Page design can be much easier if you apply these 4 basic principals: proximity, alignment, repetition and contrast.
The principal of proximity tells you to put related items close together. Things that aren't related should be farther apart. The amount of separation between items or groups tells your reader how the material is organized.
The principal of alignment tells us one thing: Each item on the page should align with another item. The alignment of items creates organization and stability. How you align things can also draw attention to different parts of the page.
Repetition, or consistency, means you should repeat aspects of the design throughout the project. Good repetition ties your work together. I consider this principal to be my secret weapon. Establish good design elements and then reuse them - it not only speeds up the process it is what separates good design from bad design.
Contrast is the best way to add impact to your page. Create contrast by using type headings, photography, textures, or color. Figure out what the focus of the page is then use contrast to exploit that focus.
These principals represent the foundation of good design. When applied correctly, you'll be surprised at how they not only improve your page but also increase your productivity.