Diving in deep on how tools can help business owners is kind of my thing. I tend to research and test things out to check on all of the tool’s capabilities for a lengthy time. When it comes to Canva and Stencil, it’s no exception. I’ve tested and worked in both visual marketing platforms for several years. There are quite a few differences between Canva and Stencil. People always ask which app they should use for their business. I’m going to take you on a tour on how I use both and maybe it will inspire you to create images in a more productive manner.
Differences Between Canva and Stencil
I’ve been a BIG fan of Canva, since their early years. They had such a marvelous userinterface and I thought right then, Canva was going to change everything for non-designers. I felt empowered to create designs and it quickly became an obsession. No more fiddling around with PowerPoint. I had everything I needed at my fingertips in Canva.
What intrigued me most was the PDF capability to create documents and presentations. I was truly amazed by what I was able to create. I created social media graphics, book covers, flyers, brochures, presentations, ebooks, and blog graphics. There’s such a demand on creating PDF documents that the below pin is the number one post that brings people over to my website.
Over the years, Canva evolved into this on-demand graphic design system for non-designers. Not only for the non-designer but graphic designers were turning to it for easy social media graphics and presentations. Businesses, non-profits, and schools have used Canva for a variety of projects. Even at my daughter’s middle school, they told the students to use Canva for presentations for their projects.
Many entrepreneurs and small businesses create presentations in Canva to show slides at webinars and conferences as PowerPoint and SlideShare presentations.
Are you seeing a pattern here?
Presentations and PDF documents are what I find myself using Canva for mostly these days. I don’t create social media and blog graphics in Canva as much. Not that it’s not good enough to design in, its just that I’ve found it becomes too slow when I want to create a bulk amount of graphics. It seems that Canva has so much going on in the backend (because it really does have remarkable features) it seems to get bogged down.
Other nice features are available through Canva for Work (Canva’s premium edition ($12.95/month), it helps keep designs organized. A brand kit ready and waiting while you design and let’s not forget the glorious Magic Resize feature. Canva also has photos and templates that are free and $1, which makes it easy in the creation process.
So am I leaving Canva any time soon? No.
People keep asking me if I’m a convert and I’m moving away from Canva. I still love Canva! I just use it differently now that’s all.
I’ve been a BIG fan of Stencil for a long time now, back when it used to be called Share As Image. I dabbled in it here and there at first and fell in love with the Chrome extension. It’s awesome! Anywhere on the internet, find a quote you love and simply highlight it, click on the Stencil icon, and boom it sends you to Stencil’s canvas area where it drops the quote in to create an image. This is SUCH A TIME SAVER.
Here are some of the other Stencil features that I love: the quotes library, the photos library, preview and share, and resize.
Simply put, these features are what make Stencil super fast and unique.
I don’t have to search long and hard for quotes. If I do have to look for a quote elsewhere, I can use the browser extension and it’s ready to go in Stencil. Otherwise I can search for a quote in the library and with a click it’s in my canvas for design.
The photos library has over 1.5 Million high-resolution photos. I don’t have to worry about if they’re $1 or free, it’s all part of the Pro pricing ($9/month). I rarely upload photos into Stencil because I always seem to find a photo that’ll work for my needs. As a social media VA, I do upload quite a few product images for clients but that’s pretty much the only time I use the upload feature.
Preview and Share is such a unique feature. If I want to create an image for Pinterest and share immediately rather then scheduling, I can do it all within Stencil. That goes for Facebook and Twitter too. There’s a nice Buffer integration as well, if you’d like to schedule the image into your Buffer queue. Also an Instagram feature for SMS notification or you can schedule with Buffer.
Resize Images is ridiculously easy with just a click of a button. It doesn’t go into another window or tab. It’s all happening in front of you.
Organizing images is quite easy in Stencil. You can favorite images that you’d like to use for later and even create Collections to sort typical photos you’d use for projects. There are also templates to help get your creativity started.
What I do to keep social media images tidy from Stencil is to do many at once. Once I download them to my computer, I do a bulk transfer over to my Google Drive or Dropbox. Take 15 minutes in the week to get a bunch done and it will save so much time during the week.
Stencil is easy and it focuses on social media graphics so it’s fast. There’s not a lot of backend delay and I know I can whip out designs in seconds.
Comparing Stencil and Canva to work for your business needs
These are my thoughts through experience. There is no wrong or right way in using Canva or Stencil for your business. The key is to find what is going to work best for you. Many people have asked how they can save time and this is what I’ve told them.
If you’re looking to create gorgeous presentations or documents for business, Canva can help with the design experience. There are documents and presentation templates that look professional and you wouldn’t think it was done in Canva.
If you’re looking to create social media graphics, Stencil can help make them faster. How much time are you spending in creating social media graphics? I know how it is to get lost with the creation process. Rabbit hole, anyone?
Have you used Canva or Stencil? If so, which do you like best and what features do you use?
Let me know in the comments!