Importance of Journaling
A key tool most successful traders use is a Trading Journal. The reason we keep journals is so we can easily go back and review past trades and figure out what went right, what went wrong, and attempt to figure out why. There are many different ways that you can keep your own trading journal. In this post, I’m going to show you how I started keeping my trading journal in excel, how you can do the same, and how you can even download this template for free!
Designing a Trading Journal
My trading journal template came about after reading Trading in the Zone by Mark Douglas. One of the suggestions in his book is to keep a trading journal of all of your operations in the market so that you may perform a post analysis of exactly what you did and why you did it. He stressed the importance of recording this information as soon as possible, preferably immediately. The reason is because the longer we wait to record our decisions, the more time we give ourselves to justify them. A good journal will capture your actions as close to raw as possible.
In designing my trading journal template, I opted to use Excel because it provided me with a large workspace where I can keep just about everything I wish to track, plan with, analyze, etc.. And the ability to use formulas to automate some of the processes and make it more efficient.
The images below provide detail on how to use the trading journal, the various fields within it, and how to make it work for you.
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CURRENT PORTFOLIO TAB
TRADING PLAN HISTORY TAB
NEEDS IMPROVEMENT TAB