There’s a saying that I remind myself of from time to time: procrastination is the thief of time.
It’s true. As a mom, wife, and entrepreneur, I literally have no time. When I do have a few minutes, I need to make them count. So when I procrastinate during those precious moments, I know I’m doing myself a huge disservice.
But there’s sometimes.. just sometimes.. I consider something else a thief of time: Canva.
Seriously, sometimes it’s just slow (or my internet is slow). It can be glitchy and occasionally, it just doesn’t work right. I’ll search something and the thing I’m looking for won’t come up. Or despite all my efforts to line something up correctly, it just doesn’t download that way.
I preface this by saying that I do love Canva. I think it’s an amazing tool, especially for bloggers and people that need to rock graphic design but don’t have time to master adobe or take design classes. It is an internet based design program so while that is a blessing (work from ANYWHERE and ANY computer) it can also be a curse (server overload).
My love for Canva will always outweigh any frustration. Because honestly, I think most of the frustration I experience early on was the fault of my own and not really knowing the tips and tricks to using Canva efficiently.
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So today, I want to give you your time back. I came up with a few quick, time-saving hacks that have made my life a little easier and wanted to share.
#1. Make folders.
When you first log in, you’ll notice on the left hand side that you will be able to add a folder. I make folders for all the things I need to use frequently (mostly templates and big projects). This can save you a ton of time when you are trying to locate something quickly, especially if you are like me and are terrible about naming things appropriately (in which case, the search bar comes in handy too).
I also like to make folders within my designs too. Once you’ve entered a design (any design), go to your uploads and make folders. Some things I have folders for is stock images, textures, product images, clipart, etc.
This doesn’t seem like it’s a “shortcut” exactly, but trust me– when you’re looking for that Pinterest template, and all it takes is a click instead of 15 minutes of scrolling, you’ll be glad you took the time to make that folder! #askmehowiknow
#2 Configure your brand info.
This one is for my Canva at Work people. When you click on Your Brand section (on that left-side menu) and enter all your info. Put in your brand colors, and commonly used complimentary colors. Upload your brand fonts and set them under Fonts. That way when you are in your design, it’s quick and easy to just hit the text tool and have your text appear already in your brand font (then just switch the size). You can also set your logo, which saves time instead of looking for it in the uploads.
Sounds obvious but this took me a while to actually set aside time to set up. I can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner (again with the procrastination). It actually saves a lot of time and is so much easier to have your fonts and colors right there ready to go!
Canva has a TON of shortcuts including:
- Keyboard shortcuts
- Use arrow keys to move elements just 1 pixel, perfect for getting it just right or creating an offset look
- Use Esc key to deselect element
- Move elements forwrad or back by using command/ctrl + using the arrow key up or down
- Type T to create a new text box
- Use command/ctrl +shift+K to turn lowercase text into uppercase
- Hold the command/ctrl key down to select opjects that are BEHIND another object
- Use command/ctrl+; (twice) to show a grid
- Check out this page for a lot more of their keyboard shortcuts!
- Don’t spend forever trying to line things up or space them evenly. Group the things you want lined up or spaced (like checkboxes) and then go to arrange and select the task you want them to do (like space evenly vertically)
- Shortcut tutorial Part 1 by Canva (revealing hidden grid, turning text into uppercase with one click, creating a border around your text, selecting elements behind other elements, moving layers up and down)
- Shortcut tutorial Part 2 by Canva (dropping in new text boxes, moving elements precisely, undoing and redoing, selecting and moving elements together, keyboard shortcut for searching images)
Nothing is more of a time-suck than trying to figure out Canva when it’s just not working. Like I said earlier, the fact that it’s an internet based program is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because you can work from any computer and jump right into your project wherever you are. The downside is that the servers get overloaded when too many people are on the site. There’re a few things I generally suggest when Canva seems glitchy:
(Remember to always save your work before trying any of the following EVEN THOUGH Canva auto-saves)
- Make sure you are designing your project while zoomed in at 100%
- Reload the page
- Clear your cache
- Log out and back in
- Switch browsers
- Reboot your internet connection
- Just walk away and try again later- like I said, it’s internet based and sometimes there’re just too many people designing 🙂
I can’t make your kids cooperate during your work hours, I can’t make you’re husband stop asking you where his iPad is. I can’t make you a master at time blocking or time management.
But, I’m a firm believer in the “work smarter not harder” mentality. Knowing and practicing some efficiency tricks can help you save time (and sanity). I know you’re busy, and I truly believe you should be sporting a cape because you are a rockstar Super Mom-preneur (even if you don’t feel like it some days)
Your time matters. So make every second count!
If you want to save even more time when designing in Canva (like, cutting design time down by at least 50%)– check out our free templates located in our design library!
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