Improve your productivity with content creation so you can focus on the part of your business, brand, or side hustle you enjoy the most.

I am an affiliate partner for some products mentioned in this post. All expressed opinions are my own. However, I may receive commission for the sale of select products or services.

Content creation can be fun—but it can also be extremely time consuming. I am a detail-oriented creative who used to spend WAY TOO MUCH time on content planning. Now I’m sharing the time-saving tools and tips I use as a productivity coach, content creator, and solopreneur.

Graphic Design

Canva is a tool used by seasoned graphic designers and content creators with zero design experience alike.

I’m embarrassed to share that I used to create graphics in Microsoft Word and Apple Pages. It was a struggle to create mediocre graphics because Word and Pages aren’t supposed to be graphic design programs.

Many of Canva’s templates, images, and fonts are free. There are several paid membership tiers available, as well as a la carte downloads. I currently have the Canva Lite subscription. It’s the best $6.99 I spend on my business each month. If you ever need to print your content, Canva has a fast and high-quality printing service.

Pro tip: Know your hex codes and stick to your color family to avoid a mismatched rainbow explosion on your website or feed.

Stock Images

Social Squares is a stock image membership with thousands of images to instantly elevate your content.

You’ll find Social Squares images all over D20 Theory’s website and social media because they help to communicate our brand story. I joined for the images and stayed for the supportive Facebook community, monthly Power Hour trainings, and caption prompts.

Social Squares: stock image membership

Brand Photography

As great as stock images can be to expand your content, nothing compares to the visual impact of brand photography.

This is a worthwhile investment when you connect with the right photographer. Fortunately, Instagram and Pinterest make it easier than ever to find a photographer whose style matches the aesthetic you want.

brand photography by Aurum Photography

Can you believe I found my photographer on Craigslist?! Anetta recently moved from Philadelphia to Boston, so you should check out Aurum Photography if you’re in the Boston area.

Photo Editing

I don’t do a lot of photo editing now that I use Canva, Social Squares, and my library of professional photos. When I need to make the occasional edit, I use the free Adobe Lightroom app for iPhone or Android. Custom presets allow my amateur photography to fit into the aesthetic of my feed.

Grid Planning

There are lots of apps available for grid planning, hashtag discovery, and scheduled posting on social media. Most even have free versions.

I tried Plann and Planoly before creating a custom template in Canva and storing my hashtag buckets in HishHash. As a visual person, grid planning helps me to choose photos and graphics that align with my content and look cohesive.

Instagram grid planning with Canva

Caption Storage

Don’t risk losing the captions, blog posts, and copy you spent hours writing if your social media account is hacked or your website’s server crashes. Backup your content and ideas in a safe and easily searchable place.

I use Google Calendar, Sheets, and Docs, as well as Airtable. I save my content ideas in Airtable, which is the fancier, prettier cousin of Google Sheets. The week that I plan to share the content, I type my Instagram captions in Google Sheets and my blog posts in Google Docs. Then I add an event to my Google Calendar on the day I plan to post the content. If any one of these services fails, I have a backup in multiple places that is easy to search by keyword or date.

Airtable for content planning

Ready for more time-saving tools and tips? Join us for the virtual Girls with Goals conference later this month. Participate in productivity and mindset workshops, panel discussions, networking, and shopping.