Your Free Trading Journal Template
Enhance your trading success with TradeZella's free trading journal template. Track trades, analyze performance, and improve your strategy to improve success.
Author - TradeZella Team
Use our trading journal template to take your trading to the next level. Whether you’re just starting out, or simply want to take a more organized approach, a trade journal is absolutely essential.
You’re maybe wondering “is a trading journal worth it?” We think the answer is an obvious yes.
But, if you’re not quite ready to invest in trade journal software quite yet, this free trading journal spreadsheet should give you an idea of how journaling can help you to up-level your trading game.
How can a trade journal template improve your performance?
We go into more depth about what a trading journal is and the benefits of using one elsewhere on the blog.
But, to quickly summarize, using a trade journal template can help you to:
- Spot helpful and unhelpful behavior patterns
- Master your emotions
- Improve your discipline
- Find your edge
- Calculate key metrics
- Understand position sizing
Why download a stock trade journal template?
You can journal your trades in lots of ways, from basic pen and paper to full-service software that gives you in-depth insights. But, for beginner traders, the best option is to go for a free trading journal spreadsheet. Here’s why:
Why spend time building out a journal from scratch, when you can download one we made earlier?
You don’t need to learn complicated formulas to calculate key metrics like your R-multiple and P/L. That’s all set up for you, so you can just add your data and see how you’re performing.
Why reinvent the wheel? Our free trading journal template is designed by experienced traders who know what metrics you should be tracking.
It’s a great intro to tracking.
A simple spreadsheet is easy to fill in and can give you a taste for journaling before you move on to more in-depth software.
Download your free trade journal template to get started.
What metrics does our free trade journal spreadsheet track?
In building our free template, we’ve taken our own advice about building and using a trading journal.
It includes all of the basic fields, neatly split into sections.
The first three columns are for basic information. This is the date that you made the trade, the symbol of what you traded (eg AAPL for Apple or AMZN for Amazon) and whether it was long, short, or options (L/S/O).
The next section covers your entry – when you started the trade. In this section you can record the price of the stock when you entered, the time you entered the trade and position size -- aka the number of shares you bought. There’s also space here to record your stop loss.
Next, we have information about exit. Just like entry, this is where we track the price at closing, as well as the time and date that you closed.
There’s also a small section for fees, where you can enter the commission you paid.
The next sections are already set up with formulas, so they’ll populate automatically once you enter the other data. These metrics are really important, as they give you an overview of your performance.
Firstly, we have P/L – your actual profit or loss, minus any commission. The next field tells you whether this trade can be considered a winner or a loser.
The initial section calculates how much you invested in the trade by multiplying the entry price by your position sizing, and the risk column shows how much you risked.
The final number – R-multiple – is super important. This shows your actual P/L divided by your initial risk. So a 10-R multiple would be a profit of ten times the initial risk.
This is the number you really want to look at to see if you’re successful, as the bottom line doesn’t tell the whole story.
There are two final, qualitative fields for notes and lessons. This lets you record any stray observations that don’t fit neatly into the numbers boxes.
Don’t ignore these sections.
Reflecting on emotions, strategy and the state of the market here can help you to notice how they affect your performance in the future.
How to use our stock trade journal template
It’s really easy to get started:
- Follow this link to our free trade journal template, and sign into Google Drive if you aren’t already
- Go to ‘File’ and ‘Make a copy’ to save your own, editable, copy to your personal drive. Or, if you’d rather keep it on your computer rather than the cloud, go to ‘File’ and ‘Download’ as an Excel or OpenDocument File.
- Use the tabs at the bottom to navigate the journal. On tab 2 you’ll find a ‘Manual’, explaining some of the terms we use throughout the journal. Tab 3 is the ‘Overview’, which will show you a summary of your performance once you start inputting data.
- Every time you start a trade, navigate to the ‘Trade Log’ tab and enter the data. At the beginning of a trade you’ll need to focus on the basic information (date, symbol, L/S/O) as well as the details of entry (price, time, position size and stop loss).
- During your trade, come back to the page and add any notes to column Q. You can use this to mention any strategies you’re using, market observations, or just how you’re feeling that day.
- Once your trade finishes, come back and fill in exit details (price, time and date) as well as commission.
- The P/L, Win/Loss and R-Multiple fields will populate automatically, based on your data. Take some time to reflect on these, and then fill in column R with any lessons you’ve learned from the trade that could help you going forward.
Need more in-depth tracking? Try TradeZella!
Our free template has all the basic data you need to get started, but when you want to take your journaling to the next level it’s worth trying software like TradeZella.
We have some super cool features that you just don’t get in a simple spreadsheet.
For example, our powerful dashboard helps you to stay on top of your performance.
You can replay your trades to identify room for improvement, build custom game plans and see how they’re performing, as well as using advanced trade tracking to dig into the metrics that matter.
Want to take your journaling to the next level? Sign up for TradeZella today.