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!
18 thoughts on “Best Ways to Use Canva and Stencil for Business”
It’s good to have you back! You rock 😉 Than you for this resource. We used to use InkScape a lot (open source editing programme). We still use it, but Canva’s templates just makes it so easy for us to create beautiful designs in a snap.
All the best,
Thanks so much for the warm welcome! I’m happy this post was useful to you. Inkscape is great as well! I agree Canva definitely makes designing easier with templates.
Thank you for your continued support!
Glad you’re back! I haven’t really used Stencil, so I’ll have to check it out. Interestingly enough, I started using Canva because I was intimidated about using Photoshop to create visuals. But over the past year I’ve become much more familiar with the software and I do use it for various things. Yet, there are times when it’s just quicker to use Canva to put a visual together to promote my podcast or blog post. I think it’s great to have several go-to tools because each thing can be used in different ways.
So glad to be back. 🙂 Give Stencil a shot! They have a free plan so you can check out the basics. It’s very simple to use and it is fast to whip out a bunch of social media graphics. I hear you on Photoshop! I could never get into it. Canva is definitely a good approach for creating documents.
So happy to “see” you!
Lillian Welcome back, As am really happy to see you back. Thanks for this great article actually am using canva for my youtube thumbnails and it works great. Keep up the good work.
Thanks! I’m glad you like Canva too. YouTube banners and thumbnails are great to do in Canva.
Have a great weekend,
Hey! what a great post.I have been using canva for my blog post ever since i started blogging but i have not used stencil. Anyway i think canva is better because they have almost all their features as freemium services. can you help make a tutorial post on how to use canva for graphic quotes. Thanks
Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I create my quote graphics in Stencil because it is easier for me. Although you can create a bunch in Canva, it takes me longer than Stencil because I have to search for all my quotes ahead of time. I’ll see what I can on doing a tutorial for both Canva and Stencil.
Being an amateur graphic designer I have also used canva. I have used both the desktop version and the android app. I do find that the android app is way to limiting. The desktop version is awesome especially for social media. However you can create many more stuff from even resumes and birthday cards.
I only started using Canva for my blog about six months ago and love it. Its so easy to use and as you mention there are plenty of free images, you can upload your own and lots of typefaces and backgrounds to use. It’s become my go to app for creating graphic. (I have zero graphic design skills. And you have just taught me something new. I never realized that you could resize images for Pinterest. Pinterest is my next task for the blog – to see if brings any visitors. I’ll have to check out Stencil, never used it. It sounds like it may well be useful to me.
Glad to hear you like Canva too! It does make designing so much easier. Best wishes on doing Pinterest! You can resize for Pinterest in both Canva and Stencil.
This is very helpful, I love Canva but sometimes I get overwhelmed and not sure where to start. I have heard of Stencil before but I just like to focus on one platform.
I have been using Canva regularly but hadn’t heard of Stencil before – going to check it out to see which one suits my needs better. Thanks for this useful post.
That’s awesome! I plan on doing an informational webinar on how to best use Stencil and Canva. If you’re already subscribed to my email you’ll receive notification when it will happen.
Thank you for stopping by,
Hey Lillian Welcome back, As am really happy to see you back. Thanks for this great article actually am using canvas for my youtube thumbnails and it works great. Keep up the good work.
Thanks and glad Canva is working for you!
Hey just amazing tips given because how to canva use canva to beautify and improve our web page.
I do love Canva too! It’s great for designs and enhancing web pages.