This article discusses how I came across Canva and how Canva helps me become more creative and immensely boosts my productivity.
About two years ago, I discovered Canva, a web-based design tool that can help produce creative materials faster with the help of templates, ideas and elements. I have been using it since, and today I can’t imagine my life without this excellent software.
But it wasn’t the “aha” kind of discovery. I was first exposed to it when a colleague ran a short web-based course explaining the benefits of Canva and taught us hands-on experience using Canva.
At the end of the training, I managed to produce a few graphic materials and thought, “hmm… interesting,” and went back to work as usual.
At that time, I was an editor administering several scholarly journals for an academic publisher. Occasionally, I also produced marketing materials for our organization, including graphic designs and short videos.
I use primarily Adobe software (Photoshop and Premiere Pro) for these purposes. My design skills were limited; I have some design taste (well… perhaps), mostly centered around minimalist concepts. I am never fond of overcrowded graphics.
As editing and administering journals already took up much of my resources, my time designing stuff was limited. So I spent my time looking for alternatives to Adobe software to save my time and effort.
Which, to cut things short, led me to discover Canva.
Here are 5 ways how Canva helps me become more creative and how it can help you to:
Table of Contents
1. Canva helps create various designs
With Canva, you can produce graphic designs, advertisements, infographics, booklets, logos, slides and videos of various sizes and dimensions.
You can even write a book! (at the moment, a maximum of 100 pages are allowed; but no worries, you can combine files/projects to produce more). You can check out my ebook on Amazon.com, 50 Habits That Will Transform Your English Writing, which I used Canva for its entire layout.
You can use Canva for work, school projects or personal creations. I have created many book covers, social media visuals, packaging/box designs, and presentation slides in the past week. I have migrated from PowerPoint and Google Slides to Canva for my presentation needs.
Canva can also produce various format outputs, including images (PNG, JPG), vector graphics, videos (MP4), PDF, etc.
Before Canva, I search for photos from free image providers such as Pexels, Freepik and Unsplashed (my favorite). But Canva has partnered with all these providers (and more) to produce an impressively vast library of stock photos. If I want to use personal images and photos, uploading these materials is easy as a breeze.
2. Tons of pre-made templates and designs
One of the best things about Canva is that it offers a wide range of templates for you to use right away. Templates are readily available on your panel once you create your working canvas (of various available sizes, including custom sizes).
Even if you decide not to use these templates, I promise they will help you get your ideas going. They are inspiring.
If you can’t find a template that suits your purpose, Canva can help you build your template in a few easy steps: choose a layout style (e.g., square for Instagram); add your selected Elements and then change their size and position; add photos and texts.
Once you are satisfied with your templates, you can repeatedly use and customize them.
With over a thousand high-quality images, illustrations, shapes, icons and filters in its library, you can produce awesome designs with the help of customizing these elements’ size and position, colors/gradient styles, etc.
Additionally, Canva also has a mobile app that you can easily use while on the go. I have never finished a Canva project using my mobile phone, but it is a good alternative for finding ideas and inspiration while traveling.
3. You do not need to have design experience
Yes, you do not need to be a designer to produce outstanding designs with Canva. I am the living proof of it.
With Canva, all you need is an idea and some creativity. You can start with a blank canvas or use one of the many readily available templates (an option many use all the time). You can customize all templates to suit your needs. I recommend tweaking the templates and tailoring them to your personality and branding.
With Canva, creating stunning visuals will take you less than a minute. For a non-designer, this was not possible five years ago. Seriously.
Canva has drag-and-drop tools that let you quickly resize and reposition elements on your design. The interface is user-friendly and intuitive; any beginner will tinker with it and be comfortable within minutes.
You can also choose from a wide range of fonts, colors and graphics. If you are unsure which font to use, Canva can help with its font type feature that provides a library of fonts nicely combined. Pretty nice stuff here.
Canva makes it very easy for you to share your work with colleagues and collaborate on a project. Creativity is a collaborative process.
Two heads are better than one. With collaboration, you can go crazy trying different concepts, designs, styles, elements and so on. You will be impressed by the amount of time you save working on a project and the number of distinguished outputs you can get.
You can share your work via several means: link sharing, shared design folders or email. Use whichever means best for your purpose.
Additionally, you can do editing work in Canva with multiple people simultaneously and see results in real-time.
Isn’t it neat?
Other than your peers, you can also share your work with superiors or clients to get feedback and improve your designs further.
5. Fantastic Canva Pro plan
Personally, Canva’s free plan is generous enough for any starter: 200,000+ templates, 100+ design types (social media, posters, letters, etc.), stock photos, collaborative feature and 5GB storage.
But if you want to get access to more fantastic features, you can upgrade to Canva Pro for a nominal monthly fee. With the Pro version, you get all the free features plus a range of mouth-watering added elements:
premium templates and stock photos, branding kit, 100GB storage and many other “bonuses.”
There is also an option to add team members (up to 5 people) to help you manage your designs and collaborate on projects. This feature can be beneficial if you work on a project requiring constant feedback or tight deadlines.
As I use Canva daily, upgrading to the Pro version was a no-brainer. Deciding to upgrade was an easy decision, and I never regret it.
But wait. If you are in an academic setting (a teacher or a student), you can get the Canva Pro plan, all for free!
Designing with Canva is a fantastic way to stimulate your creativity and produce stunning visuals and work materials. You can create a variety of designs, use tons of pre-made templates, and, best of all, you can do it even without having any design experience at all.
If you’ve never used Canva before, you need to give it a try. It will undoubtedly change your life. It is exhilarating to discuss how Canva helps me become more creative and changes how I do things.
Using Canva, you can create many different designs with pre-made templates, and there are no design experience requirements needed. Collaborating with friends on projects will also help boost quality and outcome speed. If the free version is not enough, an affordable Canva Pro plan is always available for all your needs.
Lastly, with Canva, you will transform the way you work and multiply your productivity. You will work faster, produce more quality outputs and have a liberating experience.