How to Create a Swipe File Using Punchlist

August 12, 2022

Every marketer or digital team needs a swipe file. This is how you find inspiration faster and model things that worked — then put your own creative spin on it. But most swipe files are static folders stored locally, making it hard to share and collaborate on.

The Old Swipe File

A swipe file is a collection of marketing ideas, copywriting examples, landing pages, sales pages, designs or screenshots that you’ve come across over the years. Typically this repository would be kept in a hard drive folder, random emails to yourself, or maybe a series of messages in a Slack channel. These references are often hard to dig up and refer back to, or may get lost in a meeting.

The New (Conversational) Swipe File

Now, you can create a much more shareable and commentable swipe file in Punchlist with just a few clicks. You and your teammates can point to different parts of the creative that you like, and have a conversation. This conversation gets stored in an evergreen place, rather than getting lost.

In this walkthrough, I’m going to show you how Punchlisters are using the app to create their own interactive swipe files, and how we’ve started using it ourselves in-house to gather & discuss ideas that the team loves.

How to Create a Swipe File in Punchlist

1. Login to your Punchlist Dashboard.

  • If you don’t already have a Punchlist account, you can create a free one here — no download, no install, and no credit card required.

2. Click the button New Project.

3. Name your Project (you can always rename and reorganize later).

4. Load your files or website URLs. Depending on whether your swipes are website pages or images / screenshots, toggle that screen to gather your assets.

  • If creating an image or screenshot based swipe file:
  • Click Images or PDFUpload Images → then choose your files, either from your computer’s hard drive, or search within your Google Drive, Dropbox or OneDrive.
  • If creating a website or landing page swipe file:
  • Click Website then enter one (1) of the URLs into the form field. (We’ll show you how to add the other URLs / pages next.)

5. Click the Create Project button.

6. Once the project loads, on the next screen click Continue to Project. This is also where you can invite collaborators and set your project permissions (who can view & comment), if you’d like to do that now. Otherwise go ahead and navigate to the project.

"Manage Pages" Button in the Punchlist App - for organizing your swipe file
Click “Pages” to Add, Delete, Rename & Reorder Pages in Your Swipe File

7. On the top right of your project navigation, click the Pages button. This popup will allow you to:

  • Add Pages
  • Reorder
  • Rename
  • Delete & Curate

8. You’ll see a button that says + Add Page. Use this to put additional URLs, images or screenshots in your swipe file. Then organize them as you see fit.

"Add Pages" Button in the Punchlist App - for organizing your swipe file of images
Manage Pages – Swipe File of Images
"Add Pages" Button in the Punchlist App - for organizing your swipe file of websites or landing page URLs
Manage Pages – Swipe File of Live Website URLs

Voila! Now you’ve got an interactive swipe file that can be shared with your team, commented on, and built upon with new pages and references. Share the project with your collaborators so they can comment directly on what they like and don’t like.

Bonus Tip: You can even take it a step further and organize your swipes into Folders within your Punchlist Dashboard. Maybe you’ve got one for live landing pages, and another for screenshots of app features & UX design components. It’s up to you!

Swipe & Share

Now we’re not saying to copy the work of others. But staring at the daunting blank page just isn’t as effective as having a jumping-off point full of inspiration.

Maintaining a healthy swipe file is a marketer’s secret weapon. It lets you move faster in generating ideas, and model successful work (with your own creative twist) to iterate and get results sooner.

Plus, with the convenience and shareability of Punchlist’s web app, you can swipe things quickly as you browse the internet, and gather ideas from your coworkers as well — without the switching costs of going to your desktop and sending a bunch of heavy files.

The best part? It becomes a conversation piece. And this collaboration leads to better work.

Give it a try and let us know on Twitter @Punchlist what kind of swipe file you’ve built.

Go forth and create!