At least once or twice, we’ve all hit ‘post’ on an instagram image only to visit our feed moments later and discover that the picture looks like crap. That sinking feeling when you see an image that you aren’t proud of open for the public to see is a horrible one. I’ve done it numerous times. Sometimes I’m able to delete and repost the image before anyone notices or likes it, but sometimes people like too soon, and deleting would mean losing them. It’s always an unappealing trade.
Right now there are several gorgeous apps out that let you plan out your Instagram feed. Though they all look like they’d be perfect, they also come with a cost, and I just can’t validate it (especially when I have my own Instagram planner going already). Though I do often glance through and lust after these apps, I’ve been using a simple planner that I created in Adobe InDesign for a while now. It’s not as user friendly as an app like this, but if you have Adobe InDesign, it’s a great FREE alternative. You can signup for my newsletter to download the planner at the bottom of this post.
Using it is fairly simple if you know your way around. Just open it up in InDesign, and you’ll see a bunch of empty boxes ready for you to populate with content. Just select the first one, and press Command + D, or click File > Place. I’d recommend putting in a few of the images you already have published, so that you can see how your new images will look next to them. Unless of course you are trying to revamp your instagram strategy and don’t care how your existing images will look with your shiny new ones.
To put in your profile header, so that you can really get that authentic Instagram feel, go to the app and take a screen print of your own feed. Then send it to yourself so that it’s on your computer. Then come back to the planner, click on the large box at the top, and place that image there. You’ll likely have to stretch it a bit to fit, but it will give you a great visual of what your feed will look like.
The only problem with using a static template like this, rather than a paid app, is that it will not automatically feed through. This means that once you fill up all the square images and get to the top, you’ll have to either start over, or shift the images down and duplicate the squares so that you can keep rotating through the images.
Other than that small snag, this is a great way to get a handle on how your feed will look. I never really use it to plan far ahead (though you can) but instead to see how an image will look right before I post it. This is a great way to tell if maybe one image isn’t as bright or beautiful as you thought it was, which is always evident when it’s next to another brighter more beautiful image.
I’ve been using this planner for a few months now and my feed has improved drastically since then (you can see it if you look at my instagram account). Don’t be afraid to follow me there, and let me know if you’re using the planner so I can follow along as well as you grow!