How to save 30 hours on your next project (download a free copy of my personal swipe file)

Bryan Harris —  Bryan Harris /

I grew up in the deep South. My parents were religious and as a result, so was I. We went to church every Sunday.

Once a year there was this traveling preacher who would come to our town and preach a series of lessons for a solid week

Normally, this would be torture to any 8 year old boy. A boy that age would much rather play in the mud and build forts instead of sitting in a pew.

But with this one traveling preacher, it was different. I looked forward to him coming.

Why?

He told incredible stories. He didn’t preach, he just talked like a normal person. He told stories like we were sitting around the living room.

It was natural.

I always wondered how he came up with all of these stories. It was fascinating to me. They were all riveting and fresh. Finally, one day I asked him.

He told me,

“I keep a file. Everytime I hear a story that grabs me, I put it in that file. Then anytime I need a story I go back to that file”

Years later I discovered that these files had a name. They are called swipe files.

And they can be used for anything, not just old preacher stories.

They make creating anything substantially easier.

For example: 

This past weekend I started updating the main landing page for this site. Luck for me, I keep a folder with every well designed landing page I come across.

That made my job easy. I found 3 pages I liked and use them as inspiration.

An hour later and one well manicured Keynote file later, I had this mockup:

keynote-mockup

Videofruit landing page mockup

Then I exported it out of Keynote as a PNG and sent it off to a coder. Now it’s live!

Without a swipe file, It would have taken me days or even  weeks to create the design it from scratch.

The Breakdown:

This landing page is a conglomeration of 3 other landing pages I’ve documented over the last 6 months.

Inspiration 1: Mixergy.com

I used Andrews overall page layout. Large text up top and an optin form in the middle.

mixergy

mixergy.com landing page

Inspiration 2: Buzsumo.com

I used their 3 column testimonial layout.

buzzsumo

buzzsumo.com landing page

Inspiration 3: okdork.com

I used Noahs testimonial formatting and “read the blog” button.

okdork

okdork.com landing page

The Tool that makes it easy

When I first started trying to document these pages I ran into a problem. My normal screen capture software would not take a snapshot of an entire web page. It would just capture what was visible at that moment.

The problem is most pages are longer than what you can see in your browser at any one moment. After testing every screen capture program I could find I have finally found one that does the trick.

It is called http://web-caputre.net.

And it’s free.

Here is it in action: (sorry for the crappy audio)

I keep a link to web-caputre.net in the toolbar of my browser so it’s easy to find anytime I need it.

If you want to start your own swipe file, I’d recommend doing the same.

FREE bonus for you

I’ve made my entire landing page swipe file available to you. Use it, copy it, do whatever.

It’s been a great asset to me.

Enter your email address here and I’ll send you a link to it.

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  • Stuart Ruthven

    Great tool, thanks for sharing Bryan

  • ddale248

    Bryan – the link to the tool is broken think it should be http://web-capture.net/

  • Thanks for sharing Bryan. I also like the new design. I use evernote web clipper for my swipe file and that’s been working well for me in case you want to check it out.

  • UK

    Dropbox says that the folder “Videofruit AE Downloads/Landing Page Swipe File” does not exist.

    So much for getting something “free” 🙁