Keeping a trading journal is a good way to track your trades and improve your profitability over time. With a trading journal, you can identify patterns of success in your trading and draw lessons from your mistakes to avoid repeating them in the future.
In this guide, we’ll explain why you need a trading journal and highlight the six best trading journals for every type of trader.
What Is a Trading Journal?
A trading journal is essentially a diary of every trade you make. It should include your entry and exit points for every trade, as well as notes on your trading strategy, what you were thinking going into and exiting a trade, and more. Including as many details as possible about your trading rationale and mindset will make your trading journal more useful.
You can keep your trading journal on paper, but most traders choose to keep a digital journal. Online trading journal software can import your trade data automatically, allowing you to more quickly jot down notes and get back to trading.
Why You Should Use a Trading Journal
Using a trading journal is one of the best ways to improve your consistency and profitability as a trader.
Without a trading journal, it’s hard to know what’s working and what’s not. If you adjust your strategy, you can’t easily compare it to how you performed before the change.
By keeping meticulous notes on your trades, you can see which of your trading strategies is most successful, which setups consistently yield profits, and even what times of day you typically trade best.
Over time, you can use a trading journal to identify your best and worst-performing strategies and adjust your trading accordingly. You can also use a trading journal to measure the impacts of these adjustments, ensuring that any changes you make actually lead to measurable improvements in your profitability.
The 6 Best Trading Journals
While you can keep a trading journal manually, there are plenty of software platforms that automate the journaling process and make it easier to analyze patterns in your trading. Let’s take a closer look at the six best trading journal platforms for 2022.
1. TraderVue – Best Overall Trading Journal
TraderVue is a comprehensive trading journal that supports stock, options, futures, and forex traders. TraderVue can import trading data automatically from most major brokerages. You can tag each trade based on setup, strategy, or any custom labels you want to create. When analyzing trades, you can filter based on these tags or based on ticker symbols, trade duration, date range, and more.
TraderVue offers a wide range of reports to help you analyze your trading performance over time. In addition to basic profit and loss charts, you can measure your liquidity and risk-adjusted performance. You can also compare your performance across individual date ranges or ticker symbols.
Another benefit to TraderVue is that it has a built-in community. So, you can share your trade notes and learn from others.
TraderVue offers a free plan that lets you add up to 30 trades per month and includes limited customization and analysis options. Paid plans start at $29 per month for unlimited trade entries.
Check out our full TraderVue review for more details.
2. TraderSync – Most Feature-rich Trading Journal
TraderSync is a modern trading journal platform with a lot to offer. This journal software enables you to display entry and exit points and stop loss and profit target levels right on your charts for every trade. You can also add screenshots from your trading platform and take notes on the go with mobile apps for iOS and Android devices. TraderSync also lets you create custom tags to organize your trades by strategy, theme, or however else you want.
TraderSync offers exceptional analysis tools, with 10 built-in report types and many ways to filter your trade data. Filters include date range, ticker, performance, strategy, and more. The platform even uses artificial intelligence to analyze your trade data and suggest strategies, trading hours, or asset classes that work best for you.
TraderSync’s trade simulator is a huge differentiating factor for this platform. You can simulate what your overall trading performance might look like if you were to change specific aspects of your strategy or focus only on specific setups. This is a really effective way to make adjustments to your trading to increase your profitability.
TraderSync starts at $29.95 per month. You can try out the platform free for seven days.
Check out our full TraderSync review for more details.
3. Chartlog – Best Charting Tools
Chartlog is unique among trading journals in that the platform has advanced charting tools from TradingView built-in. This enables the platform to automatically tag trades and setups based on strategies and indicators available within TradingView. For traders who already use TradingView as their primary charting platform, this is a significant advantage.
Chartlog can import data automatically from most major brokerages and enables you to take notes on any of your trades. It also offers plenty of ways to filter and analyze your trade data, including risk-adjusted performance reports. Just note that you need a top-tier Pro subscription to analyze trades by date range, duration, asset type, or tag combinations.
Chartlog includes some features beyond just journaling to help you find your trading edge. You can use historical price data to backtest strategies. Chartlog also lets you create a checklist for each of your strategies so you never miss a detail when evaluating a setup.
Chartlog starts at $14.99 per month. The Pro plan, which includes all journal analysis tools, costs $39.99 per month.
Check out our full Chartlog review for more details.
4. Edgewonk – Best Desktop Platform
Edgewonk offers a desktop journaling software in addition to a web platform and mobile apps for iOS and Android devices. The downloadable trading journal software is especially nice because you can customize its look and layout so that the key trade data you need is available at a glance.
Edgewonk has several tools that help this platform stand out. The strategy backtester enables you to simulate “what if” scenarios and see how they would have performed relative to your actual trades. An optimization module runs future trade simulations so you can visualize possible ranges of factors like account drawdown and profitability.
In addition, Edgewonk enables you to keep trade journals for multiple trading accounts. So, you can keep different datasets and reports for each of your trading accounts.
Edgewonk offers a single subscription tier that costs $169 per year.
Check out our full Edgewonk review for more details.
5. Profit.ly – Best Trading Community
Profit.ly is a community-based trading platform founded by trader Timothy Sykes. It makes trade data from all users on the platform public by default and offers a leaderboard so you can easily find top-performing traders. The platform’s aim is to enable traders to learn from one another, and particularly from highly successful traders.
To help facilitate learning, Profit.ly offers trading chat rooms run by “guru” traders. You can see what trades each guru is making in real-time and ask questions to learn more about the strategies in play.
Profit.ly offers analysis tools so you can track your own performance and see how your trading improves over time. However, the analysis tools aren’t as customizable as they are with dedicated journaling software.
Profit.ly plans start at $29.95 per month.
Check out our full Profit.ly review for more details.
6. Trademetria – Best for Trading a Wide Range of Assets
Trademetria is an all-in-one investment research platform, charting software, and trade journal. It offers a wide range of trade tracking features, including the ability to annotate charts, upload screenshots from your trading platform, and create your own custom trade tags.
Trademetria offers in-depth analysis tools. You can even filter your performance based on the performance of major market indices.
Another nice thing about Trademetria is that it works with almost any type of asset you can trade. The platform supports stocks, options, forex, futures, CFDs, and cryptocurrencies. You can track your trade history across up to 50 different trading accounts with the top-tier Pro plan.
Trademetria offers a free account that lets you import up to 30 trades per month. Paid plans start at $29.95 per month and let you import up to 100 trades per month.
Check out our full Trademetria review for more details.
Using Excel as a Trade Journal
Many traders who are just starting out use Excel to keep a spreadsheet trading journal. However, we’d strongly investing in a good trading journal platform rather than using a spreadsheet.
Dedicated journals make it easy to see key strategy metrics at a glance. They also import data about your previous trades automatically, saving you time and eliminating errors that can skew your analysis.
If you’re on a tight budget, TraderVue and Trademetria both offer free plans that let you import up to 30 trades per month.
Conclusion: Best Trading Journal Software
Using a trading journal can help you identify which of your setups and trading strategies are most profitable, enabling you to become a more consistent and profitable trader. We think Tradervue is the all-around best trading journal to use today. That said, all of the platforms we highlighted offer powerful tools for tracking and analyzing your trades.