Canva review featured image with a screenshot of the design studio in canva

Canva Review: The Best Design Tool for Your Side Hustle

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Last Updated on February 2, 2024 by Daniella

Canva is the #1 most useful tool in my side hustler toolbox. It’s about time I finally put together a Canva review from my experience with the app.

I started using Canva about 2 years back as an easier alternative to using another app I was using at the time, Picmonkey. The options available on Canva were endless and gave me much more bang for my buck than Picmonkey. I especially love finding new and creative techniques to apply to my designs with the dozens of Canva hacks that the tool provides.

What is Canva?

Canva is an all inclusive design suit of tools and has a web app, IOS app, and Android app. It’s a quick and easy way to create visuals for your hobbies, school, work, or use to create and run a business (which is what I use the app for).

Features Available

There is a wide variety of features available with Canva. It has a packed design studio with so many addons including:

  • Set up brand kits
  • Stock photos (60 million on Canva Pro)
  • Stock videos (21,000 videos available)
  • Image and video editing tools
  • Fonts (1,000 with the ability to upload fonts)
  • Design elements
  • Animation
  • Different graphic and document types
  • Templates for every graphic and document type they offer including social media templates and website templates (8,000 free templates with 60,000 templates on Canva Pro)
  • Content scheduling
  • Branding tools
  • Courses
  • Tutorials
  • And more

Is Canva Free?

Yes, there is a free version of Canva. However, you can pay for more features with the Pro and Enterprise plans.

We at ILTD love the Pro plan.

How to Use Canva for Your Side Hustle

I started using the free version of Canva which worked for a bit but Canva Pro was what really leveled up my side hustle.

I use Canva Pro because the amount of features included is well worth more than the $9.95 per month they charge on the yearly plan.

With this app, I am able to:

  • Create and schedule Pinterest pins and story pins (Pinterest alone brings in 40,000 monthly users to my site)
  • Create Instagram images and stories
  • Create graphics for my site and emails
  • Create data visualizations
  • Edit YouTube videos and other video recordings
  • Create and edit designs for freelance projects
  • Create graphics for my webinars, workshops, presentations, and courses
  • Create printables to sell online for passive income
Canva review snippet of the design studio with a pin design and labels of the different parts of the app

Pretty cool, right? But, How could you utilize it for your own side hustle?

You could use it for your social media management side hustle, you could earn freelance design income and edit designs and graphics for others, or you could edit YouTube videos using Canva – are a few ideas.

Our favorite thing to use it for is creating templates that we reuse and also sell online for passive income:

Check out this talk I did with Mediavine about how to utilize templates in Canva.

Canva Pro Review: Why Did I Switch?

The features that really stood out to me for why I switched to Canva Pro were, well a no brainer.

With Canva Pro I can:

  • Schedule my social media posts (with the help of my virtual assistant too)
  • Use the background remover effect on my photos and their stock photos
  • Access all of the animation effects
  • Access more stock photos and videos
  • Access more templates
  • Add users to collaborate

These weren’t available with the free version.

Other tools I use to run my blog and brand:

Is Canva as Good as Photoshop?

Canva is definitely easier to use that Photoshop if you are a first-time user. That is why I recommend Canva over Photoshop with starting a side hustle.

Photoshop is required more on an enterprise level project but Canva is just right for side hustlers. It’s cheaper, easier to use, and will still fulfill all your needs.

But if you do want more advanced features and already us and love Photoshop, then Photoshop might be for you.

Canva Review: My Canva Experience

The Pro plan has given me more than I could ask for and continues to amaze me when they put out updates.

Even though there are a lot of pros, there are a few cons too (as with any app).


There are so many pros to this app that the cons have hardly any ground to stand on.

Some of the top pros include:

  • Free subscription available with a lot of features
  • Straight forward and easy to use
  • The ability to schedule to social media on Canva Pro
  • The biggest library of stock photos and images I’ve ever used
  • Frequent updates
  • High quality free training available on the platform

Download Your Free Canva Template Bundle!

Sign up to get 6 free Canva templates I've created and used before (and now give you permission to use them) - including 3 for Pinterest and 3 for Instagram.

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There was one con that I have a pet peeve about is that the functionality is limited on the mobile app when compared to the web app.

The other con was the fact that you can’t change the color of all the animated elements (some, but not all).

Wrapping Things Up

As you’ve probably already pick up on, we MORE than approve this app and recommend.

Both the free and the Pro versions offer more than their competitors and the Pro version is the most cost-effective for high-quality creations.

What will you create?


Pin it for later!





Ease of Use


Features Available


Mobile Usablity



  • Free subscription available
  • Straight forward and easy to use
  • The ability to schedule to social media on Canva Pro
  • Large library of stock photos and videos


  • Limited mobile features
  • Limited options with animations

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