Does this sound familiar? You open your Canva and you immediately feel overwhelmed and frustrated.
You’ve been trying to implement an organizing tip here and there, but this ineffective action only leads to more chaos and a lack of organization. The pain of searching through endless design files and feeling scattered in your workflow is all too real.
If you are looking for a solution that will help you achieve streamlined organization and save you valuable time, look no further! Join us as our guest, Deena Rutter, shares her expert tips and tricks for organizing your Canva account, allowing you to find what you need quickly for hassle-free design work time. She also shows us how to set up a brand kit and organize our sidebar.
Deena Rutter is the go-to graphic designer for life coaches. Her design business began back in 1999 with paper and fabric, but after becoming a certified life coach, her business evolved to creating logos and comprehensive branding packages tailored specifically for life coaches. She’s passionate about helping coaches simplify their brand design so they can get back to doing what they love…coaching.
Together we’ll say goodbye to overwhelm and chaos and hello to a well-structured and organized Canva account that will transform your design process. Let’s go!
The key moments in this episode are:
02:25 – How to Organize Canva Account
07:09 – Creating a New Design
09:43 – Sharing and Collaborating
13:42 – Organizing Canva Folders
18:10 – Setting Up a Brand Folder
23:28 – Overcoming Design Stuckness
Your Systems Expert,
Connect with Deena Rutter:
Free Instagram Template
VIDEO: Tracy organizes her Canva using Deena’s tips.
Join us for the ultimate decluttering and organizing in Organized Life Academy 2024!
Organized Coach Academy – get on the waitlist. Doors open in December.
(We have a bonus workshop in Organized Coach Academy where we organize our Canva in more detail!)
Connect with me:
FREE File Naming Formula Cheatsheet
FREE Workshop: 3 Secrets to Organize Your Digital Files
Subscribe and Listen:
If you love what you’re learning on this podcast every week – the strategies, how-tos, and time-saving ideas to set up your organized and systemized business so you can work less and scale – please follow, rate, and review by heading to Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Transcript with time stamps:
00:00:00 – Tracy Hoth
You are gonna love this episode. So many people have been asking me, how do you organize your Canva? What can I do to get my Canva more organized? Well, I had the same problem. And we’re in luck… I have Deena Rutter on the podcast today! It’s been an interesting episode to record because we were both looking at our computers and we had to pause a lot. I’ve edited down to make it as easy to listen to as possible. But we’ve also made videos to go along with it. Tutorial videos showing you our screens to help you see what we’re doing. Those videos are linked in the show notes. You’ll want to watch them after you listen to the episode and then get on your Canva account and get these basic things set up.
The other thing that you need to know if you want to get your home and life organized in 2024, the doors are open to organized Life Academy. If you don’t know that I do that, but you probably do because I’ve been talking about it a little bit on the podcast. Organized Life Academy is a program that I do each year. This will be the fourth year, 2024, and the doors are open right now, and it’s going to be so exciting. You’re going to transform your mindset around organizing, grow your skills, and be given exactly what to do so that you know what to do each month. And we’re going to declutter. We’re going to have expert guests. We have quarterly projects. You will have transformation. So get in there. The link is in the show notes. It’s Simply Squared Away 2024.
That program, Organized Life Academy and Organized Coach Academy are my two programs that I help people get organized in and organized coach Academy. If you’re wondering, when is she going to open the doors to that, that will be coming in December, and we’ll start in January. So there is a waitlist for that. If you want to get on the waitlist, you’ll get access to a special bonus when the doors open so you can get on that. It’s also in the show notes. Okay, let’s go. Let’s find out how to organize our Canva account. Are you ready to work less, feel more organized and productive? Streamline repetitive tasks and implement systems that allow your coaching business to run smoothly even without you? If so, you’re in the right place.
Welcome to the Organized Coach Podcast, your go to source for practical tips and solutions. I’m your host, Tracy Hoth, professional organizer, certified life coach, simplifying expert, and most of all, down to earth fellow coach, just like you. No matter if you think you’re missing the organizing gene, have ADHD, or just love anything organizing, I’m here to help you become an organized coach with a business that works for you.
Pull up a seat, and let’s get started. I have been waiting for this episode since I started this podcast. I think it was my idea to have Deena on to do this podcast a long time ago, even before I had one. But how to organize your Canva account? And I went to the expert, Deena Rutter, and she’s on the podcast today. So welcome, Deena. I’m so excited for you to be here.
00:03:21 – Deena Rutter
Thank you, Tracy. I’m so excited to be here, too.
00:03:23 – Tracy Hoth
Can you just tell us what you do? Why are you expert? How do I know that?
00:03:27 – Deena Rutter
Yes. Okay. So, I am the brand designer for life coaches. I’m a certified life coach as well. W get into this life coaching space, and then we start to see our individual gifts that we have and ways that we can help bring life coaching to so many more people. So, that’s what I figured out, is, I love the coaching world. I love coaching. I love the mindset tools that I have for myself and how it’s helped me scale my business. But I also saw so many life coaches getting stuck with the design part of their business. I’ve been a graphic designer for a couple of decades, and I am helping other life coaches to brand their businesses, to streamline the design work in their business, help them get set up, and so that they can just focus on what they really love doing, which is coaching. We all know we don’t want to be doing the thing that feels like drudgery to us. We want to be doing that thing that lights us up. Most life coaches don’t love the designing part. They get a little overwhelmed when they get in there. I love to help them to look amazing online, be able to manage it on their own with a little bit of help from me or with their VA, whatever they decide to do. So, that’s what I love doing.
00:04:44 – Tracy Hoth
Deena, I have to say, all of your stuff is beautiful. Sometimes you just wish you had other people’s gifts. I do like looking at everything that you do. What my biggest complaint kind of was was that when you open Canva, it seems messy. I feel overwhelmed, and it’s just, like, stuff everywhere. So, thoughts do you feel like?
00:05:10 – Deena Rutter
I really do feel like that. I’ve tried to organize everything, but you still open up Canva, you’ve got the blue box that says, what are you going to design today? They give you this nice search bar. They give you all of these other ideas, docs and whiteboards and Instagram Stories. And you’re like, wait, I came in here for something else. I’ve just figured out you have to just kind of step through that little room into your room of designs that I’m going to help you get set up and get organized. Here is the home page. You’ve got your home page, if you can imagine this, if you’re just listening. But then we’ve got, like, projects and where I go all the time and what I help people to streamline is their projects and their brand kit. Getting those two things set up will really keep you more organized.
00:06:02 – Tracy Hoth
Is there anything on the homepage that you would change to make it less?
00:06:06 – Deena Rutter
Oh, yeah. Okay. So the top part that you see the most is really what Canva wants you to see because they want you to have a lot of success in there and have a lot of ideas and know that they’re capable of so much. But when we get in there, we want to not be overwhelmed. We want to just focus. And we’ve had a timer set and we’re like, we’re going to get this design done in this amount of time. Scroll down to maybe your recent designs or what you have there. How Tracy has it set up right now, I’m going to suggest do it a different way. Tracy has it so in line item view. She has it a horizontal, list view and I want her to switch it to grid view.
00:06:48 – Tracy Hoth
Those are the four dots on the right hand corner. If I click it already makes it so much better.
00:06:54 – Deena Rutter
Right. So you can see visually a lot more what you have going on here. Get it into grid view so you can see everything you have.
00:07:03 – Tracy Hoth
00:07:04 – Deena Rutter
When you have your projects, you can see what folders they’re put in. Just in this project. I can see Tracy has some of them organized in a folder, some of them not. We’re going to talk more about that, too. Okay.
00:07:18 – Tracy Hoth
And is that right here, this gray under the picture of your design, there’s a little gray box. Some of them I can see aren’t in folders.
00:07:29 – Deena Rutter
If you clicked on that where it says podcast graphics, it’s going to take you to that folder.
00:07:36 – Tracy Hoth
Okay. See just that little tip. I would not even have known that. And this is what I want everyone to know. I am an organizer. I am organized, but I avoid organizing Canva because it seems completely overwhelmed. So you’re just like me. I’m just like everyone else, and that’s why I get someone to help me.
00:07:58 – Deena Rutter
Yeah. And I would say there’s times when I use Canva where I’m searching for something, but I know, like, I named it, I know it has this in the name and I still can’t find it. So really putting it into a folder right when you create it, and we’re going to talk about that in a second, too, is going to make it so much easier to find everything.
00:08:18 – Tracy Hoth
Yeah. So what’s the next thing? Anything else on the home page? We clicked off the home page and went into projects.
00:08:25 – Deena Rutter
Yes. Okay. And we switched it into grid view.
00:08:29 – Tracy Hoth
That’s nice. It switches to grid view on your whole account, everywhere.
00:08:33 – Deena Rutter
So once we’re in our projects, let’s talk about what we… let’s pretend like we’re creating something.
00:08:41 – Tracy Hoth
Purple box on the top, right? Create a design.
00:08:44 – Deena Rutter
Let’s say you went in and you’re like, I really want to create an Instagram post. Let’s just do that. Okay. So maybe you’ve done some other Instagram posts, but you’re creating like, a new template for yourself. This is going to be your podcast guest, and you’re going to keep them all in the same document. You’re naming it after your podcast says podcast guest. That’s perfect for now. Okay. And if you have a team that you work with, you need to go and share it with so your whole team can see. So click on that plus sign and you need to change where it has the hidden eye. You need to change that. If you have a VA, you always want them to see if you have a team member. Like, let’s say you have a VA member that isn’t in your actual account with you, but you’ve added them to your team. You want them to be able to go and make copies of this and create more in it. You need to go change that. So that is always a first step because that is really frustrating. That’s a frustrating point when you are sharing a link with someone and they can’t find it, and it’s because you just haven’t turned the eyeball on. So we turn on the eyeball, the next thing we’re going to do, so we named it, then we shared it, and now we’re going to put it in the folder right away. So the way you do that is you go up to file over on the left, click on file and then you’re going to scroll down to where it says save a folder, save to folder. And then if you don’t already have a folder created, you can create a new one. Okay, so this is where you would want to capture. Maybe these are all of your podcast social media images or something like that in this folder.
00:10:28 – Tracy Hoth
Let’s do The Organized Coach Podcast main folder.
00:10:31 – Deena Rutter
Perfect. Then you’re going to say add to new folder. Now that’s already tagged and ready for you. Now you create your design. Once you get this, that took 15 seconds. It would like once you repeat this and you get good at it, 15 seconds, that’s going to save you hours and so much frustration.
00:10:53 – Tracy Hoth
Okay, so I’m reviewing. Everyone needs to do this from now on, name it immediately because what I do is just start making it and then I download it and I’m like, oh, it doesn’t even have a name. So name it. And then right next to it there’s a plus sign and you’re going to allow it to be viewed.
00:11:10 – Deena Rutter
If it’s just someone viewing like let’s say you created a PDF for a client, but you just want them to be able to read it, but you don’t want them to be able to make any changes than you.
00:11:19 – Tracy Hoth
So there’s those two options. Can edit or then you’re going to go over to file and you’re going to save to folder.
00:11:27 – Deena Rutter
If you did that every time, you’re a Canva genius because you’re just going to feel so much better every time you go to Canva.
00:11:35 – Tracy Hoth
Honestly, that’s going to be our challenge to everyone to do that. Okay, so now we have a system in place of naming.
00:11:43 – Deena Rutter
When you do this podcast guest template that you create, you’re going to just copy and paste, rinse and repeat. So like you’re going to put my picture in there this week, but then next week you’re going to copy it and add the next guest in there. So all in the same document. And then you can just export the one you need.
00:12:04 – Tracy Hoth
Yes, I learned that from you because if you guys aren’t on Deena’s mailing list, you need to get on there and follow her on YouTube. Because I learn so much when she sends videos out each week. I watch them and then I do the little steps. So I learned that duplicate the page, it’s right at the top right corner and keep them all in here instead of making it because I think I might have went up to file and copy design or make a copy instead of duplicating it within the graphic.
00:12:33 – Deena Rutter
There’s a place for both of those. But I would say if you’re doing the same graphic, don’t start a new one. It’s so easy to just duplicate.
00:12:41 – Tracy Hoth
And then do you edit the one on the top to keep the most at the top?
00:12:46 – Deena Rutter
Go down to the bottom where you see the little grid system. If we had more than one, then all of them show at once. And you can reorder them.
00:12:57 – Tracy Hoth
Oh, my goodness. So I could drag this one? Well, I’d have to plus. And then I could drag.
00:13:02 – Deena Rutter
So then you can drag them. This is a great way. I suggest this for curating your Instagram feed so you can just kind of move things around. Okay.
00:13:13 – Tracy Hoth
This is so exciting. I know you guys are just listening to this, but you need to go in and look at this.
00:13:21 – Deena Rutter
Okay, this is what we’re going to create them. A video for this. I’m writing down all these ideas, like, oh, yeah, more structured.
00:13:29 – Tracy Hoth
And just whichever one I’m like, oh, make sure you cover that because it’s so exciting. It makes me want to go sit down for a couple of hours. But I don’t have time to do that today. I’ll have to come back to it.
00:13:42 – Deena Rutter
00:13:43 – Tracy Hoth
What’s the next thing?
00:13:44 – Deena Rutter
Okay, so we’ve got it organized. We put it in a folder. When you click on projects, you can see your designs that you’ve been working on. You can go to your folders, you can see things that you’ve been working on recently. You can see the images that you’ve recently uploaded all over there.
00:14:03 – Tracy Hoth
Okay, so the next thing we’re looking at is we’re going to our folders and we’re hovering over or clicking on the three dots on the right side of the folder. In order to do what, I want.
00:14:14 – Deena Rutter
You to star the folders that you’re using all the time. So if we were going to get really organized with our Canva, we’d be like, okay, I’ve got my social media folder, my funnel folder, and my course folder. And then we’re going to start all those folders and we’re going to put them. So then they end up on this left bar where we can see them all the time.
00:14:39 – Tracy Hoth
Okay, so for me, it would definitely be podcast folder. Each course would have a folder. I would do templates because bought or downloaded lots of free templates.
00:14:51 – Deena Rutter
Yes. And then they’re going to live on that left hand bar. When you click on them, once you get really organized within that social media folder, you’re going to have Instagram, the podcast guests, and then you’re going to have Instagram quotes from the podcast. Those different folders are going to be in there or the different templates or the different designs that you have created. But see how you start that TOc podcast main folder and it’s there now.
00:15:19 – Tracy Hoth
Okay, now we kind of know what to do when we start making it, to keep it organized. When we make something, we do those three things. We know how to start an item so it stays on our home page on the left bar. But then what about our whole thing is a mess. How do you suggest getting it organized? Like we make some main folders and.
00:15:41 – Deena Rutter
Then make some main folders and then you can start taking the designs that you’ve already created. On the left hand side it says your project. See all of your designs right there. You can say show more. So let’s say I see some of your course images. Find one of your course images and if you go up into the left hand corner, there’s a little box where you can check it. So check a couple of those. Okay. And then as soon as you check one, there’s a little folder that pulls up at the bottom. You can also drag and select these. I just made that change, but go to move to folder and then you could move it into the folder that you want. And you can also create your folder right here too. So then you would move those there. And like you said about starting at the top down. So you’re going to be like, okay, I need to make a folder for all of my course stuff. And you’re going to go through and you’re going to find all of your OCA, the academy, you’re going to find all of that. You’re going to put that in a big folder. And then if you need to do subfolders, just kind of keep thinking it’s a lot about probably how you teach to organize everything on your computer and all of your digital assets. It’s the same way you start putting that into subfolders and then however you need to do that, then you star that main folder. So it’s right there when you’re ready to work on it. And then you can kind of see the subfolders that are available for you.
00:17:12 – Tracy Hoth
I just love that it’s the first step of organizing is to sort and it’s exactly what I teach with our digital file. So make your main folders and then go to your designs, see all, and start checking the box on the left side of every image that goes into a particular folder and move it to that folder and keep doing that until all your designs are gone and maybe some of them don’t fit in. Then make a miscellaneous folder. I guess you could see if you could delete them and then star the folders and they’ll show up.
00:17:48 – Deena Rutter
00:17:49 – Tracy Hoth
I think that’s, like, all I need to know that. Okay, I’m going to go right there. So excited. Now I have a system to maintain it. I have folders that show up on the left side and all of my designs are in a folder.
00:18:05 – Deena Rutter
00:18:06 – Tracy Hoth
00:18:08 – Deena Rutter
Do that. Canva. Genius. Honestly. Yeah. And I think you could set a timer and say, okay, I really don’t want to do this, but I’m going to do it for 15 minutes and see how many things you can get organized in that 15 minutes. Would probably be surprised how far you could get. It’s probably like the, I don’t even want to start this thing that’s happening and you’re wasting 15 minutes dreading it when you could just get a lot.
00:18:32 – Tracy Hoth
Do it, just get some sorting done. I tell people that all the time.
00:18:36 – Deena Rutter
00:18:38 – Tracy Hoth
One thing you are expert at that I want to talk to you about while you’re here is the brand folder. So everyone has a brand folder. What is suggest there?
00:18:50 – Deena Rutter
Yes. So if you have the free brand, free Canva account, you can only add two colors to your brand kit. Two or three. And you can’t add custom fonts and things like that. So you can only do what you can do. So I would suggest if you don’t have Canva Pro, to just add the two colors that you use all the time. Okay. And I also have a video that shows you, like, a Canva hack that if you don’t have Canva Pro, there’s a document that you can create that has all of your fonts on it and all of your colors on it. So you can just bring that in and use that every time you create something. But if you do have Canva Pro, you can add as many colors as you want. But I do suggest keeping it streamlined. What you have here, Tracy, is really pretty. I like that. Tracy’s got a few main colors and then she’s got sort of softer versions of her main brand colors and then some neutrals. I’m always surprised, like, how many neutrals you have, how many neutrals you need to add, like, a little bit of depth to your design. A lot of people just want to stick with those really bright, saturated colors, but it kind of gets monotonous in our feeds when we don’t have these different versions. So I love what you’ve done well.
00:20:08 – Tracy Hoth
I do this and have this because of your video. I went and watched your video and added all the muted colors.
00:20:16 – Deena Rutter
Good. Probably like three minutes long. I keep my videos so short.
00:20:22 – Tracy Hoth
Yes. We’ll link to that video for sure. We’ll link to a lot of your videos that cover these things already. So we’re not making duplicate videos and stuff. But I did love that and I went immediately to do it.
00:20:37 – Deena Rutter
Yeah. In the brand hub, you can add your logos, your colors, your fonts that you use. Keep your fonts to two to three. If you do have a script font, make sure it’s very readable. A lot of people love using script fonts, but then you can’t read what it says when you type in the script. So just keep that in mind. And then you can add photos of yourself into your brand hub. You can add any graphics that you use. Yeah. So put your photos in there that you use all the time for your branding because then it stays over there on the left hand side. Every time you click on brand, all of this pops up and you just can pop it in rather than having to go into your. Even though it’s an organized photo folder that you have them in, it’s so nice to have it. You can have it in multiple places, but I always suggest, like keeping it in your brand kit. It’s all right there.
00:21:31 – Tracy Hoth
So we’re looking at my brand kit right now. There’s no photos and I know I have a ton of photos in here, so add those. That’s going to be so nice because I’m often looking and especially I have little favicons, little icons, and I need to add them in here.
00:21:50 – Deena Rutter
Anything you’re using a lot for your brand, having it there is game changer. Okay.
00:21:57 – Tracy Hoth
One of the things that you said was your best Canva time hack is.
00:22:03 – Deena Rutter
My brand is having your brand kit set up. It is the first thing I tell anybody to do. I really think the pro version of Canva is worth the money. You can really do so much in Canva now. There’s all the stock photos. Almost everything you could need is right there. You can edit videos in there, post right to social media from there, and take an Instagram post, square Instagram post and resize it to a story size. If you have the Canva Pro version. Like I said, I’ve been a designer for years and I’ve used Adobe products like illustrator and Photoshop. I was a little hesitant to move over to Canva, probably just being a design snob or something. But now Adobe is trying to keep up with Canva and Canva makes it so user friendly that now I love setting things up for my clients in Canva because I know it’s something that they can reproduce and use on their own. And I will tell you, I pay triple what I pay for Adobe products for what Canva costs. For one, that it’s all in so.
00:23:08 – Tracy Hoth
You almost need it because everybody that sells templates or gives you free little templates that you download, it’s all editable in Canva, so it’s so worth it and pay for the year so you don’t think about it each month.
00:23:23 – Deena Rutter
Yeah, that’s true.
00:23:25 – Tracy Hoth
Okay, so what’s your advice if someone’s stuck?
00:23:28 – Deena Rutter
Someone is stuck having something that is like a style guide, like what you’re putting in your kit to stay focused on. These are the colors I use, these are the fonts I use, so you don’t have to go so far out trying to find new things. I think if people are stuck, it’s usually because they don’t know if it looks good. They’re afraid to post because they don’t know if it looks like amateur to amateur. So that’s kind of keeping them stuck is just thinking it doesn’t look good enough. Just remember, like Canva has so many templates. I have lots of templates. I have something called the life coaches brand in a box where you can have all of this ready to go for you in your Canva account. And I can link to that, too, so you can learn more about that. But just starting with a base template and then just adding in your own content, I know It’s a little scary and I know sometimes it gets overwhelming, but just keep moving forward and know that the more you do this, the better you’re going to get at it. But I do suggest setting a timer and saying, no matter what, this post is going to be good enough at the end of these few minutes or whatever you decide. Yeah.
00:24:38 – Tracy Hoth
Well, tell us about brand in a box.
00:24:40 – Deena Rutter
What does it include? So I’ve worked with hundreds of life coaches setting up their brands like custom setting up their brands, and I realized all these coaches need the same kind of templates. They all need social media, they all need a freebie, they all need a webinar template, they need a simple logo and they need their colors and their fonts. So I created curated templates that I’ve created that you can purchase all of those templates. Plus you get me to, we have a monthly call, like, I have one this afternoon where you can come on there and I help you with any design that you’re working on and I can help you create it and make it a little bit better so it’s all done for you. So you can have your brand done, so you can stop thinking about all of that. You can have it all in one place, you can have it in Canva. So you can really just keep working on your business and you’re going to look amazing from the beginning or wherever you are in your business when you have all of these templates in place. So then your LinkedIn matches, your Facebook matches, your Instagram templates. I think that having all of that consistency creates connection with the people that you’re trying to track and you want to work with you creates some trust and that, like, no trust, that when they can kind of know what to expect when they see a post by you or when they go to your website or when they go to your social media accounts, it all looks really cohesive and professional.
00:26:08 – Tracy Hoth
Well, and to have your eyes on it, I don’t think I realize the calls because that’s a skill. I mean, I do think you’re gifted with design for sure, but it’s also a skill that you can practice. And so having that practice with you would be amazing.
00:26:24 – Deena Rutter
It’s pretty fun.
00:26:25 – Tracy Hoth
Anything else you want to share?
00:26:27 – Deena Rutter
I would say anything that we practice we get better at, but also put some parameters around how much practice you spend on it so it doesn’t get overwhelming or you don’t spend so much time in Canva that you’re not working on finding new clients. Keep moving forward, keep cheering yourself on and you’re going to just keep improving and you’re going to learn so much about yourself and it’s really going to give you a chance to really shine. And the only way that people find out about you really is if you’re out there showing up and being consistent about that. And most of that comes with a little bit of design somewhere within those reach.
00:27:05 – Tracy Hoth
So practice, not perfection.
00:27:08 – Deena Rutter
Yes, for sure. That is for. Yep.
00:27:10 – Tracy Hoth
Everybody go follow Deena, get on her email list and get her Brand in a Box. So thank you so much for being here. We’ve created a Summary Video based on what we talked about in here, so that you can actually sit at your computer, get into your own Canva, and get these things set up until next week.
00:27:30 – Deena Rutter
00:27:33 – Tracy Hoth
Wait. If you’re finding this podcast useful, you must check out The Organized Coach Academy. It’s my course, where I walk you through every step to get your business organized, to get yourself organized, to save money and time, to prepare, to hire someone to do all the things that you want to do in your business with ease. Check that out @Simplysquaredaway.com/OCA Also, I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times, but I would love it. It’s my way of knowing that you’re enjoying the podcast. If you leave a written review, I have lots of freebies for you. They’re linked in the show notes. You can find them in my bio on Instagram at @tracyhoth. Until next week, have a beautiful day.