Finding the right tools to use for your creative process very often is one of the biggest struggles… There are so many options! What are the best online course creation tools?
It’s important to decide what tools and softwares you’ll be using before getting started. Each platform has its own specifics and you could save tons of your time making this decision beforehand.
I’ve been working on my own and my client online courses for several years and I know how the struggle of choosing the best course creation tools feels like. That’s why I’ve prepared this list for you!
How to understand which of these tools is a MUST for my online course creation process?
First of all, it will always depend on your course specifics and preferred type of content. There is no one right way to do it!
If you’re not very tech-savvy and this list confuses you, take what’s most important for you now and you can always upgrade afterward.
Each category consists of my favorite course creation tools. These tools have proven to be successfully working for all of my and my client projects so I’m sure they’d work great for you as well!
Disclaimer: This list also includes affiliate links.
The only list of course creation tools you’ll ever need
Online course creation platforms
I personally prefer creating all of my and my client courses on Teachable for various reasons.
First of all, it’s easy to use both for starters and professionals. It offers enough options to create a stunning course but not too much – keeping you away from getting easily confused.
Teachable also has an amazing support team and many users which will always make it easy for you to find the solutions to any and all problems you might encounter.
If you’re ready to start creating your first course, read more on how to create a course on Teachable for free.
The biggest competitor to Teachable is Thinkific. Both platforms have been competing for the attention of online course creators. Here’s also a brief comparison of Teachable & Thinkific. And while Thinkific might win in the categories of, for example, customization, their overall user experience is not as good as Teachable.
However, after recent updates on Teachable, Thinkific comes out as a more budget-friendly option. Now, on Teachable you can create a fully functioning online course for 10 people, for free. From there, you need to purchase a plan to onboard more students. While Thinkific can be used for free for an unlimited number of online course students.
Workbook and PDF design tools
My favorite Workbook and PDF design tool: Indesign
I’m a designer fully efficient in Adobe Suite. Therefore, InDesign is my no.1 choice for Workbook and PDF design. I prefer it because of all the freedom to design anything starting from readable book-like PDFs to digitally fillable Worksheets.
Most budget-friendly: Canva (can be used for free!) or Google Docs
A very popular choice among starters is Canva. Canva offers many free design templates to work with. I do suggest being careful when designing Canva’s PDFs & Worksheets – sometimes their designs are not as high-class as you’d want to if you’re creating a sellable product. But many people use this tool with great success.
Google Docs might not offer stunning design features but it gets the job done. If you need to create PDF materials for a course, you can easily style them in Google Docs – for free!
Most starter friendly: Canva, Google Docs or PicMonkey (templates ready for your use)
PicMonkey is the older brother of Canva. And once Canva came around, most people forgot about this beautiful tool. It’s not absolutely free but it’s also easy to use for PDF and Workbook designs.
Graphic and design element software
My favorite graphic and design element software: Photoshop
Once again, being a designer comes in handy since I can use Photoshop to create all and any graphic and design elements my course might need. If you have time and willingness – it’s definitely not hard to learn the basics of Photoshop and use it for your course (and not only!)
Most budget-friendly: Canva
Most starter friendly: Canva/PicMonkey
My favorite presentation creation tool: PowerPoint
While you might not be a design master of PowerPoint, it’s an easy to use platform for anyone. Here’s a hack of the lifetime: research free PowerPoint templates and use them as a base of your design! You can also research CreativeMarket for more templates to use.
Other options for graphic and design elements:
- Adobe Illustrator. Maybe you’re not a fan of Photoshop. In that case, you can just as well use other of Adobe’s offered tools, for example, Illustrator.
- Keynote. Use Keynote instead of PowerPoint if you’re a Mac user.
- Creative Market. Research CM if you’re up for purchasing pre-made design elements.
Video creation and editing tools
My favorite screen recording tool: Screencast-o-matic
My favorite video editing tool: Sony Vegas Pro
I personally don’t like being in front of the camera so what I do is – I record my created PowerPoint presentations with screen recording tool Screencast-o-matic. It’s very budget-friendly, costing only $15/per year. And it’s a very useful tool to have when you’re creating a course!
My favorite video editing tool is from the pricier shelf tho and it’s Sony Vegas Pro. As a beginner video editor, I find it really easy to use – once you get a hang of it. It seems to be easier than Adobe video editing tools.
Sales page creation platforms
While Teachable’s Sales pages can feel a bit boring if all you do is look at them all day long, their provided page creation options are really easy to use and you CAN create a stunning page from just the most basic functions.
For any starter, it literally can take around an hour to get it going. Add in a bit of your branding, create banners for backgrounds and insert some additional elements and voila – a wonderful Sales page is done!
If you would prefer keeping your sales page close to your website, you can also use a landing page template provided by Bluchic. Bluchic uses free Elementor plugin for their templates. Once you purchase their Landing page bundle, you get access to ALL kinds of the landing pages you might need – a Sales page, Upsell, Thank You, Opt-In, etc.
Other Sales page creation platforms:
What additional course creation tools I might need to create a functioning online course?!
If you’re up for creating your first online course, there is no need to complicate it. As soon as you’ve chosen course creation platform, just start creating the content and choose the necessary tools along the way.
If you want to take your course one step further and improve with additional tools, I suggest looking into various marketing tools and softwares you can use.
For example, email marketing platforms to gather opt-ins and promote your course to your mailing list.
Are there any hidden must-haves to create a successful course? No! It’s all really as easy and simple as you choose it to be.