Using a Trade Journal to Measure Progress
Using a trading journal to document your progress is essential to success of new traders, struggling traders, or those trying to find a new strategy. Even successful traders can benefit from tracking their trades with a trade journal to determine if there are specific trades they need to stop taking. When I started using a trade journal, I realized that I was too aggressive at the open and was able to correct that problem.
What is a Trade Journal?
A trade journal is a document of your trading behavior. This document could be a physical journal, a text or excel file on your computer, a google doc, or a some software. There are also many things your could track in a trade journal. Some people prefer to log just the trades and watch how their account grows. Additionally, including the pattern and/or strategy that was traded would also be a useful piece of information to track. Other useful data to track is physical/mental state, market conditions, stops and profit targets, screenshots of the charts for the day(s) of the trade. Basically, anything you want to document about your trading should be in a trade journal.
Trade Journal Benefits
Reviewing your trades is the most important part of becoming a successful trader. It doesn’t matter if you write things down with pen and paper, enter your trades into a spreadsheet, or create trade recaps with YouTube, consistently reviewing your trades will help you to understand your strengths and weaknesses.
Trade Journal Spreadsheet
If you want a free spreadsheet to track your trades, Ali Biggz from BigTradez.com has created a free tracker that you can download here. This tracker allows you to enter your trades, view statistics on how your trading has been going, and see how your progressing each month. Ali also has a free discord room that you can join and post a trade plan every morning that you can find in his discord room, on his website, or on Twitter @ABiggHD
Trade Journal Software
Online trade journals are the best way to track your trades. You can easily upload your trades, get instant stats, see really cool metrics and much more. Here is a list of the best online trade journals.
The Trade Archives
The Trade Archives is the newest trading journal on the market. It’s main focus is actually tracking setups that you don’t trade. Additionally, you can create notes, strategies, upload images, link to Tweets and YouTube, and for each trade/setup you can see an interactive intraday chart from TradingView.com