A good electronic trading diary ?

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Old Aug 25, 2009, 10:53am   #1
 
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A good electronic trading diary ?

Hi all,
I'm new here, I hope I chose the best forum to post this although I'm aware it's not about my own performance. I would like to know if you could recommend me a good electronic trading diary, which would:
- import my trades from my software (Metatrader for instance)
- allow me to add comments AND pictures of the charts (I use 2 pictures per trade in my journal). Capacity to alter the chart (writing, putting symbols) would be a plus but is not mandatory.

I tried Excel (sloooow process, and not possible to add pictures), I tried a hard paper journal (gasp, even worse), it's not efficient enough. I thought I could go with Forex Control Center, but the trading diary part is not reliable as of now, it mixes charts and comments and trades. My trading diary is a key component of my plan, I cannot afford to lose any bit of it. So if you know a solution, that would be great! TIA,

Tag
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Old Aug 25, 2009, 10:57am   #2
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you can add pictures in excel using the hyperlink button in the insert section
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Old Aug 25, 2009, 11:14am   #3
 
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Tagada started this thread Right you can, but it quickly becomes very messy to deal with, as I can put from 4 to 10 trades a day sometimes (not to mention the tendancy of Microsoft's products to act by themselves, formatting cells as they guess sometimes). Hyperlink, would that require to put the charts somewhere online on a free server, for a probably limited amount of time?

Well, actually I should've put it this way: I don't want to use Excel for this
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Old Aug 25, 2009, 11:23am   #4
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no, that isn't right you can hyperlink to another folder on your computer.
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Old Aug 25, 2009, 11:44am   #5
 
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Tagada started this thread I see that, didn't know, thanks. But still not very straightforward to deal with... well I guess there's no other option. Thanks anyway.

PS/ it's amazing that such a basic component of a trading plan is underlooked so much on every website -nothing personal, it's just a general remark! I mean, you find indicators for everything, money management advices (not as much), but when it comes to trading diaries, I can't find any -except the one, nonfunctional, mentionned above.

Last edited by Tagada; Aug 25, 2009 at 7:47pm. Reason: spelling
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Old Aug 25, 2009, 11:50am   #6
 
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Have you had a look at Trading Journal Spreadsheet Log: Stock - Forex - Futures - Options - CFD ?

Also check this out,

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Old Aug 25, 2009, 1:54pm   #7
 
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Tagada started this thread Thanks Hawk, looks very nice indeed! Only you can't add pictures (well I guess you could hyperlink but well), but that looks like a good option anyway!
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Old Aug 25, 2009, 5:10pm   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tagada View Post
Thanks Hawk, looks very nice indeed! Only you can't add pictures (well I guess you could hyperlink but well), but that looks like a good option anyway!
Hi Tagada,
Sorry I don't have a solution for you, just a couple of comments from my own experience. I am struggling with good record keeping practice. I have actually reduced
the number of demo trades I take in order to focus on this aspect.

I periodically switch from printed charts and records to excel sheets and graphics files.

Not terribly good for consistency but each has benefits.
With just soft copies of trades, I find that I'm less likely to casually browse or review past trades; everything gets buried on the hard drive.

Hard copy is good for review but you can't do the data analysis so easily.

My current system is to let metatrader do the analysis and take screen shots for the chart records, adding comments using MS Paint.

This is fine for up to 2-3 trades a day but if you're scalping on very short time frames then you may need to just record / review random samples.

I think you're to be applauded for raising this issue; good record keeping is at the very core of trading with discipline. Keeping a journal on here may help. Also try taking a look at Dbphoenix's posts on trading records / journals.

Best Regards,
Neil
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Old Aug 25, 2009, 6:05pm   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tagada View Post
Thanks Hawk, looks very nice indeed! Only you can't add pictures (well I guess you could hyperlink but well), but that looks like a good option anyway!

Well, I seem to remember you can add screenshots. But I think it's using hyperlink as you say.
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Old Aug 25, 2009, 8:40pm   #10
 
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You could use a blog on blogspot or any other good ones. It can't be used to calculate P&L but it can be an effective diary. You can write down your thoughts and reflect any progress setbacks etc, post screenshorts of trades, charts and so on. Then, if you want, you can keep the blog private, no one can see it but you.
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Old Aug 25, 2009, 10:16pm   #11
 
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Main problem with blogs is the threat of losing the data since it would be stored online.
Or inability to access data due to technical issues.
I write down on paper every thought i have on my trades (pros: easy and fast. cons: neither charts nor calculations, obviously)

would like to find a tool. Excel can be tedious.
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Old Aug 25, 2009, 10:39pm   #12
 
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Here are some more links. Just Google Trade journal software. Most of these are either free or around $30.


Trade Journal Software - Plan your trade and trade your plan, with Trade Journal Software.

Best free trading journal downloads. Trading Log/Journal, Account Status, Risk Reward system for the Active Trader. The Journal: For your life! For your work! For you!

Trade Journal Software - Free software downloads and software reviews - CNET Download.com

On Trading Journals - Trader Mike

Alternative create your own using Microsoft access or similar databases. They allow you to set up more user-friendly and customised front-ends, although they require a little more programming expertise.

Also consider the use of Snagit for screen capture of parts of screens and ability to annotate them.

Also consider video capture software and audio capture to save events as they happen

Charlton
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Old Aug 26, 2009, 8:33am   #13
 
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Tagada started this thread Thank you all for your comments and suggestions.

Indeed I thought about a blog, but although it's perfect when it comes to putting charts, comments and resolutions for the day after, it's not convenient as you mentionned for all the statistic stuff, whereas an Excel spreadsheet is somehow the opposite (a good call for statistics, but poorly designed to display charts and extensive comments).
Some say let's have both, but keeping a good diary is so time-consuming and unappealing at times, I think one should make it as easy as possible. Thus, the "all-in-one" software solution seems like the best one, but everything I found out there doesn't fit my all my needs.

A good trading diary should let you focus on analyzing your performance rather than wasting time figuring out how to fill in the informations, and you should be able to print it out in a way that makes it easy to read, so that, as mentionned, it wouldn't be buried on the hard drive.
All your comments, and the links you pointed out I read, made me think a bit further about what my ideal trading diary would be, in terms of functionalities. My goal is to have:
- all the infos stored on the computer in a way that would make it a click away from any kind of statistic I may need (all the basics we already know about, like W/L ratio, R management and so on)
- all my trades extensively commented, with one to two charts attached, and laid out in a way that I could print it out and keep a hard copy of my diary for later reading (say all the stats in the first pages, then trades in a ante-chronological order, with comments and infos of the trade on one page, charts on the other).

All this to say, I guess, that it looks like I should consider creaeting an Access db.
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Old Aug 26, 2009, 1:10pm   #14
 
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so what's wrong with microsoft word for a trading journal? it works for me.
especially if you're using metatrader which compiles data on drawdowns and average win for you already

Last edited by Shikamaroo; Aug 26, 2009 at 1:38pm.
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Old Aug 26, 2009, 2:04pm   #15
 
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Tagada started this thread Good for you if it works for you! For me this would lack A LOT of features I mentionned earlier in this thread.
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