Many of us have heard of a Swipe File…

The place where we put emails that made us open, ads that made us click, calls that made us glow… all the good stuff, archived for our future reference.

These things are great to look at when the opportunity comes to work on a similar piece, to stand on the shoulders of giants and explore ideas for doing our best work.

…But what about the other things?

The emails we scoffed at, the ads that offended us, the calls we hung up on?

We stand to learn just as much from these undocumented pieces that represent that which has failed us.

Openings we should avoid. Subject lines we yawn at because we’ve seen it too many times before. Ads that made our toes curl.

Standing on the shoulders of giants is great, with a Swipe File. But so is make sure we don’t get squashed beneath the feet of monsters, with an UnSwipe File.

Avoiding documented mistakes is as useful as following documented success.