Keeping a trading journal is essential if you want to progress as a day trader. You can’t improve what you don’t measure!
You can use our free trading journal to track Stocks, Futures, Options, Forex, and Crypto. In fact you can track all of them on the same spreadsheet!
Throughout my 20 years as a day trader, spreadsheets have been a key tool in my business. The benefit of them over a fancier 3rd party software is you can manipulate it however you need to.
Furthermore, as a new trader it’s important to keep your expenses down. Our trade journal provides you with all of the statistical calculations you’re going to need to properly analyze your trades.
The data inputs you track in our journal are the same general inputs you will need should you decide to transfer your trades to another journal down the road.
Free Trading Journal (Excel Download & Google Sheets)
You can download the Excel Trading Journal or access the online version (Google Sheets), by following these steps:
- If you’re not already a JT Insider, register here. It’s free.
- You will receive a welcome email titled: Welcome to JT Insider! [Insider Tools Link]. The email contains the link to the JT Insider Downloads page.
- Download the Excel file titled “Trade Journal” or use the online version via Google Sheets which is in the folder as well. It’s free to sign up for a Google Account if you don’t have one already.
- See instructions on how to use the trading journal below.
Free Trading Journal (Instructions)
The journal is very easy to use once you understand a few of the definitions and features. These inputs are optional depending on what you want to track.
1. Data Definitions
The following data inputs are located on the Journal Tab.
MULTIPLIER (Column B)
The Multiplier is specific to the instrument you’re trading and is used by the spreadsheet to calculate your P&L.
Use the proper value below depending on the instrument you’re trading.
This will be the value of a 1 point move on 1 contract.
eMini S&P 500: $50
eMicro S&P 500: $5
eMini Nasdaq 100: $20
eMicro Nasdaq 100: $2
The value will always be 1.
Face Value of the Contract
EURUSD Standard Lot: $100,000
EURUSD Mini Lot: $10,000
EURUSD Micro Lot: $1,000
Note: You can double check you’re using the correct multiplier by confirming your P&L is accurate.
High Price & Low Price (Columns M&N)
The High Price and Low Price inputs are use for calculating MFE & MAE.
High Price = The highest price reached while you were in the position.
Low Price = The lowest price reached while you were in the position.
Maximum Favorable Excursion (MFE) marks the highest price during a long trade and the lowest price during a short trade.
The MFE measurement can be used to analyze the efficiency of your exits.
You potentially can improve your strategy by analyzing MFE and determining if you should be more or less conservative with your take profit.
Remember that anytime you make and adjustment to a strategy it’s a give take relationship. If you tighten your take profits your win rate will go up but your expectancy is going to drop. So make sure to evaluate both sides.
Maximum Adverse Excursion (MAE) marks the lowest price during a long trade and the highest price during a short trade.
The MAE measurement can be used to analyze the efficiency of your stop placement.
Once again you can looking to improve your strategy by analyzing MAE to determine if you should be more or less conservative with your stops.
If for some reason you’re not interested in tracking MFE/MAE, you can simply hide columns M&N.
Simply highlight the columns and right click>Hide columns, as seen below.
2. Changing Strategy Names
To change the strategy names to reflect the strategies you trade you will need to unhide the formulas. Head over to Column P and click on the black arrow in the upper right of the cell.
This will unlock all of the formulas as seen below. Now you can change the names of the strategies by editing the labels in column Q.
Once you’re done I would hide these columns again so you don’t accidentally change a formula. Simply highlight the columns and right click>Hide columns, as seen below.
3. Linking Trade Photos
I find it beneficial to link the trade photos to the journal so they’re easily accessible.
To do this start by creating a folder in Google Drive where you will store your photos.
After storing your trade photos, right click on the photo and choose get link and then copy the link as seen below.
Next head back to your journal and highlight the corresponding trade photo number and hit the insert link button as seen below.
4. Editing Formulas
You are free to edit any formulas that you wish but you may end up breaking a formula in the spreadsheet if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you accidentally screw something up you can always just download or duplicate the original journal again.
There are two additional hidden sheets you will have to unhide by going to View>Hidden Sheets.
Tracking your trades in a trading journal will allow you to analyze and improve your performance.
I’ve been trading a very long time and I still prefer a traditional spreadsheet journal over other software or third party journals. You’re always going to have different needs, and the ability to manipulate the raw data how you want is very beneficial.
If you’re not familiar with Excel or Google Sheets, a quick google search will get you the answer your seeking. They are extremely well documented.
I hope you enjoy our free trading journal! If you have a question or a request for the spreadsheets please leave a comment below.