COMPLETE ROOKIE asking, what goes into your TRADE JOURNAL?

I’m not sure whether to thank you or curse you lol. At first I was hesitant to jump in and learn something new, just for a trade journal. Than upon further research I found out what else Notion can do. So now I’m stuck in this black hole of learning Notion!! But in all honesty, thank you. Trade Journal is still in the process.

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So regarding my TJ, I’m going to start with ALL of my own suggestions and QuadPips. This will be A LOT of info for a TJ. And definitely not efficient. However it not being efficient does not mean it won’t be effective. It will get scaled down when I find what metrics work best for me. Trading is fluid which means my TJ will need to be fluid. This is just one of the steps in my process to build a strong foundation for my trading plan. Quadpip mentioned Notion as a possible app to start a TJ. This has turned into a black hole of time management but I am grateful nonetheless for the discovery of it. For those reading this I wish you a great day, afternoon and evening.


Hi, you can use also LibreOffice it is free and similar to Excel. Regards Greg

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Awesome. Another black hole for me!!! :joy: :smiley:
Appreciate it. I’ll look into it. I believe my short term goal will be to find the simplest for beginners to use. Also my two requisites will be if it’s free and shareable. That way, anybody coming across this thread will be able to plug and play.

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If you want to thank someone, that would be me. :innocent: If you want to curse someone that would be @Blackduck :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: since it was she who pointed me to Notion.

I’m in the same boat as you are. I think Notion is an awesome tool but I just haven’t found time to explore it as yet. But then, I’m not as dilligent in maintaining my journal as I used to be. In fact, I have not bothered to make entries for the past several trades that I took.

:grimacing: :grimacing: :grimacing:
If only I knew a laziness or complacency quote :thinking: :joy:

I do it the old fashioned way, a large, A4 size page a day diary and hand write each trade.
Just the basics first, ie. Entry, S/L, target, Reward/Risk. Buy/Sell, pair /instrument/symbol.
Profit/Loss., and any addition comments I want to make at the time.

I then make a print out of the screen, (A4 or A3) and mark on reasons for trade, ie tech analysis, any pattern, brief resistance/support points.
Sounds a lot but just takes a minute or 2 per trade and to me ,it’s way more interesting than EXCEL/Spreasheet data.

One thing I have learned in all this is you must treat it as a business, and be diligent, but that doesnt necessarily mean you have to write long essays. If you don’t take it seriously, then it becomes either a hobby or a game.

Give this a look. Don’t think it’s been mentioned.

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How do you analyze your performance over time if your journal is not in electronic format?

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I keep a running total of profit /loss at the end of the day and transfer the figure to the next day/page, but any trading platform will keep a record of your trades and details anyway, so your account balance is always available and serves as a reminder of your success and how you’re doing.
I think the real reason for my journal in the format I use is the hand written notes and visual copies of the trades. I find sitting and handwriting and thinking about it brings out the real essence of what you’re learning on the emotional/psychological aspect and also the technical analysis aspect, in that you can clearly see marked lines of resistance/support, trend lines, double tops or whatever the pattern may be, I’m sure you get my point.
The prints serve as a real quick reminder, good or bad of what happened.
A spreadsheet or electronic format I find does not do this.

However, you can always mark up the screen on the platform and it will stay there in the history as long as you keep the same platform.
You can also export detailed reports in a file format similar to EXCEL if you want to sit and look at figures of your trading history.

Ok. That’s fine if those are the questions you’re interested in. There is no right or wrong way to journal. It just depends on what you want to use the data for.

In my case I wanted to know things like:

  1. How does strategy 3 compare to strategy 4?
  2. Which pairs does strategy 2 work the best on?
  3. How many pips does strategy 1 yield on average?
  4. When did I first start using a particular strategy?
  5. Which pairs do I trade the most?
  6. Which pairs provide the best returns?
  7. What is my win rate on a particular pair?
    … and so on and so forth

So, I captured as much data in Excel as I could in order to be able ask these sort of questions and others that I hadn’t even thought of at the time I created my journal.

1 April , 2020 AUDCAD BASELINE below 20 ema
POWER PICTURE current price action below 200 ema in one hour time frame
TODAY TREND OVERVIEW bearish confirmed - 200 ema X 800 ema in 5 min
PATTERN / TREND one hour trendline breakout
SUPPORT & RESISTANCE 1 hour 20 sma x 50 ema
AT LEAST THREE REASONS FOR ENTRY: 4 hr bearish confirmed. one hour breakout,l , daily bearish trend.
ENTRY & EXIT & P/target sell at 86.137 stl 87.576 pt. 83.726
ENTRY at least 3 reasons
RESULT 16 euros profit BALANCE C/F 88 EUROS
POST ENTRY CRITICAL VIEW 1. bad money management. 2. exit early with fear due to weekend. 3. Premature entry.4. weekly range not considered

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i think you might be in the wrong place my friend.

How often are you comparing strategies? Is that a weekly thing, or maybe a bit further at monthly?

I think this is key. Consistency. It’s definitely not sexy, but it must be done.

To be honest, I try and read what price is doing in the moment regarding patterns, support and resistance, current trend/trading range etc and what’s happening to the left.
I’m disciplined about position size and trading a certain percentage of my account (generally between 1-2%, depending on where I want the stop loss placed, but it will never be greater than 2% and I always try to get it nearer the 1%).
As for strategies, I try not to get caught up in what people call specific strategies(people have different names for for different things anyway) although there is certain criteria which must be in place before I take a trade, but to answer your question about comparing things, I monitor or consider what I’m doing and how things are working out on an ongoing daily basis, but unless something is a drastic failure, I’ll only change things gradually and give whatever I’m doing at the time a chance to work, before I’ll call it good or bin it, if that all makes sense.
The thing with trading, as much as both patterns and certain Forex pairs seem to follow their own patterns to a certain extent and repeat behaviour, with individual variations, everyday is still different so I try to remain flexible and with an open mind. I think it’s an endless cycle of learning.
Not sure if this helps or not…?

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Oh QuadPip I was only trying to help. :joy: :joy: :stuck_out_tongue:

But you have got to admit it’s a lot of fun to create a journal that is all your own.



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Yes can you please share the spreadsheet when your done! That would be greatly appreciated. :pray:t3: Some of us are not as tech savvy…

Thank you

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It does help. Your input is valued, CraigMcD. Thank you. My guess is your getting questions because you’re more analog style notes seem to be missing some metrics and the efficiency of them.
My main question for this post wasn’t specific to style of journal but what metrics is everybody using. During the beginning of my trading I WILL NOT be efficient because I’m going to go overboard on notes. I will reduce them as time goes on because I will see what are not the most effective/valuable.
ALSO I was trying to get something to share easily. ALSO ALSO :smiley: poker (online) and fantasy sports has taught me the more metrics the better IMO (at least at the beginning). Digitally this is efficient/effective than analog.

  • KCD

I will kerene. I’m learning ANOTHER language basically, learning Notion and I DEFINITELY blame QuadPip for that :rofl:

But the basic excel/google sheets spread sheet will be shared. I’m trying to add a few other equations in there for myself as well. Once I get the basics and I’m happy with it (don’t want to share a faulty product), I’m sharing. FO SHO!! :joy:

Ok so here are the metrics, in no particular order, I will initially use. Not effecient but hopefully more effective for my learning curve. These are from a few sources so there might be some repeats/redundancy.

Entry Date/Time
Direction, long or short
Pair (USD/CHF)
Stop Loss
Target Price
Exit Date/Time
Exit Price
Screen Shot, before/during/after
What motivated Trade? Reasons for entry - Indicators, system, strategy used
How was trade managed? Good/Poor? Why? Thoughts for improvement
Was it successful/unseccessful? Why?
Write down assessments and evaluation before next trade
Specific Indicators used were effective/ineffective? Why?
Specifics on time frame/trends?
Weekly/Daily/Hourly (preceding time specific) highs/lows

A good portion of these will be in the screen shots and/or solved from spread sheet.

I’m starting with a high number of metrics because these helped expedite my poker/fantasy sports (previous/current) knowledge/profitability.

Now back to hacking away at Notion.

ALSO thank you to FFF for the excel link.

  • KCD