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Trade Journal Series: How to use the Trade Journal

September 5, 2017

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Trading Journals are essential for any successful trader. Click on the image to purchase our Trading Journals Bundle at a special price.

Last update: August 2021

One of the most important things you can do as a trader is to journal your trades and this short video is to explain how to use one of our tools, the Tackle Trading Trade Journal.

Expertly track all of your income and expense trades and automatically calculate your profit/loss ratio and your win/loss ratio expertly determine proper position sizing and, best of all, automatically track your equity curve.

If you are a PRO Member, at the bottom of this post, you can download the journal. It’s what we use for our team to keep score, keep records and keep track of what we’re doing.

Step-by-step on how to use the Trade Journal

  1. First, enter the account value. The calculations will be done for you, at the top of the journal, as you fill out the information for the trades.
  2. Line 1, Symbol. When you make a trade, fill the information out box by box.
  3. On the dropdown menu, choose Credit if you received a credit, Debit if you paid for the trade, Long Stock if you bought stock, Short Stock if you sold stock.
  4. Entry Date, Entry Price, Entry Size, these are all items you log for your trade entry.
  5. Exit date, exit price, exit size, (as well as exit 2 information), allow you to log your trade exit.

As you log your trades, you’ll then get a Profit or Loss column populated on the right, the more trades you enter, the more data you have. The more data you have, the better you can identify if you’re doing a good job, or not, and then make corrections and adjustments to your trading and your system.

Keep score! Every trader needs to. Get in the game!

Get the Tackle Trading Trade Journal

Download the Tackle Trading Trade Journal by clicking on the button below. (PRO Members Only)

Tackle Trading Resources on Journaling

Continue learning about this powerful trading tool: the Trade Journals. Tackle Trading has all the resources you need to MASTER them like a PRO. From the Trade Journals themselves to free articles and tutorial videos on how to make the most out of them, we got you covered!

Trade Journaling for Beginners [Free Articles]

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Sign up now and gain unfettered access to all of the quality content and powerful Scouting Reports that our Pro Members enjoy for 15-days absolutely free with no strings attached and let us show you what your trading has been missing.

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Tackle Trading LLC (“Tackle Trading”) is providing this website and any related materials, including newsletters, blog posts, videos, social media postings and any other communications (collectively, the “Materials”) on an “as-is” basis. This means that although Tackle Trading strives to make the information accurate, thorough and current, neither Tackle Trading nor the author(s) of the Materials or the moderators guarantee or warrant the Materials or accept liability for any damage, loss or expense arising from the use of the Materials, whether based in tort, contract, or otherwise. Tackle Trading is providing the Materials for educational purposes only. We are not providing legal, accounting, or financial advisory services, and this is not a solicitation or recommendation to buy or sell any stocks, options, or other financial instruments or investments. Examples that address specific assets, stocks, options or other financial instrument transactions are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to represent specific trades or transactions that we have conducted. In fact, for the purpose of illustration, we may use examples that are different from or contrary to transactions we have conducted or positions we hold. Furthermore, this website and any information or training herein are not intended as a solicitation for any future relationship, business or otherwise, between the users and the moderators. No express or implied warranties are being made with respect to these services and products. By using the Materials, each user agrees to indemnify and hold Tackle Trading harmless from all losses, expenses and costs, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, arising out of or resulting from user’s use of the Materials. In no event shall Tackle Trading or the author(s) or moderators be liable for any direct, special, consequential or incidental damages arising out of or related to the Materials. If this limitation on damages is not enforceable in some states, the total amount of Tackle Trading’s liability to the user or others shall not exceed the amount paid by the user for such Materials.

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30 Replies to “Trade Journal Series: How to use the Trade Journal”

  1. KEITHGIUNTA says:

    Thanks Tim. This does simplify things. My journal is a teensy bit to detailed. I like this.

  2. AnshulSharma says:

    Tim, thank you. this really good. Is there a diff journal for Covered Calls that we can download?

  3. AnshulSharma says:

    Never Mind! I see it is in there!

  4. ScottMills says:

    Thank you Tim. This was a great help!

  5. Thomas Hammonds says:

    I have worn the old spread sheet out. Thanks for the new updated one!!

  6. DaveKaufmann says:

    What a great tool! Thanks Tim

  7. WendyDulin says:

    Hi Tim! I just started using this. For current date, the spreadsheet lists it as #NAME?. I’m using Excel 2007. Is that the problem?

  8. FrancesK says:

    I have the same problem too because my Excel is 2010. If I were on row 11, I’d change that formula to =IF(H11>TODAY(),H11-TODAY(),”expired”)

  9. FrancesK says:

    Oops, actually blank cell is better than “expired”
    This will give you the days to expiration from today

  10. Terry says:

    Thanks Tim

  11. Rani Bush says:

    Thanks Tim. Great video, you explained it very well. I’ve been using a different journal, but am going to try this one out.


    Unrelated to the content, but is there any chance we can increase the font or change to a new font on the website? I have such a difficult time reading this font.

    1. Tim Justice says:

      I will pass this message along!


    Also, it helps if you have your zoom at 100%…lol It’s not that bad, after all…but these tired eyes wouldn’t be mad if the font were larger.

  14. Marius Posogan says:

    Hi Wendy, please email me at “mcposogan”[at]gmail.com
    I’ll try to help you

  15. Marius Posogan says:

    Hi Christy,
    If you are using Chrome, you can control the zoom with the combination Ctrl “+” or Ctrl “-“

  16. a simple trading journal! finally <3 thanks Tim!!

  17. KarlHoffmann says:

    this is great – thanks

  18. PAUL & NANCYCIRASO says:


  19. Tim Justice says:

    Look for the download link just above my smiling face

  20. reynoso2652 says:

    Hi there Tim, Noah, Mat, or any tackle member, are you guys able to tell me if this trading journal can also work for forex trading or is this journal not ideal for that?

    1. Tim Justice says:

      yes, you need to set the size to 10,000 for a mini lot

    2. Mark Justice says:

      To get the trading journal to work for FOREX you will need to enter the price with the PIPS for example, 1.1604 and then set the size to the contract size i.e. 10,000 or 100,000 depending on if you’re trading mini or standard lots. It takes some tweaking, but you can make the journal work for FOREX trades.

  21. CARLYNGUYEN says:

    Thank Tim, that’s exactly what I am looking for.

    1. Tim Justice says:

      Glad you found it Carly!

  22. PAUL & NANCYCIRASO says:

    dear tim, we are looking for a dividend journal like the trade journal do you have anything like that or could you bild one. tried to make one dont know enough about formulas or google to make it work. Can you help

    1. Tim Justice says:

      Hi Paul and Nancy, Are you looking to add a column for the dividend payment?

  23. KalaivaniArun says:

    Hi Tim,

    How will the journal calculate P/L$ for credit spread expiration? Should I enter anything in Exit Area?


  24. Tim Justice says:

    If the credit spread expires worthless, you will log it as a 0.00 exit.

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