• Awesome post Donna, some great tools in this.

  • I love picmonkey, because I’m used to it. I’ve tried Canva, but keep trying to do things that I do in Picmonkey with lots of frustration, but I like all the choices of images it offers. Must give it another try!

  • Awesome Donna! I hope I’ll be able to make this list sometime soon with my graphics automation tool. I really enjoyed being part of the #visualchallenge and look forward to following your awesome posts! 🙂

  • Great work putting this together Donna! Glad I could add my voice to the mix of awesome people !

  • This is a stellar roundup for DIYers looking to master visual content. High five for putting this together, Donna!

    • Thanks @andrea_beltrami:disqus – a great way for me to get some new tools to check out too!

  • Awesome round up Donna! There are a few I need to check out for sure!

    • Thanks Steven… I have a few new ones to play with too! Enjoy!

  • Great list Donna. I love these type of articles where many give their opinion about a specific topic. However I miss the answers from one person… YOU 🙂 What are your favourite tools, @sociallysorted:disqus?

    PS: you got mail 😉

    • Ah yes well that’s the question – as I said at the bottom of the post, the top 5 in the cheat sheet were actually the same as my top 5 – I can say that Canva and WordSwag are in there!

  • Amanda

    Awesome list, Donna. I use Photoshop and I have YOU to thank for putting me onto Canva which I use all the time. I tried PicMonkey. but it wan’t a touch on Canva, which is so easy to use – although a little buggy at times if you upload lots of your own images like I do.

    • Thanks Amanda – glad you liked it! One thing I do love about PicMonkey is that I can use my branding fonts but yes Canva is awesome… usually I can look past any bugs because we just didn’t have these tools 2 years ago!

  • I didn’t know about the other visual creation tools. I’m glad to know them now, thanks. awesome to hear about the importance of canva as well. gotta take note these lists.

    • You are welcome Otis – Canva is a great place to start for sure!

  • Nathalie

    Wow, this is a fantastic resource, Donna, thanks so much for putting it together! I personally LOVE PicMonkey, then Canva, and another great resource which nobody ever thinks of is MS Word Seriously, when you combine PicMonkey, Canva and MS Word you can create amazing PDFs and eBooks :-).

    • oooh interesting! I hadn’t thought of that. So many options and creations. I could play all day!

      • Nathalie

        Haha, I know, Donna, same here! 🙂 I learned how to use MS when I tried to design my very first eBook (which looked totally blehhh). Then I really got into it, had amazing results, and because everyone asked me about my “fantastic designer”, I started teaching DIY designs for non-techy (and non-nerdy) entrepreneurs with everyday tools. BTW – your website is FABULOUS. I’ve only just found you and am hopelessly in love already :-).

        • Oh cool – what’s your website (Disqus is not playing nice and I can’t see your face – I have a blogger friend called Nathalie and I thought it was her haha – same spelling).

  • Wow, there are a lot of tools that I haven’t seen or heard about. Thanks for sharing. I’ll be busy downloading apps now! I’m looking forward to using them.

    • No problems Steven! I have a few new ones to play with too!

  • Great assembly of experts and information! I’m a tad surprised only one person mention Pixlr. It’s definitely my go-to when Photoshop isn’t available. Canva came as no surprise, but I like Pickmonkey too. I will definitely be exploring some of the Instagram tools. Thanks for the post!

    • Thanks and true Alice, I know for a fact that many of these guys do love Pixlr and use it, as well. I am glad it got a mention at least… you are right – it is a great tool.

  • Paul Waltkins

    Wow, some great tools I had no heard about. Thank you for a valuable article Donna.

    • Awesome – glad you have new toys to play with Paul! Enjoy!

  • AmericanMade

    Me, too! Me, too! You’ve given me some new play toys to check out. However, I’m so
    glad Jenn Herman mentioned PowerPoint. My illustration tool of choice is
    CorelDRAW, but there are some functions that are so easy in PowerPoint that I
    switch tools just to do something faster. It is not as powerful as a dedicated
    drawing package, but I think it’s got a lot of features that only power users
    have explored–editing vectors (nodes), quick png or pdf conversions,
    combining shapes, special effects, transparencies, color corrections including
    saturation, tone, contrast, crop-to-shape, and recolor. Vector editing is a bit
    cumbersome, but overall the entire package is generally underrated. (No, I
    don’t work for Microsoft.) Add to that the fact that “everybody’s got
    it” and it’s a darn good alternative to specialized graphics tools.

    With the ability to convert to pdf documents to send to printers, I’ve used
    PowerPoint to do stationery for clients because it gives the client the ability
    to change the text without having access to expensive Adobe packages. (I don’t
    subscribe to withholding files from clients just so they’ll be forced to come
    back to me for changes, although I understand why some designers do that.
    Stationery isn’t fun for me, nor is it my main business, so I really don’t want
    the files coming back to me when a new employee is hired.)

    I’m really excited to see so many online tools that bring some awesome capabilities
    to general users!


    • Awesome Ryan! I love seeing the old tools still being used effectively. Sometimes simplicity is best. Great tips – thanks!

  • Really amazing tools .. .thanks @sociallysorted:disqus for sharing such useful share with expert people

  • Hi Donna!
    Great article!
    I was busy jotting down a few apps I definitely want to try out asap.
    By far, my favorite tool this year is Canva. Just like many people have said, Canva It’s unbelievably easy to customize anything for any social media channel. Usually, you kinda have an idea of what you want your design to look like before you start working and then you see all those brilliant tempates and you’re like, “This must be heaven!” They may think I’m stalking them…I use it every day.

    CorelDRAW 12 is my all-time ‘Go-To’ solution and has been for the last 4 years. So simple. Last Friday, I designed a poster in 5 minutes flat, though that’s of course because I’ve been using it for the last 4 years. It was my first entry into graphic design.
    Another great tool I’m getting a hang of is Fotor – again simple and effective. It’s fun to use, eye catching images and great contrast on imaging too.

    • Hey David – sorry I missed this – great to hear you are loving Canva – have you tried Canva for Work yet? I’m loving it. I love Fotor too – thanks for dropping by!

  • Hey Donna, this is an excellent go-to resource! Thanks for putting this together (and mentioning Piktochart :P)!

    • Thanks Daniel – always a pleasure to write about Piktochart! and when Amy mentions it you know it’s a great recommendation because people trust her!

  • Terry Green

    Great resources, but Unsplash doesn’t give you 10 free photos per day … it’s 10 free photos per month. It’s a great service though. I love them!

    • Hey Terry – thanks for stopping by – Syed was referring to a previous deal I believe (this post is an older post that still is very popular and gets a lot of traffic) but yes it’s 10 photos per day. Unsplash is awesome regardless.

  • Kristen Wilson

    Super fab tips… HAD to bookmark it.. noticed that Unsplash.. it’s not 10/day.. but 10 per 10 days I think.. just not every day.. great stuff though.. thanks!

    • Thanks Kristen – glad you liked it – and thanks for the heads up re Unsplash – yes I was aware that they don’t do that many every day – I think that Syed may have bee referring to a deal that was in place previously (this post was written a while ago but it is quite a popular one so still gets a lot of traffic). But they have AWESOME photos!

      • Kristen Wilson

        You are quite welcome… I’m in internet marketing as well and tools are our BESTESTEST friend! lol I love Unsplash.. GREAT photos, for sure and I down load them every time they send them! lol yes, I realized that but didn’t know if you wanted to update it. Anyways… thank Ian Cleary, his most recent email sent me to you this time. 😉 And of course, you are wonderful as well. 😉

        • I agree – have never seen a bad shot among their photos they send out. I wish it was 10 every day haha. I added an edit as it was Syed’s quote so just did the add- on comment. Ian is a smart guy and a wonderful friend – have a great week Kristen!

  • Dawn

    I see Unsplash was mentioned. Is this the same Unsplash that can be found on Pixabay?

    • Hi – I’m not sure about that, sorry. I use Unsplash from Unsplash.com and haven’t heard of it being embedded within Pixabay but if it is, then I guess so! I prefer to use each stock library directly just to better track the terms of use of photos. Mostly I use paid stock photos but Pixabay and Unsplash are two of the better creative commons/royalty free and no-cost libraries.

  • Hey Donna,

    This is my year to get into more visual content just to add to my blogging. I see Canva is a hot number here which is also something i used. One tool I didn’t say here was Picasa which is something I use to create a collage for one of my expert roundup posts last year. I’m going to look more into unsplash and PicMonkey. Thanks for sharing Donna! Have a great week ahead!

    • Thanks Sherman – glad to hear you found it useful. Yes I know of Picasa and it’s a good tool – this post was written almost a year ago so there are even more tools around since then but so many of these are classic tools that have remained favourites with everyone for sure. Another one that is not on this list that has launched in the last year but is now a favourite of many is Relay – you can check it out at http://www.sociallysorted.com.au/relaythat (watch the video to see how it works). I like unsplash and Picmonkey too and a I am a huge fan of Canva!

      • I just found out about Relay last night on Rebekah Radice’s last post. I will definitely check it out!

        • Cool – Rebekah is a good friend and knows her stuff! Enjoy playing with Relay!

  • Lilieth V. Harris

    So, so useful and informative, especially for me as I try to learn this stuff, thanks for the article.

    • Awesome – glad you found it useful! There were some great tools mentioned here for sure!

  • Studio on my phone and Photoshop on my computer. Studio can be quick or slow, depending on what I’m trying to do. Photoshop I find super fast and easy to use as I’ve used it for over 20 years but its not on my phone! Besides, Studio gives me a multitude of amazing groovy little pictures and overlays and text to play with, ready to go 🙂 Love it.

    • Great to hear you are playing with Studio! Nice to hear some feedback about others using it and that you like it even though you are photoshop savvy. I love all their designs.

      • Me too 🙂 So many groovy little illustrations and some lovely fonts too. There are some very clever people in our world.

    • I’m doing a little mini training on Studio for my program members – do you mind if I screenshot this and post it to show them that it is a great tool to check out?

      • Go for it 🙂 I’m always happy to share and help!

  • Saba Ansari

    Superb Donna……….love it!

    • Glad you liked it – some other great tools to come along since we published this are Canva for iPhone, Relaythat.com, Adobe Spark Post, and Designfeed.io

  • I absolutely love Canva! I think it is the most user-friendly drag and drop design tool out there for non-designers. I even use it for inspiration and to play with new ideas before I start my designs in adobe illustrator. I loved it so much I seriously contacted them and asked if they had an API program where I could integrate into my website so my customers could use it!

    • It’s certainly super easy to use… life changed for small businesses who want to create visual content when Canva was released. They do have API that they share with some of the other tool companies that allows people to create on other websites.

      • Awesome! I’ll have to check on that, we already licensed another web 2 print platform to integrate into our new site though 🙂

  • Seriously?!

    Canva is probably my favorite
    But adobe spark is pretty cool too

    • Spark is very cool – this post was written before it was launched I believe so when we do a round 2 I am sure it will get a lot of mentions!