Monday Mentions is a weekly roundup of my favorite free (or cheap) apps, softwares and products.

Creating amazing graphics for your social media, blogs, worksheets, ebooks, etc can be daunting and time consuming.  Luckily, there are programs out there to help us create stunning, sharp, eye catching designs; even without a degree in graphic design.  

Canva is a very popular program; one I personally use.  But, I have a love/hate relationship with it. There are some features I absolutely love and some that drive me absolutely crazy!

So, I decided to go on a hunt for alternatives and came up with my own top 3 to share with you!

Snappa:  I actually really LOVE Snappa!  It is extremely user friendly and, even if you have very little design experience or program knowledge, you can use this program.  It literally walks you through step by step. All of their templates are included in the free version and you can use and modify them to your liking.  My favorite perk of Snappa that saves me time and energy is the ability to access a full library of royalty free images. There is not worrying about copywrite issues, or digging through outside sources trying to find an acceptable image that will upload properly. The only downside is that the free version limits you to only 5 graphics a month, which likely won’t get you very far. But, used as a supplement to another program, it gives you a nice mix!  (Paid version is $10 per month for unlimited downloads)

Images below are samples of designs created in Snappa:

Desygner:  I first started using Desygner a while ago because they had an Android App and at the time Canva was only available on Ios.  Desygner, like Snappa, offers a lot of great templates, and honestly, some you can use without having to modify them at all. Their holiday templates are beautiful and can be used as is.  The free version only gives you access to some of their templates though, not all of them. This program is not as user friendly as Snappa or Canva. It definitely has a more complex feel and look to it and takes some getting used to.  So, if you are a beginner, you may find this program a little hard to use. But, Desygner allows you to upload your logos and branding though, which helps you create beautiful customized images. The upgraded paid version gives you access to all of their templates, allows custom font uploads, and is extremely affordable at only $6.95 per month.

The below images are examples of designs and logos created in Desygner:

PromoRepublic:  This is a very robust program.  Far more than just a design program.  It really is a full blown social media management system.  They not only have templates for use, but a lot of their templates include the caption to post with them.  You can edit the images just like you can any other program to match your branding (although no custom font uploads), but this also includes a scheduler, a content calendar and an upcoming events calendar.  The events calendar includes everything from wacky holidays, to important “on this day” events, and so much more. This program could literally give you everything you need for your content calendar; you just need to tweak it to your business, your voice etc.  Their “Smart Plan” is only $9 a month and that gives you 20 downloads per month plus access to all of the other above mentioned features.

All three of the below images were pre-made posts in PromoRepublic. One used as is and the other two edited to match brand colors.