So what have you been up to lately? I have been playing with Canva – there is something soothing about creating designs. Experimenting with colors, graphics, and fonts – exploring possibilities and boundaries.
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When working with Canva it feels like you have an endless supply of graphics and ideas. And the best part of it is that there are tons of designs ready to use just as they are and even more options for Canva Pro users.
I have been puzzled by Instagram puzzles for some time now. Not really understanding the reason for creating a feed that would look like 1 picture and it always seemed like extra work. But I am curious since these templates keep coming up and looks like they are really popular. So they can’t be all bad?
So I decided to try it for myself. At first, it seemed a bit overkill and too much work to design 9 or 18 Instagram posts at once. I kind of still don’t get the idea of these 9 pictures coming together as 1, but what I did realize was that this is an enormous time saver!
Learning Instagram puzzles
I have a pretty hectic schedule and I do struggle with keeping the Instagram feed consistently active. Thinking of different ideas of what to post – how to design them and everything. But with one big canvas, it was actually easier to create several posts ahead. I pick background – this can be whatever, a picture, some abstract pattern and you have a base for several posts. I used my pretty green color and just added photo frames. Then I added text and selected pictures for each post.
After I played with this for a while, created my next 9 posts for Instagram within 30 minutes! So with posting one a day – it’s 9 days. All I had to do next was splitting the image and schedule it. After a few tests and scheduling all my newly created posts, I started to think. I have one more social media account where I need to put in more effort, but yet again – time is limited, but if I could save up time with Instagram – maybe it works there too?
Can I use it for Pinterest?
I researched a bit, but couldn’t find any templates for this. Possibly I just searched with the wrong words, but that isn’t really the point. I looked closer behind the techy part of the Instagram templates and got an idea. There is no reason why it shouldn’t work on any design, I just need to spend a bit more time creating a Pinterest pin template for the first time. And after that, I am set!
Since most Pinterest how-tos advise that we should have at least 3-4 different pin designs for one link I decided to go with a grid of 4. So I could create 4 different pins for one link – play with colors, fonts, and images. And although on Instagram these designs are used for united backgrounds mostly – these 4 squares can actually be 4 different pictures in all aspects. Of course – let’s not forget that we want to be recognized as creators by our current and potential followers so there should be some branding details.
So far I have created each interest pin separately, but I had trouble with this because when I finished – they all seemed too alike. Which isn’t bad for branding but not for testing what approach could attract more attention and traffic. The puzzle gives me the opportunity to see them side by side immodestly and compare them. I have to admit my 1 design took more time than I thought, but I started from scratch. The next ones will be just tweaking and changing texts-pictures.
What does Canva Pro offer more?
And there is one more Canva Pro feature that helps me with ideas on what to post and predict different possible trends and hashtags for days ahead – Content planner. You can browse ahead which international days are coming up and this gives a heads up on what hashtags can be used on those days and think if and how they could apply to you.
Playing with hashtags and national theme days – don’t forget that Pinterest pins life span is up to 6 months, so it would be better to keep these tags for Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok where the average life span is from minutes to 48h hours. Instagram reels live a bit longer than posts or stories.
From a content planner, you can also find holidays including the ones you personally don’t celebrate but could be related to your content. If you occasionally share cooking tips – plan them around holidays because people will be cooking then a bit more. There are also online shopping events that you might want to use to promote your e-books, crafts, books, or anything you sell. Or maybe you don’t have a shop yet – it might be good to get something up for these days. And it can be used as a general idea generation tool. Scroll through the months and see if anything speaks with you.
What is a brand kit?
I often used to wonder what is a brand kit and why would I need it. I already know my colors and fonts – I can just pick them from the list. And I did. Even for a while after I got Canva Pro. And now I feel stupid.
You can save your logo, fonts with sizes and colors, and main colors for your brands, and while creating new designs or tweaking a template – you don’t have to look or scroll. You just click on the right color or text type and Canva changes it according to your brand. Oh, and you can have several saved brand kits. Meaning if you have several blogs or working on client content – you can save those fonts and colors too!
To be honest there are so many features I am still learning new things almost every day. So there probably will be another post in some time with my new discoveries. Yes, I actually do use Canva daily.
No, I didn’t forget you
So if you are wondering now that – Great! All this fuss about time-saving templates and no templates?! Relax – I know we all want to save time, so in exchange for newsletter sign-up, you can download for free Pinterest pin template and Instagram pin template. Yes, both! Both are Canva templates and you can customize them for your need any way you like.
When you are finished with your design, save the image to your computer and find the image splitter tool. I use the one from Pine tools: https://pinetools.com/split-image upload your file and choose: How to split – Grid, mark how many blocks there are vertically and horizontally – for Pinterest template both 2. Click Split and save one by one or download them as a zip file. Now you have 4 different pins and can start scheduling! For the Instagram template, you need to set both 3.
Do you use Canva? What is your favorite feature?