3 Helpful Tips to Use Canva Design Templates

helpful tips to canva designsCanva has numerous design templates to choose from for the most popular social media platforms and business designs. Canva makes it SUPER easy to pick out what dimension is best. If you do choose the wrong size for a platform it can become an undesirable result therefore making your business look unprofessional. Take advantage of the design templates.

I first started using Canva in January of this year. I was fascinated with the easy to use templates and at the time there were maybe 5 available.  They recently placed a bunch of new ones out to make it easier for customers.  When chatting with Hazel from Canva’s Customer Happiness Team, I found they are just getting started.  Canva is constantly working on new templates.  By the way, their customer service is exemplary.  When you email them they will get back to you within 24 hours.

As you may know from my previous posts, you can create presentations completely with Canva.  You can check out the tips on how to use Canva for presentations here.  Also here’s How to Use Canva Like a Pro for more tips for creating great images.

Here are 3 tips on using the best design template:

  1. Don’t waste time on custom dimensions when there is a template readily available.
  2. Use custom dimensions of 880 x 440 pixels for Twitter & Google+ posts.
  3. Design your own business card

Start a Design with these super easy templates.

Canva.Start a new design

 

 

 

Specific Designs Per Social Media Platform

(Remember they are just getting started, so there’s MORE to come.)

  • Google+ Header
  • Facebook Cover
  • Kindle Cover
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter Header
  • Facebook Ad
  • Facebook Post
  • Facebook App

General Designs

  • Social Media
  • Presentation
  • Poster
  • Blog Graphic
  • Document (A4)
  • Card
  • Photo Collage
  • Business Card
  • Invitation

Custom Dimensions

There is the option to use custom dimensions, which is terrific.  The only time I use this feature is for Twitter posts. If you don’t have the right dimensions, your photo will be cut off and it’s not appealing.

Example:

Canva.cutoff

I used the blog graphic template which was great for my blog but NOT for Twitter. BUMMER!

Here’s a great cheat sheet for dimensions of images on all the social media platforms. Size matters!

Business Card Design

Canva has a variety of business card designs to take advantage of.  Once you have your design set and publish it as a .png you can download it to your favorite business card company like Moo or Vistaprint.

If you ever get stuck on how to design your image, Canva has plenty of design tutorials right on their website. Check them out here. When you sign up to Canva they email you the tutorials, which are in 3 easy steps and fun.

I did create a video tutorial on how to use Canva if you want to check it out. It has some helpful tips.

Canva is a great tool for designing images that are FREE and easy to use. You don’t have to be a professional designer and if I can do it you can too. I love Canva and I like the fact that small businesses and non-profits can gain from it.

Are you a Canva fan? What do you like most about it?

Take care,

Lillian De Jesus

 

3 Ways to Use Canva for Presentations

3 ways to use canva

UPDATE: If you’re looking to create PowerPoint presentations with Canva, take a look at this recent post.

Have you heard of Canva yet?  Canva has been making its rounds through social media and causing quite a stir with its newest Kindle cover and Google+ Header design.   Canva is a FREE image design tool for blog posts, social media posts, and more!  Canva has many designs that have precise dimensions needed for each social media platform and other awesome designs.  Canva actually has a design just for presentations.

Now if you’re a PowerPoint, Keynote or a Slideshare person you’re going to definitely like Canva.

PowerPoint and Keynote templates can get old and if you’re looking to customize your templates for your business or organization Canva may work for you.

Canva.Start a new designIt’s so exciting to see so many new designs. I’m a Canva geek, what can I say….

At Canva, when you click on the Presentation design you’ll see the presentation layouts on the left of the live preview of your creation, which has a bundle of fresh looking designs.Canva.criss.cross  Remember when you see the criss-cross pattern on an image they are $1.oo but you don’t have to use that image they provide. You can upload your own and use the design set-up.

When you create your design and get it to the point of awesomeness for a PowerPoint or Keynote template then click on Link & Publish. This is where you can save it as a .png.

PowerPoint

When you’re ready to use it in PowerPoint, choose a blank slide and insert your photo (Canva creation).  Do a Save As to keep it as a PowerPoint template.  It’s that EASY!

Keynote (for Macs)

Keynote is a presentation app just for Macs, just in case you’re a PC user.

When you’re ready to use your design in Keynote, choose a blank slide and click on Media to insert your Canva creation. Click on Save and name it as your template.

SlideShare

Now this is where Canva is super-awesome for presentations. SlideShare is where you can upload your own presentations without the animation and sound.  It’s all about the content.  Since the animation and sound will not transfer to SlideShare from PowerPoint or Keynote, Canva is an excellent resource to create the entire presentation.  I’ve already done a couple of presentations completely in Canva and here are my tips to help you.

First of all, why do you want to have your presentations uploaded to SlideShare?

SlideShare is a leading professional content sharing community and LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. SlideShare and LinkedIn have now joined forces, which makes them an elite alliance that can’t be ignored. As a professional, business, or organization, the presentations you create can now be linked to your LinkedIn profile as a portfolio item.  Also SlideShare has 29 million unique monthly visitors.  If you want to be heard and display your knowledge then you need to upload your presentations to SlideShare.

In Canva, choose the Presentation design and search out the design layouts to see what will be your best title layout. This is VERY important.  The first slide design is all people will see on SlideShare and it has to be visually appealing to get clicked on. You should use an amazing photo and a great title.  If you didn’t get a chance to see my post on How to Use Canva Like a Pro, I have some great links to photo sites that are mostly free.

Once you have your title slide awesome looking then you use the toolbar on the right of your live preview of your slide.  Here’s how it looks.

Canva slide tool

I call it my slide tool, not sure if there is an official name for this toolbar but hey this is my Canva creation universe.  This toolbar let’s you know what page number you’re on, the option to move your slide up or down, copy the slide, and delete the slide.  The copy option will be your best friend.  Use it to create your next slide.  If you find that you skipped a step in your slide, you can always move it up or down for placement.

Slide Tips:

  1. Use cool photos as much as possible but make it relevant. Don’t show me a WonderWoman photo and you’re talking about snails. That would be a bummer.
  2. Don’t stuff your slide. Meaning keep it simple and don’t put a ton of information on one slide.
  3. Do NOT use transparency on any of your Canva images for SlideShare.  I learned that the hard way!  During the conversion on SlideShare’s end, it doesn’t understand it and renders funny looking.  You know my tip on my How to Use Canva Like a Pro post, use transparency for your web address or logo.  Don’t use the tip for SlideShare, it will be shown upside down.
  4. Always on the last slide, place your web address or any links in the CENTER of the slide.  If you place the links anywhere else, they won’t be clickable.
  5. Once completed, click on Link & Publish to save it as a PDF.

Create an account on SlideShare by using your LinkedIn or Facebook account and start uploading.  If your presentation is more than 10 slides take note that it could be a good 30 minutes for upload.

SlideShare is great to get your knowledge out to the world. It’s definitely worth putting content about your business or organization into presentations and sharing it on SlideShare and essentially LinkedIn.  Here are a some of my favorite SlideShare people that may be of interest or inspiration to you.

Beth Kanter, Non-Profit Guru-

http://www.slideshare.net/kanter

Fit Small Business –

http://www.slideshare.net/FitSmallBusiness

Damon Nofar, Marketing/Design –

http://www.slideshare.net/damonnofar

Buffer – http://www.slideshare.net/Bufferapp

Using Canva is EASY, fun, and a unique spin on presentations. Give it a try and let me know how you like it or if you didn’t like it.

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Here’s an example of my last SlideShare completely done with Canva.

 

Take care,

Lillian De Jesus

How to use Canva like a Pro in 10 minutes

Canva BlogIf you have a small business or you’re an entrepreneur, you should be posting your blogs, services, and products out on the web.  But you have to get your audience’s attention.  How?  Firstly with an awesome design that YOU can make yourself, which displays what you have to offer to your customer.

The best thing about Canva is that you don’t have to be a graphic design professional. All you need is an awesome photo, nice font, and color. That’s it! Also you don’t have to pull your hair out using Photoshop or pay a dime to get a graphic you need in a pinch.

So don’t get your panties or boxers in a wad. This will be smooth sailing and can be pretty fun once you get used to it.

Let’s get started!

Pick a design – Figure out where you want to post on social media.

You’ll want to pick a design that’s going to work well with the social media platform you use and Canva has such a variety. You can use choose a Custom Dimension if needed.

Click on the type of design then you’re in.

Canva-Start A New Design

Once you pick your design, you can search for an image/photo in the search field, which has 1 million images – free and $1 images. SWEET!

There are some templates that you can choose from and work off of.  I tend not to use a template but use it for inspiration.  I use my own photo or find one at any of these sites:

Here is gem of a list of photo sites that you can take a look at from Buffer.  There are 53+ sites you can choose from on the list.

I use the photo template, any time you see the cloud and green hills, it’s a placeholder for a photo.

canva placeholder

Upload your photos – drag it to the template – BOOM that’s your background.

Depending on your photo or background image you may have to use the transparency option by clicking the image and the arrow.

Canva.transparency

You’ll want text now – add it by clicking Text and it gives you the plain text options on the top or simple design text areas.  Use the title of your blog post or what your product/service can do for people.

Canva-text optionsUse the smallest text option to type in your web address and use transparency to watermark your image.  You just spent quality time on creating your beautiful image don’t let someone have it for the taking.

The 3 Keys are:

  1. Photo/Image that resonates with your audience
  2. Text- make your message clear that there’s no confusion as to what you’re wanting to say
  3. Watermark – ALWAYS watermark your image with a logo or web address.

Your design can have amazing results to market your campaign especially if it’s a BORING topic.

Check out my ultra boring BUT need-to-know topic – organizational charts… [water drip effect placed right here]

This is the blog image I created.

How to Do the Best Org Charts

I found a photo that clearly suggests a man is stressing out. I thought of it when a client of mine was stressed and frustrated over an organizational chart.  I used the Canva text design to include the title of my blog and a little note DON’T STRESS.  Also I have my web address watermarked on it.

I received more hits on this blog post than I had anticipated and I can say it’s definitely because of my image because how boring are org charts – Geesh!

Here’s another example for posting to my Facebook tribe.Spectacular Weekend

 

 

As you can see, the photos are the most important step in creating awesomeness.

 

I also did a SlideShare completely done in Canva, I saved it as a PDF and I uploaded it. Take a look.

 

It’s creation paradise! You can do whatever your imagination takes you with @Canva. – TWEET THIS!

For a more in-depth look into using Canva check out my video tutorial.

You can also check out the post I had comparing PicMonkey and Canva here.

If you have been using Canva, tell me what you like best.

Canva being…

  • FREE
  • Easy to Use
  • Image Searchable

Let me know, I’d love to hear from other Canva fans.

Take care,

Lillian De Jesus

How to Make Your Volunteers Happy With These 5 Simple Tips

How to Make your Volunteers HappyVolunteers are the key of any good non-profit organization.  From the Board of Directors to the conference bag stuffers, there is an array of tasks to be done all of which volunteers do to keep an organization look good and satisfy the services they provide.  With volunteers being an absolute need of an organization then your first priority is to keep them happy to the point that they want to come back for MORE!

How do you keep them happy?

  1. Make it easy for them to sign-up.

A volunteer may want to help an organization that offers gratification to a passion for them but may not know who to contact.

  • Have a link on the organization website that clearly states volunteers are needed.
  • Use VolunteerMatch – this site provides space for non-profits to list specific volunteer needs and volunteers are matched with non-profits by interest and location.
  • Once you do have the volunteer email, you can schedule and set-up the volunteer tasks with VolunteerSpot.  It’s a FREE volunteer management software, instead of sending several emails back and forth with Reply All to make sure all volunteers know what needs to be done, this site makes it super easy to get everyone all on the same page.
  1. Be Prepared & Welcome Them!

Have everything ready for them when they come in.

  • Give them a quick tour of your organization so they know where the bathroom is and where all the necessary tools they need are for their task.
  • Designate a couple of people they can have contact with throughout the day for any questions or needs they may have.  You don’t want them to wander around looking for help.
  • Offer them a beverage or snack before they get started.  (Get Ready for Tip#4!) 
  1. Train them.

Volunteers are not mind readers.  They need to know exactly how things are done so be ready to give them a tutorial or demonstration.

  • Have the staff person who knows what needs to be done from start to finish train the volunteer.
  • A cheat sheet with a run down of steps to be done would be helpful.
  • If there a lot of steps to list on a cheat sheet, you may want to split the task into two and have another volunteer get the second half done.
  • Instructions are important!  If they start feeling lost, they will feel incompetent therefore they will not want to volunteer with the organization again.
  • If they are traveling or attending a conference on behalf of the organization, give them full details of where to go and what to do about 2-3 times prior to the event.  They will love you for the reminders and the comfort of knowing someone cares about them.
  1. Feed Them!

This is probably the most important step.  Make sure you have those donuts, bagels, COFFEE, tea, water, etc.

  • Extremely serious tip here!  This will keep them coming back to volunteer again.
  • No one can work with their stomach grumbling.
  • The volunteer will be able to focus on the task with a full stomach.
  • Cater from a tasty restaurant for lunch.
  • It seems silly but it’s a simple way to show your hospitality and appreciation to your volunteers.
  1. Give them a Thank You gift.

Do something simple whilst not breaking the bank.  Volunteers are taking time off of work or taking time away from family to devote good time with your organization.  Show them appreciation!

  • If you sell products, perhaps you have some items in the discontinued bin such as: a t-shirt, magnet, pen or pin.
  • A conference shirt with the organization logo.
  • A thank you card with a small monetary gift card for their favorite store.
  • Anything awesomely done exclusive by the organization.

Following these 5 Simple Tips will make your volunteers happy.  The key is to make them happy from beginning to end then they will want to come back.  It’s the satisfaction of doing something for others and knowing they did GOOD is what volunteering is all about.

If you know of an organization that works well with their volunteers let me know in the comments.  I’d love to hear about them!

Take care,

Lillian De Jesus

 

4 Easy Tips To Do The Best Organizational Charts

4 Easy Tips to do the Best Org Charts

Do you despise organizational charts?  How many times do you have to change it in a year?  It’s inevitable when you have a business or non-profit organization; the organizational chart is needed.

The organizational chart is the hierarchy representation of your business or organization.  It doesn’t have to be hard.  I know about the changes and all the information you want to include.  BUT the more information and details you include the harder the org chart becomes to read and follow.

Here are 4 Tips for a Better Organizational Chart:

  1. Use the best software for your business/organization.

Here a few to keep in mind:

Microsoft Visio
Diagram/flowchart software, if you have the money in the budget and you have a lot of org charts to work off of then this may be best for you.  You can do really nice looking charts.

However if you have Microsoft Office then use what you have. Make it easy!  It doesn’t have to be extravagant.

“Simple is often best.”

Microsoft Office
(Version 2007 or later*) – Word or PowerPoint will allow you to use the SmartArt Graphic. The SmartArt Graphic can be easy to use with different types of charts to choose from.  The graphics are appealing and can be easily changed for the future.  No need to create boxes and re-size. YES!

*If your business or organization does not use a more recent version of Microsoft Office you really should put the money into budget.

Gliffy is an online program made for org charts and you can collaborate with others on your staff.  It can be then saved as a jpg and the changes can be saved.  There is a free version, which allows up to 5 diagrams.

“Nothing is worse when you don’t have the proper tools to do a job.” Tweet this!

  1. Make it clear & simple.

Have a position title chart as your original.  If you want a chart with titles & names, it can get a little distracting and may become illegible.  Handle the chart with care.  When you have too many details it can be overwhelming.

  1. No paragraphs, bullets, or number lists in a box.

Seriously, if you’re organization has to list bullets or numbers to explain what committee or position is entailed in the box; you’re making it hard on yourself.  They need to be in separate hierarchy boxes or eliminated altogether.  Do NOT list them in a list form in the box.  Give them separate boxes or it may not be necessary to have the extra boxes.

Here’s an example:

Do NOT do this.
Do NOT do this!

Do this!
Do this!

 

  1. Update your bylaws, rules, or policies to reflect the business/organization changes.

This is exactly why you don’t need the details on the org chart.  You will need to include all details in your bylaws, rules, or policies whatever you may call the document you use to explain the positions and responsibilities.

Wishing you well on all your org chart needs!  Let me know if you have any other tips in mind or your pain points in getting them done.

I’d love to hear from you.

Also if you need some one-on-one help, contact me and I can help you make the org chart from frustrating to as easy as pie.

Take care,

Lillian De Jesus