Is there a Need for Starting a Writing Trading Diary

Best Binary Options Brokers 2020:
  • Binarium
    Binarium

    Best Binary Options Broker 2020!
    Perfect For Beginners!
    Free Demo Account!
    Free Trading Education!
    Get Your Sign-Up Bonus Now!

  • Binomo
    Binomo

    Good Choice For Experienced Traders! 2nd place in the ranking!

How to Keep a Trading Journal the Easy Way

Robert Deutschman/Getty Images

Trading journals help traders track their trades and thoughts throughout the day. It’s a great tool because a thorough journal includes details beyond what you can see on your brokerage statement. It includes what market conditions were like and if you were distracted or made mistakes. It’s also where you can record strategy ideas which may arise as you trade throughout the day.

All traders should keep a trading journal, but day traders don’t have time to be spilling their guts on paper all day. Keeping a trading journal while trading — when the action is happening — actually could be counter-productive and lead to missed trades.

There’s an easy solution, though, that involves absolutely no handwriting and gives you a historical record of the exact market conditions you were facing on a particular day.

The Easy Way

A picture tells a thousand words, right? Perfect, let’s use a picture. Instead of writing about market conditions, mistakes, what went well, and new strategy ideas, take a screenshot of the trading day with some typed annotations on it.

Most traders mark up their charts throughout the day, drawing lines and marking indicator levels which help determine the trend and find possible reversal/target points. The chart shows the exact market conditions being traded. Intraday analyses can show your perception of the market that day — something words in a trading journal never could describe as well.

A picture is an easy way to keep a trading journal, but you must include certain things to make it useful when you look back at it for review.

How to Mark Your Charts

These basic guidelines for marking up your charts will make them useful for future reference.

  • Include an hour or two of price action before you begin trading, if applicable. This provides a context for what was happening when you started trading. You don’t need to include price action from the prior day. Doing this can help you better assess time frames to watch while trading.
  • Mark your start time with a vertical line or text note on the chart. It lets you know if you started trading early or late, and/or why you may have missed some trade signals earlier in the day.
  • Write down the times of major economic events you will be stepping aside for. When that time comes around, make a note again that you weren’t trading because of news.
  • Make text notes throughout the day about tendencies and market conditions you notice. If you make an error, make a note of it. If you miss a trade, make a note of it.
  • Keep as many trendlines and drawings on your chart as possible, assuming they don’t distract you. They help to show your future self how you were seeing the market in real time at any given moment.
  • Mark when you stop trading for the day with a vertical line or text note.
  • Type how many trades you made, how many winners, the total profit for winning trades, how many losers, the total loss for losing trades, and the net result. Avoid using dollars, which fluctuate based on position size. Instead, use pips for forex, cents for stocks, or ticks/points for futures. For example, if trading the ES Futures contract, instead of writing “4 winners, $400; 4 losers, $200 = net +$200,” write “4 winners, 8 points; 4 losers, 4 points = net +4 points.”

At the end of the trading day take a screenshot of your chart and paste it into a photo editor. It should include all the information above. If you can’t see everything on one chart, take two or three shots and save them separately.

Save each day with the date as its file name, and keep them in trading folder saved to an easily accessible location on your computer or in the cloud. Create subfolders for each year and month to make the files more easily searchable.

Best Binary Options Brokers 2020:
  • Binarium
    Binarium

    Best Binary Options Broker 2020!
    Perfect For Beginners!
    Free Demo Account!
    Free Trading Education!
    Get Your Sign-Up Bonus Now!

  • Binomo
    Binomo

    Good Choice For Experienced Traders! 2nd place in the ranking!

Reviewing Your Journal

At the end of each week and month, go back and see what you did, notice common problems, and spot your strengths. These observations can help you exploit your strengths and highlight the areas you need to work on.

Taking screenshots is more effective at capturing information than you could by just writing in a journal. Plus, if you do want to write stuff down, you can do so right on your charts, or keep a written trading journal as well. Be diligent in this routine, so that you have every trade you make recorded.

A Trading Diary Or A Trading Journal? What Is The Difference And What Is Better For You?

A Trading Diary Or A Trading Journal? What Is The Difference And What Is Better For You?

A Trading Diary Or A Trading Journal? What Is The Difference And What Is Better For You?

When it comes to journaling and recording trading performance, there are two types of formats a trader can choose from. Both have their pros and cons and in this article, we want to help you understand the differences so that you can find what is best for you.

#1 A written journal – a.k.a. The Diary

Most traders don’t keep a real journal, but what they have is a diary. Traders with a trading diary mostly use Word, Evernote or just a physical notepad to write down thoughts, feelings or ideas about their trades.

In its essence, the idea of a diary journal is good but the execution is usually less than optimal and there are no benefits from keeping a written journal if the notes just disappear in your drawer and you never look at the again.

In an article, published on Forbes.com, Dr. Brett Steenbarger wrote the following about trading journals:

“Medical patients report a decrease in their symptoms when they write about their stresses–and especially when their writing enables them to take a fresh perspective on those challenges. […]

Alternatively, when I have directed managers to keep solution-focused journals, describing what they did well, how they did things well, and how they could learn from their successes, the managers were: a) more likely to sustain journaling and b) more likely to find writing to be empowering and helpful.”

These findings imply that a written trading diary can help you deal with stress, emotional pain and other psychological problems more effectively.

If you want to make the diary journal work, then we recommend that you keep the notes about your trades short and precise – avoid lengthy texts because the likelihood that you’ll ever read them again is close to zero. Instead, write down bullet points with the most important lessons and things you want to remember. This makes for an easy and effective review process. Keep the list next to you when you’re trading where it can act as a daily reminder.

#2 The trading journal

This type of trading journal is an analytical journal which analyzes the real trading data and the trading performance – such as entries, exits, drawdowns, strategies, setups, quality of trades, trade management, discipline, risk, and all other aspects of a trader’s performance. It then provides practical tips on how to improve trading performance or find performance leaks.

Traders often (mis)believe that an Excel spreadsheet is a good platform for such an analytical trading journal. But unless you are well educated in performance analysis and statistics, self-made journals are nothing but data graveyards and traders quickly abandon their journaling practice because it’s boring and they don’t get any value out of it; almost every trader has started some kind of journaling routine before but quickly gave up after a few weeks.

A real analytical trading journal, such as Edgewonk, analyzes relationships between all performance metrics, it puts the data into meaningful context and then puts out practical tips. Edgewonk even goes one step further and with the customization opportunities and the ability to track emotional and process-oriented data points, the trader receives insights into his trading and practical tips that he can start using right away in his trading.

Here are the most important points that a real trading journal should fulfill:

  • Customization and personalization

A trading journal must grow with a trader and a trading journal is something personal. Edgewonk offers countless personalization features so that you can create a completely individual journal, based on your needs. Whether you are a new trader who is just starting out, or you have been trading for decades, Edgewonk has countless features built-in that will help you in your current state.

  • Practical tips

After you have entered your trading data, the journal must show you what is going well, where you have problems and how to correct those. In Edgewonk, you get tips around trade management, you can evaluate your level of discipline and it provides you with insights into every part of your trading (order placement, risk management, position sizing, alternative trading approaches and future performance, just to name a few).

  • Effective review

The problem of diary journals or self-made spreadsheets is that they are input-focused and do not provide actionable tips. Edgewonk is like a real personal mentor and you can use the journal during your preparation, your post-trading analysis or for weekly/monthly review. All data points are meaningful and you receive practical tips about your trading that you can implement right away.

How to keep a journal the right way

We might be a bit biased here, but we built Edgewonk for a reason and thousands of traders chose Edgewonk as their go-to journal because it’s the one stop shop for everything journal related.

The best thing about Edgewonk is that you can make it as simple or as complex as you want. If you’re starting out, focus on just the basics and let Edgewonk help you develop discipline. Once you progress and mature as a trader, you can use the other features to work on other aspects of your trading.

If you want to establish a journal routine but don’t know where to start, check out our trader development course where you get the Edgewonk journal and a step by step video guide on how to improve your trading, your routine and performance step by step.

How to Start a Diary

This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Together, they cited information from 16 references. wikiHow’s Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article meets our high standards.

wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has over 355,197 views, and 89% of readers who voted found it helpful. It also received 14 testimonials from readers, earning it our reader-approved status. Learn more.

Keeping a personal diary can help you work out your feelings, keep track of the good things in your life, and just get you to write more. Buying diary supplies that you like and will use, setting a writing schedule that helps you commit to writing every day, and deciding what to write can all help you get started on a new diary.

Best Binary Options Brokers 2020:
  • Binarium
    Binarium

    Best Binary Options Broker 2020!
    Perfect For Beginners!
    Free Demo Account!
    Free Trading Education!
    Get Your Sign-Up Bonus Now!

  • Binomo
    Binomo

    Good Choice For Experienced Traders! 2nd place in the ranking!

Like this post? Please share to your friends:
Guide How To Become Binary Options Trader
Leave a Reply

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: