How I learned Adobe InDesign – 8 different courses that might be a good fit for you.

Top 8 Learning Sources with Timestamps

These are in no particular order

  • YouTube Tutorials 0:16
  • General Assembly 0:44
  • 1:18
  • Pluralsight 1:51
  • Brit & Co 3:00
  • Adobe Certified Training Centers 3:33
  • Udemy 4:44
  • Paper & Oats 5:42

My Recommended Steps for Learning InDesign with Timestamps

  • Step 1 – Complete the Paper & Oats course 6:10
  • Step 2 – Re-do the Tutorials 6:20

Examples of Kelsey’s Templates vs Mine 8:10

Affiliate Bonuses 8:14


Hi everyone. I’m Lisa from Pretty Fabulous, and I wanted to talk to you today about different areas you can go to to learn InDesign. When I first wanted to learn InDesign, I watched a ton of YouTube videos, which sometimes is useful, but for the most part is pretty inefficient. A lot of the tutorials out there use older copies of Creative Cloud just because that’s just the nature of some of the videos. They’re free videos, and sometimes they are simply posted as a solution.

A better solution from beginning to end is possibly, and these are in no particular order. I did take a class through General Assembly, and this is really great if you like an in-person class where you can raise your hand and have someone come over and look behind your shoulder at your screen to help you out with things.

That was $375, and it was over the course of two days. It was a Saturday and Sunday in New York. I found it useful. I thought it was a good start, but the only problem because it is in-person, is the slowest person in the class will slow everybody down. So it’s possible I just went to a class that had a lot of slow people. I didn’t learn a ton from that class.

Next I tried, and that was $29.99 a month. As you know, it’s a teaching training course repository with tons of classes in it, just like Udemy and Skillshare. for me, had really great courses, however, they were a little over my head, and they seemed to go a little too fast, versus the General Assembly, which went too slow. But it was a great value for the money because it went through a lot of different aspects, more than I will ever, ever use.

Another site was Pluralsight, and that cost $29 a month as well, and you get access to the entire library of courses. Now what I really liked about Pluralsight was not actually the course. I didn’t actually like the InDesign course that they had. However, Pluralsight offers an additional resource that you must pay for, but it’s permanent, and you can go on and ask someone for help.

Someone will screen share with you just like in a regular classroom, and you can say, you know, I’m trying to create, I don’t know, a box, and it’s not creating the box in the right color. I can’t get the right shading. The gradient isn’t working for me. And they will actually tell you what to click, where to click it, and how to do it.

Now, the only problem with that is you need to make sure that you get somebody on the other line who knows what they’re doing and is well versed in that. Otherwise, you could end up wasting a lot of time with somebody who is trying to figure it out as you’re asking. So a good thing to do is maybe send an email beforehand. Make sure they understand how to do it, and then schedule a time to meet with them on Pluralsight online.

The fourth place I tried was Brit + Co, and Brit + Co just has really cute classes. They have people actually come on sight at Brit + Co’s studios to do the filming. Now the problem with Brit + Co was it was $39, and it was an introductory class, so it was super quick. I think it was 45 minutes. So you learned a couple of things, but not really a whole lot. So again, it just kind of scratched the surface and it was a little too basic, I think in my opinion, for anyone who wants to really learn how to use InDesign.

The fifth thing that I tried was an Adobe Certified course. Now this is, I believe, a two or two-and-a-half day course, and it’s $1495 as of today. Typically, the only people who go to these courses are people who are taking them through a corporation, so that their company is paying for them. But they are given by Adobe themselves, or what they call Adobe Certified instructors or learning centers.

Now I actually was not able to attend the entire course because I had to travel for my day job when I tried it. Because otherwise, honestly, I think if you don’t have a day job paying you a large salary, I’m not sure anybody would pay for that price out of their own pocket. So I actually came in on day two, which was super tough, as you can imagine because I had missed so much.

But it was nice to have an instructor there, and I did sit through because I had paid for it, and there was no refund at that point. But again, I don’t think that was the best experience. If you’re going to do that, you should definitely make sure you can sit through day one, two, and three.

Next I tried Udemy, and they have a variety of courses for $10, and despite the price, those were actually pretty good. There was one guy in particular, and I don’t remember his name, but he was doing a magazine layout. Now the only problem is with Udemy, and I’m not sure … And I actually teach classes on Udemy as well. Is I don’t get alerts as an instructor when someone in the class has asked a question, and maybe that’s because of my settings.

But anytime I asked the instructor a question, I never really received an answer. That could be something that if you only want the lessons that are out there, and you understand them right away, and you have no followup questions, then Udemy might be a good solution. But either way, it’s only $10, so I don’t think you’re really out that much.

Lastly, what I really liked was the Paper & Oats InDesign Field Guide. Now that is a self-paced course. It’s $439, and it’s really the only course I found out there on the market that is a self-hosted … Well I shouldn’t say self-hosted. She hosts it on Teachery, but Kelsey actually teaches and put the entire course together herself. She doesn’t host it on Pluralsight or or something like that.

I found it extremely useful. What I did, is I went through Kelsey’s entire course. Then after I finished her course, I actually went back to, and I watched the tutorials there. Now, I know this sounds counterintuitive, but after Kelsey’s class because she went at what I think was the perfect pace for me. Sometimes, it could have gone a little faster, but in general it was just right.

Then afterwards, I went into the tutorials, which remember I said before were a little over my head the first time I watched them and went way too fast. This time when I watched them, they did not go over my head. I understood what they were talking about, and it was much easier to absorb the information and apply it to the projects I was working on.

That is my recommendation to you is just two resources. One is the InDesign Field Guide, and the second is tutorials. Now you’ll notice the tutorials are actually taught by a group that puts on, I think they’re called InDesign Secrets, and they put on a conference every year. So we’ll talk about that more in a totally different video.

But let’s just focus back on my number one recommendation, which is InDesign Field Guide. That actually goes on sale tomorrow on October 10. I think it’s the 10th, and it will be on sale … Or maybe it’s the 11th. It will be on sale for one week only, and then it will close up, and it won’t be open again, I don’t think until January or February.

I’m not really sure about her exact dates, but she does not like to leave it evergreen, which means it is open at any time. She did try that before, so if you were lucky enough to get in then, you were in. But if not, then you missed it.

Now I do have an affiliate link, however, I am only recommending them because that’s how I learned, and I think it’s a really great program. She gives you a ton of great templates, and they are obviously totally different from mine. They are completely different style in look and feel. I think when you see her templates, or if you’ve ever stumbled across her store in Etsy, you’ll see that we have night and day styles when it comes to design.

If that’s a different style that you prefer or that you like or something that you feel is more editable for you, you might like her templates better. So I would like to reward you for using my affiliate link, and if you do, within 30 days because that’s the amount of time you have, I believe, for a return if you should change your mind.

If you don’t change your mind, and you stay on with the InDesign Field Guide, in 30 days, I will have some really cool goodies for you. One, I will have a special template for you for lead magnets and for planners that are not available in my shop. So you shouldn’t worry that, oh I’ve bought something from you already, and now I’m just going to get the same thing. You are not.

In 30 days, I will have new templates for you, as well as a coaching call for everyone. A group coaching call where we can get together and hopefully, by that time, within 30 days, you have made it through either a large part or all of the materials, and I will be available to answer any question that you have on InDesign.

I hope to see you in the InDesign Field Guide list of my affiliate signups, and if you have any questions, let me know. Otherwise, I will talk to you guys next week. Bye.