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Once upon a time my downloading and saving from Canva was terrible!

Updated: Jan 4, 2023

"I would not trade it for anything. No. Never. Your friendship is the best present ever."

— Tigger - Winnie the Pooh

This is exactly the way I now feel about working in Canva. I would not trade it for anything. No. Never.

In this blog, learn how I used to save, download and share and how I do it now (after learning, tweaking, testing over two years and more).

We will chat about:

  • What are the different methods of saving and downloading

  • Why you should save in a specific way

  • How to save and download for aligned flow

  • My hot tips

When we first start learning about a new product, service or platform, we either get training or we jump straight in and learn ' on the job '.

Depending on your learning styles will depend on how you want to ‘ get stuck in ’.

I first encountered Canva over two years ago and never thought I would come to love a piece of software quite so much!

Saving my designs as I went along was not something I did when I first started. If you have read my earlier blog, you’ll know that my all designs section was messier than a teenagers bedroom!

I did not use Canva Pro to start with either and there was no filing system whatsoever (even after my 30+ years as a corporate PA! - shame on me!!)

What are the different methods of saving and downloading from Canva?

Saving your designs becomes a lot easier once you get yourself in a flow and system.

My flow looks like this (we will use creating a square post as an example):

  1. Create a square (choose 1080px x 1080px or Instagram Square in Canva).

  2. Save the design - we will call this one LV_square_March 2022

  3. Save the design to a folder - I have lots of different files but I’ll save this one to LV_social media 2022

  4. Create my design from scratch or from a template

  5. Download as a PNG file, MP4 or GIF (if I am using a video without sound).

(I am using Canva Pro - if you would love to try it out for 30 days, here is my affiliate link*)

Why should you save in a specific way?

Saving your designs with a name you can remember makes it so much easier for you when you come to search for that design.

Without a name, you are flailing around like a paddle boat without the shore in sight!

If you are using Canva Pro, I would highly recommend creating some folders and sub-folders for yourself with names that are specific to you and your business.

For example, some of the ones I use are:

LV (Live Virtually documents) - within this file are lots of sub-folders for each course I am creating, each package I offer or for my social media. Even my social media has sub-folders - podcast, YouTube, Pinterest etc

Clients - I then have a sub-folder for each client that I am working with. There is an ‘ad hoc’ folder for one-off projects and also a previous clients and everything is organised that way.

IM (Ivory Mix) - I am a member of Ivory Mix stock photography membership and I have sub-folders for stock photography and then sub-folders under that for each photography category, eg health and wellness, bloggers, pink etc.

If you want to check out Ivory Mix for yourself, here is my affiliate link*.

You can go as granular as you like but do not make it too confusing for yourself.

How to save and download for aligned flow

Names for saving your designs need to be specific to how you work, how your brain works and what you will search for in the future.

If you think about what you are creating, for example an email header, how would you search for that?

You could search email or email header. If you add in your business name, eg LV_email header it gives you an extra search parameter. You can now also search for ‘LV’.

Find a flow that aligns with you and your work - it is not going to happen overnight. You will need to do it a few times and then it will feel totally in alignment with how you work and you won’t do it any other way.

When it comes to downloading and sharing, there are a few things to consider:

  1. What platform are you using the design on?

  2. What type of image or document do you need?

  3. Are you sharing the document with others?

  4. Do you need to keep the original version?

The platform

If you are creating social media images, then I would usually download them as a PNG. If you have any animation in your design, I would download it as a GIF or a video (if you have sound).

Hot tip: if you are downloading a GIF, make sure you download only that page. It makes it easier to upload into Instagram or Facebook.

Type of image

You may have created a workbook or checklist for your clients or members. This would be downloaded as a PDF, but which version?

If you are using the PDF as an online tool, then I would recommend using the PDF standard. For anything that needs to be printed, you can use the print version of PDF (but it’s going to be a much larger file).

There is also now the option to download as an SVG (for Canva Pro users). This is a great option if you have created your own logo as the vector image allows it to be made much bigger or smaller while maintaining the great quality of the image.

Canva also has other options for you to share - if you click the three dots (...) in the top right corner when you are in a design, you will see lots and lots of different options for downloading. For example, you can turn a Canva presentation into a PowerPoint presentation. You can also add them to your Google Drive (if your Google Drive has been linked).

There is also the option to print certain documents - some of my clients have had great results with their printing from Canva. It is quite reasonably priced and comes quickly.


If you need to share the design with others, you have the option of sharing to view, to edit or as a template.

If you are working with a client and need to have your work approved, I would recommend using share to view. Once it is approved, then I would share it as a template.

Original version

One of the things I now do when sharing designs with clients or members is I share as a template. This means that I keep the original version so if they lose it or mess it up, I still have the original one that I can share again (if necessary).

Remember to add a watermark too if you need to before it is approved.

Ready to work with us?

Tina from Social Jam needed some assistance with her presentation for a webinar. She knew that I’m a Canva queen and reached out for some help. Here is what Tina said:

“Jo put together a Webinar presentation in Canva for me. She went above and beyond - she was genuinely excited to make it awesome. Quick turnaround time and saved me lots of time and stress. Greatly appreciated.”

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Meet your magical Canva Designer + Trainer

Jo Draper is a Gold Coast based Canva Designer and Trainer.

She is a creative business owner who brings her inner child to work every day and always has a hint of fun and magic in her day and work.

Jo loves serving business owners on a journey to hit six and seven figures with her 1:1 services as well as courses, workshops and digital products.

Jo shares her knowledge of Canva as well as other tools that she loves for CRM, email marketing and other business systems.

You will usually find a Disney quote in her blog posts as she is quite a fan and loves to create magic from some amazing quotes.

When she’s not working, she enjoys Marvel movies, loves chocolate and listens to audiobooks while walking.

To work with Jo, fill out her contact form here.

Jo also hosts a podcast called Beautiful Conversations with Jo where she chats about her journey with breast cancer as well as other personal stuff. Check it out at

Interested in learning how to get started with your Canva designs? Check out and let Jo help you create your own fun and magic!

*Affiliate link: if you choose to purchase something using one of my affiliate links, I will receive commission without it costing any more to you*


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