A swipe file provides inspiration when you least have it yourself, it boosts brainstorming and it provides that much-needed starting point to produce your own ideas. Swipe files are a tried and tested method as they give you ready-made templates to work on, templates that others successfully used in writing top-notch headlines.
Tools to make a swipe file
If, like a million other people, you have a special email folder where you store, inspirational emails, from quotes to blog posts and extraordinary email newsletters, you’ve already been doing your own version of a swipe file.
Your email is a great place to start collecting important snippets you might find useful in the future. Here are some of the tools I use to collect inspiration, ideas, etc. (which you can use as well):
Google Docs is my favorite one! It's another productive storage solution for everything creativity-generating. From word documents to images and speeches, you can store anything for easy access. I create excel spreadsheet and add all my ideas. Here's an example:
If you are a Mac user (Mac OS X Snow Leopard), you may find "Stickies" convenient for you to store your ideas and create quick swipe file.
Notebook: when I travel, I usually get to create new ideas and use my notebook to collect inspirations and gather them together later on Google Docs.
Other tools you could use are:
Evernote. You can create a free account and clip in it images, videos, links, posts, pretty much everything as long as it can help you create amazing headlines.
Pinterest. Since you already spend(waste) a lot of time on Pinterest, you might as well create a Board exclusively with inspirational links you can go to when inspiration abandons you.
SimpleNote This is similar to Evernote, but it is more simple.
- You may even use: a journal, a notepad file, or even smartphones to gather new ideas.