What programs are you using to compile your JOURNAL ??

Discussion in 'Trading Software' started by Detonator, Apr 20, 2005.

  1. Hello Everyone,

    I'm in the process of starting my journal and want some feedback on any methods or programs you guys(or gals) are using to compile the journal in digital format.

    So far I'm saving my charts with drawn entry and exit points and small footnotes on what I see, but I would like to take this a step further and maybe attach all my daily charts and analysis under one program.

    The only one that comes to mind is using WORD but maybe someone knows of a better alternative for a journal format.

    Thanks ahead . . .
  2. Keeping any sort of journal is 99% of the job done. I think they are essential.

    I try to keep it simple and use an Excel spreadsheet.

    For what it is worth, here are my column headings:

    Trade Entry Date
    Actual Size
    Actual Total Comm
    Actual Entry Stop
    Actual Entry Fill
    Entry Slippage
    Actual Trade Exit Date
    Actual Exit Stop/Limit
    Actual Exit Fill
    Exit Slippage
    Actual Gross P&L
    Actual Net P&L
    Cumulative Actual Net P&L
    Cumulative Actual Net P&L/Contract
    Strategy Trade Exit Date
    Strategy Size
    Strategy Comm
    Strategy Entry Price
    Strategy Exit Price
    Strategy Gross P&L
    Strategy Net P&L
    Cumulative Strategy Net P&L
    Variance due to Slippage
    Variance due to Trading
    Actual vs. Strategy net net
    Analysis - what happened - what was I thinking.

    I make mental notes in the last column to prod my memory on review. I find graphing Cumulative Actual Ne P&L against Cumulative Strategy Net P&L the most helpful overall - I try to beat my strategy. This gets me away from looking at my daily dollar deltas.

    I trade mostly pit so maybe some of the slippage measurements won't be of interest but I find that over a sufficient number of trades in each product I can adjust my entries to compenate for skid and thereby meet or beat my system entries.

    Hope this helps,

  3. You should be able to copy and paste directly from your daily trade execution info from your broker system into either a word processor or database program.

    Next...add your own custom categories like strategy used for each trade, analysis and performance ranking of your ability to stick to the trading plan.

    Extra stuff like key economic report info or any other key schedule market event along with charts of your trades at the time of the trade signal, at the time you closed your position and another chart of the entire trading day can be very helpful in review at a later day.

    Your journal should be no more than 45min worth of work per trading day after your done trading.

    However, it may take longer in the beginning until you become faster in completing it.

    I'm usually done trading myself around 3:30pm est so my journal is usually completed for the day by 4:15pm est.

    However, when I first started doing a personal digital journal...it was taking about 1 hour and 15 mins to do.

    Now...its down to about 35 - 45mins worth of work.

    I also keep a daily live-recording of my trading session via Camtasia.


    Your going to need a very large hard-drive and dvd recorder to do it right and keep everything neatly organized.

    In fact, I highly recommend all traders do live-recordings because it provides excellent feedback into how they interact with the markets.

  4. Thanks for the quick replies and great feedback,

    Those are some good tips on saving my daily activity,

    My next question becomes how can I wrap up my ANALYSIS on a format where I PASTE all my charts and write a few lines on what I saw/see for each day. The only one that comes to mind is WORD but that would mean doing a new file for each day or week.

    Maybe what I'm asking for does not exist, some sort of electronic journal program where I can easily flip thorugh each day and look back at my analysis without opening 10 different files.

    Anyone. . . ?
  5. NihabaAshi

    Just took a look at the Camtasia program, seems like a full and powerful application.

    How do you use it to keep your journal ? Do you record sound/video instead of using text ?
  6. Currently they are seperat...

    * Live-recording is video of what occurred on my monitors along with audio (me talking into my microphone).

    The disadvantage is that I sometimes forget to turn off my mic when the spouse or toddler comes into the room :cool:

    * My text journal is the stuff I mentioned in the prior post via Microsoft Office.

    I know someone that has integrated Camtasia with Office but I have yet to explore that.

    Would be nice to go into one program and just click on something to bring up any journal data I've recorded.

    There's a few...I can't remember their names but Google search may be able to find them.

    Also, I remember someone a few years ago posting here at ET about one such program. I believe he was the developer of the program.

  7. BCE


    How big are the Camtasia files at the end of the day?
  8. Neodude


    Would anyone be interested in an MS Access based Journal, in which you can attach images and commentary?

    I'm think of building one for myself and willing to share it.
  9. It depends on the number of monitors and audio...

    Usually for me its about 500mb.

    Reason why I always copy each week worth of recording onto a DVD for easy filing, storage and access (portable).

    It's not hard...just click the record button when you start your trading day and then click the stop button when your done trading for the day.

    Make sure you have a strong enough computer...I've heard a few that it slowed down their system.

  10. BCE


    Thx. I had thought of doing this a while back but never tried it. Seemed like a very good idea.
    The resourses issue might be a problem while running MetaStock Pro, also a system hog.
    Do you get much of a chance to review the tapes? Seems like they'd need to be edited somehow. Can you cut parts out and paste them together somewhere else? Kind of a greatest hits, instant replay. :)
    #10     Apr 20, 2005