Keeping a trading journal is a great way for Forex traders to track their progress and analyze their trades. There are many benefits to keeping a journal, including helping you identify your strengths and weaknesses as a trader, establishing good trading habits, and allowing you to reflect on your trades and make improvements in the future.
Whether you handwrite your journal or use an electronic version is a matter of personal preference. Some traders prefer to handwrite their journal because it helps them better retain the information and reflect on their thoughts. Others prefer using an electronic journal for its convenience and accessibility.
In terms of what to record in your trading journal, there are a few key items you should consider:
Trade details: This includes the currency pair, entry and exit points, stop loss and take profit levels, and the reason for entering the trade.
Emotions: Recording your emotions before, during, and after a trade can help you identify patterns in your behavior and make improvements.
Reflection: After you close a trade, take some time to reflect on what went well and what could have been done better. This can be helpful in avoiding similar mistakes in the future.
Market analysis: Record any market analysis or research that you used to inform your trade decisions.
By keeping a detailed and organized trading journal, you can gain valuable insights into your trading behavior and make improvements over time.
My first journal was a book! I prefer books to e-books, so it seemed like a logical choice for me.
At that time I was trading a lot, and I had trouble keeping up with all the trades. In the end I switched to journaling in a MS Word document. That too, became too time consuming for me. Now, I just have a excel spreadsheet.
If I need to look at my mistakes, my broker provides trading history. Also, I mark all my trades with different colored arrows.
@samewise how do you like it so far? Were you journaling before? What format were you using?
I journal by hand, my journal is simple and I also like to physically write down my results about live trades. I used to journal backtesting by hand as well but in the last 1-2 months I switched to google sheets because it’s quicker than hand. I might write down the results of a whole strategy on paper if I find it more convenient and easier to analyze but I input individual trades on the google sheet.
Date, time, if it was a win or a loss and I have the rest of the line to note if something was different or maybe something I think is worth noting. Usually there is not a lot to note there so the line stays empty and only date, time, win-loss is written down.
I keep both a hand written journal and an excel spreadsheet, the excel journal is for my trading stats and charts, while the hand written one is for my psychology and planning (like my normal life journal)
I actually just bought one to see what it was all about. I have my journal here that I write on. Entries, SL, outcome of win or loss. I’ll write about anytime I check-in or change a SL.
In the start I did a lot of revenge trading, but I think I’m better at that now, so that reflection like what @Mondeoman mentioned above.
Maybe I could put more market analysis in there, but I mainly trade technical and just look at the calendar and DXY to see what the dollar is doing.
Journaling is work!
This journal is pretty cool. There’s a weekly and monthly review for 3 months and then like 70 single pages for individual trades. there’s also a place to write out your trading plan, strategy for SL and TP, and specifics about entering and exiting a trade. Like what needs to be happening.
I’ll see if writing makes it any more easier or difficult than just keeping the “journal” I have now.
Anybody care to share their Google sheet or excel sheet? Always interest to see what others use. There’s a couple here already.
My document format wasn’t accepted; I had to screenshot it. This is what I used to use.
I would also put a picture of the trade.
A yellow arrow for where I entered, a pink arrow for where I should have entered, blue for where I’d like to enter but won’t take the trade because of doubt, and red for the trade that got stopped out.
I think it’s good for your system to be completely personalized. I have made up words for different candles. haha. I only use doji in my notes. I don’t call any candles a hammer or morning star. It’s only for me, so why bother trying to remember the TA names?
Cool, yea that looks pretty like standard stuff. I think with like a spreadsheet maybe you could even make check boxes that help you reason out why you entered a trade.
Like confirmed trend in daily, 4hr and 1 hr TFs. Or Elon Musk said so. Ha! Or bounce off zone or something like. That would be easier to read and identify trends in other trades later on and not having to read just a big paragraph of text you know.
Is that a TV picture?
Yea for sure. Do what works for you and makes life easy!
Coo man! How is the break even % calculated? I think I should get into a spreadsheet. Looking at these example and then my paper book, I’m wondering how lazy I will be to calculate the weekly and monthly stats.
If you input 0 on P/L it counts as a breakeven and it then calculates what % of trades are breakeven compared to win/loss %.
The google sheet I downloaded had one more version with a more detailed journal which calculates a bunch of stats for you, but I don’t use it since I don’t need so many details. The trades are not real and are for demonstration. The journal is free.
I see, hear, understand, and appreciate this business of journalling one’s trades. Screenshotting every trade and all the rest of it sounds nice but try to picture me doing this when I am doing up to 30 trades per day?
For the record I dont even think there is a way of doing a sensible backtest on the way I trade.
I have not been successful at trading forex except for 2 years ago when I had a small profit for the year. I started keeping a more in-depth analysis of all my trades. I print a Word document with why I got into a trade, comments on the trade development and how/why the trade closed, plus a screenshot print-out. I have only been doing this since January 1st, 2023, and so far, it has not helped. Before I was keeping track of trades, but not in a detailed manner. I have read where this is important to do so I am giving it a try.