you: There’s less of a chance you’ll spend your morning shirking responsibility if you know you’ll enjoy the first task you dig into.

2. Get organized: It’s an old trick, but a to-do list can go a long way. Putting things down on paper helps you visualize what you need to do so you aren’t distracted by trying to keep things straight in your mind.

3. Take a break: Standing up to grab a coffee or take a short 5 minutes to yourself can boost energy and give your mind a much needed break. I find I work better in short bursts, an hour or two of solid work followed by a 5 minute break to re-group and focus on the next task ahead.

4. Time your tasks: It gives you a sense of urgency and creates tighter deadlines so you don’t waste the whole day on one project.

5. Listen to upbeat music: In the AskforTask offices we’re always taking turns dj’ing for the team. Whether it’s 90’s pop in the morning or house music in the afternoon, working to a beat fills the silence and makes the time fly.

If these tip don’t do it and if you still aren’t feeling productive, you can always hire a Tasker.

The first television interview can be a make or break moment for a startup company and being under the scrutiny of a camera lens can make even the most seasoned spokesperson sweat. Here’s some practical advice to help you through your moment in the media spotlight.

1) Make room for the reporter: Many people are afraid of having a break in the conversation when they’re on television. Frequently, guests will ramble on without giving the reporter a chance to ask their next question; don’t be afraid of taking a beat and allow the reporter to move the interview forward, it’s their job after all.

2) Avoid a technical answer: You might know your business inside and out but your co-workers aren’t the audience. Keep your responses simple, and save the company jargon for the office.

3) Avoid unnecessary stats and numbers: Without an accompanying graphic numbers aren’t easily digested. Rather than saying you currently have 926,560 users, round up and use phrases like almost a million or more than tripled.

4) Say no to yes or no answers: Yes or no might be an adequate answer in day-to-day conversation but not in an interview. You’re essentially shutting the conversation down with a one worded answer and missing out on a chance to talk yourself up.

5) Know your time limit: A typical television or radio interview runs somewhere between 3-10 minutes, that’s not a lot of time to fit all the information you need in. A good rule of thumb is to allow 35-50 seconds per answer, just enough to give a response and fit in a sound bite, but not enough time for the audience to lose interest.

6) Bridging: It’s tempting to hijack an interview when you have a point you’d like to raise and it doesn’t seem like the reporter will ever ask a question that leads to it. Rather than stepping in an asking the question yourself, turn a response in the direction of what you really want to talk about. Use phrases like “Yes, and that raises the questions . . ..” or “Absolutely, and that’s why . . .”

7) Eyes are everywhere: Once the interview is over sit still and keep quiet until you’re far away from the microphones. It sounds silly but many great interviews have been ruined when a careless interviewee makes an offhand comment that gets caught by a mic.

For many of us summer-time means sand and surf, and here at AskforTask we believe in spending more than just your average day at the beach. There are plenty of ways you can turn an ordinary day at the beach into a fanTASKtic day.

Here are just a few of our favourite suggestions:

  1. Gear up: Investing in beach gear is expensive and difficult to store during the winter. Rather than buying a boogie-board or beach umbrella Ask for one.
  2. Escape the Crowds: Rather than struggling to find a spot on a crowded public beach Ask to use someone’s private beach instead.
  3. Dine in Style: Ditch the usual cooler of snacks that inevitably gets filled up with sand. Ask for someone to bring you a picnic lunch and let them do the cleaning up.
  4. Cruise the Waters: Take to the water in style and Ask for a boat to take you out for a cruise.
  5. Hang Ten: Have you always dreamed of mastering the waves but don’t know where to start? Ask for lessons and learn how to surf.

Post your task for FREE and head to the beach!

The warm weather is finally creeping into the city and we here at AskforTask are beginning to look forward to all the fun that comes along with summer. BBQs are the perfect way to connect with your friends and family, and an affordable option for summer fun.

Wondering how AskforTask can help you prep for one amazing spring BBQ? All you have to do is follow these steps in order!

Ask someone to deliver propane for your BBQ

Ask someone to come over and clean your patio furniture

-Check the AskforTask Pinterest page for some amazing summer recipes or for some patio inspiration

Ask somebody to return your leftover beer bottles after the party is over or help with clean up

With AskforTask, your summer is a breeze; you don’t have to do it alone!

Here at AskforTask, we really love moms. Considering all that they do for us on a regular basis, it’s important to remember to celebrate her and appreciate her love, so we’ve come up with the perfect DIY gift-giving guide for those of you that want to do something special, but may not have a lot of spending money to do so!

Buy just buy her flowers: They don’t have to expensive long-stem roses to hold special value. Creating a terrarium or buying unusual, unique plants can be a welcome alternative to the typically over-the-top bouquets that supermarkets try to pawn off on you. Be creative: maybe you will even want to solicit some help by “Asking” someone to create a custom arrangement on our website!

Make her a card: Moms tend to be really appreciative of anything homemade, so the good ole’ card idea works wonders.

Design a Coupon Book: These are great when you are running short on cash but not on ideas; help your mom with a Task around the house, or run some errands for her! She deserves a little time to herself to rest. If you aren’t near your mom on Mother’s Day, you can also use AskforTask.com to find someone who can help complete a few of her chores! The possibilities are limitless!

Breakfast in bed: It’s easy enough to go out and buy something for your mom, but it’s the time and effort that will really touch her heart. Gather a selection of special ingredients and make her a breakfast that she will never forget. Considering how trendy our food is becoming, perhaps consider the latest dishes to grace your favourite brunch place. A homemade plate of eggs benedict or a breakfast tostada could make you the best son/daughter ever!

Make her a “Throwback” Slideshow: Moms love to look back at all the great moments, and why not great creative and compile a bunch of your best memories together with a bit of flare and design added in. Not exactly the creative type? Get on AskforTask.com and post a photoshop/design task! There are plenty of people more than willing to help you out!

What are some of your favourite Mother’s Day gift ideas? Let us know in the comments!

-Taylor, Social Engagement Specialist, AskforTask Inc.

The weekend may have come and gone too soon, but for those of you who still have this beautiful spring Monday off, this may be your chance to learn how to enjoy time off and recharge for a productive week ahead.

During any holiday, it’s easy to become wrapped up in the superficial offerings of season: we perhaps spend a little too much time decorating our homes or cooking the grandest of holiday feasts, decked out to the nines in an overdone explosion of holiday cheer.

We at AskforTask want to emphasize the importance of community and family during this time. No matter what you are celebrating this weekend–be it Easter or the day off work to spend time with your loved ones–it’s what you make of your personal time that matters.

We’d like to think that our platform makes it easy for you to earn a little extra money on the side to make your holiday plans a success, and it helps others gain some help with errands when they may not be able to necessarily buy their spare time back.

This Easter, show your loved ones you care by using AskforTask. You never know where a helping hand might take you!