How to keep a trading journal to hone your skills as a trader. 3 Great benefits of having a diary

Today we will talk about how to keep a trading journal. To know the secret to success, each trader desires the answers. Every successful trader knows that there is no special trick or secret to trading.

A trading journal is a valuable resource that assists you in getting better at trading. The facts of trade are recorded in the Trade History, which effectively serves as a diary of that transaction.

While market conditions, size of the trade, expiration time, prices, whether or not you were successful, and your emotions are all fair game, make sure you keep your copy personal and sincere. Your journal entries must be personal and tailored to fit your trading style.

Keeping a journal at first seems like a time-consuming and tedious task. Whether or not you agree with this statement, recording your trades helps teach consistency and discipline, both of which have the potential to benefit you in the long run. Let’s have a closer look at the benefits of a trading journal.

Key Takeaways🔑

A trading journal is a valuable tool to improve trading performance and gain insights into trading habits.
Keeping a journal helps traders identify trends, patterns, and areas for improvement in their trading strategies.
Using a digital spreadsheet, such as MS Excel, OpenOffice Calc, or Google Sheets, is an efficient way to maintain a trading journal.

3 Great benefits of having a diary

Determine emerging trends and patterns

Notes are effective when it comes to assessing which trading strategies are effective, and which strategies need to be revised. Keep notes on the charts, patterns, and events that influence your trading.

How to keep a trading journalYou will come to notice the mistakes that are costing you money with time. For example, you may exit a trade too early, perhaps you’ve incorrectly configured stops and limits, or you may have succumbed to a false signal. If you write things down, you’ll avoid making the same mistakes again.

If you’re planning on trading, then you should keep a trading journal.

Tighten up your trading methods

A better understanding of strengths and weaknesses comes from keeping a detailed trade record. The act of jotting down how you feel is a good idea because it allows you to determine whether you are making decisions that are driven by your emotions and negatively impact your craft.

analysis of past resultsA trading journal serves as a useful tool for you to better understand your strengths and areas of growth as a trader.

Use a trading journal to analyze past trading activity and develop future trading strategies.

Keep track of your progress

Increasing your trading experience increases the difficulty of keeping perspective on your progress. To remember what you want to accomplish, writing down your goals helps.

When you look back on where you started and see how far you’ve come, that inspires you. Trading journals keep you apprised of your growth as a trader, which gives you the self-assurance you need to be successful.

traders workplaceThere are numerous benefits to keeping a trading journal, but that isn’t even close to telling the full story. The burden of writing journal entries does not have to be onerous.

Pros and Cons📊


  • 📈 Helps identify profitable trading strategies and areas for improvement
  • 🧠 Enhances self-awareness and emotional control in trading decisions
  • 📚 Provides a record of trading history for future analysis and learning


  • ⏰ Can be time-consuming to maintain consistently
  • 📝 Requires discipline to record trades and emotions accurately
  • 🔄 May not provide immediate results or improvements

Comparison: Paper Trading Journal vs. Digital Trading Journal📝

Paper Trading Journal Digital Trading Journal
Traditional and tangible method Efficient and easily accessible
Limited in scope for calculations and analysis Advanced calculations and analysis possible
Harder to search and organize entries Easy search and organization of entries
Not easily shareable or editable Easily shareable and editable with others

How to keep a trading journal

What should a trading journal include?

The basis of the trading log is, of course, data on executed transactions. These are easily transcribed directly from the transaction history on the IQ Option platform. But this alone is not enough. I will list below some key elements. Not all of them need to be included in your journal, but they are all worth considering.

  • Screenshot of a chart with a transaction.
  • Reasons for taking a position.
  • The general trend before opening the trade.
  • How the open position was managed (e.g., whether the stop loss was moved).
  • How you felt about the decision to open the trade.

What is the best trading journal?

The above-mentioned items can be recorded in a notebook and a paper trading journal can be kept. It is much more convenient, in our opinion, to use a spreadsheet such as MS Excel, OpenOffice Calc or the popular Google Sheets for this purpose. It can be your trading journal software. The tabular form of the spreadsheet allows you to easily separate the necessary columns. In addition, calculation functions will allow you to generate trading account statistics at a later time. So we can say that it is such an automated trading journal. This also helps you evolve as a trader and saves you a lot of time.

You already know how to keep a trading journal and realize why you should do it. You can create a platform for trading in any shape or form, so long as you do not neglect the key details that are crucial to your trading strategy. Are you feeling inspired? The best time to start keeping a trading journal is now; use this to keep track of everything you do.

What do you think is most important in a trading journal? Tell us about it in a comment below the article.

We wish you successful trading!

Q&A: Trading Journal Essentials❓

  • Q: What elements should a trading journal include?
  • A: A trading journal should include information on executed transactions, screenshots of charts, reasons for taking a position, the general trend before opening the trade, how the position was managed, and how you felt about the decision to open the trade.
  • Q: How does a trading journal help improve trading performance?
  • A: A trading journal helps traders identify trends, patterns, and areas for improvement in their trading strategies. It also enhances self-awareness and emotional control in trading decisions.
  • Q: What are the benefits of using a digital trading journal over a paper trading journal?
  • A: A digital trading journal is more efficient, easily accessible, allows for advanced calculations and analysis, and offers easy search and organization of entries. It is also easily shareable and editable with others.
  • Q: How often should traders update their trading journal?
  • A: Traders should update their trading journal consistently, ideally after each trade or at the end of each trading day to maintain an accurate and up-to-date record of their trading activities.
  • Q: How can traders use their trading journal to develop future trading strategies?
  • A: Traders can analyze their past trading activities, identify patterns and trends, learn from their mistakes, and refine their trading strategies based on the insights gained from their trading journal.


The financial products offered by the company carry a high level of risk and can result in the loss of all your funds. You should never invest money that you cannot afford to lose.
Kindly note that this article does not provide any investment advice. The information presented regarding past events or potential future developments is solely an opinion and cannot be guaranteed as factual, including the provided examples. We caution readers accordingly.

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Niels Hammer

Trading and investing are lifelong pursuits for me, and I will most likely never stop learning about them. I started trading with IQ Option in 2014 and have been with them ever since. And I've seen the platform mature. Nowadays, I'm very interested in cryptocurrency and am attempting to learn and invest my time and money in it. On the other hand, I try to help you guys as much as I can with this blog. Happy trading!

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