What Is a Trading Journal?
This topic has already been covered by e11 in the wiki article The Importance of a Trading Journal. If you haven't already, I strongly advise you read this first before continuing as this is just a guide on how to use my sample trading journal.
The purpose of this journal is to assist you to calculate your risk, track the progress of current open trades and help you identify what does/doesn't work for you. Most importantly, my aim is to reduce some of the pain in planning and executing trades, freeing your time to analyze charts. This journal is still a work in progress, this version is designed to be used primarily with Binance as this is my preferred exchange but the position calculator will also work with Bittrex, Huobi, Kraken, Kucoin & Poloniex. I plan to add more exchanges in time.
I have tried to keep this tool as simple as possible, the tl;dr version is: make a copy of this sheet, install the CRYPTOFINANCE add-on and just enter data in the white cells. All colored cells will be automatically calculated.
How to Copy a Google Sheet
Note: You will need to be logged into a Google account to continue.
Make a copy of this sheet by going to File > Make a Copy...
Name the file and click OK
Installing the CRYPTOFINANCE Add-on
In order to get real-time crypto data, you will need to install the CRYPTOFINANCE Google Sheets add-on. Select Add-ons > Get add-ons...
Search CRYPTOFINANCE and click Free
Then go to Add-ons > CRYPTOFINANCE > Install
Go to the Calc tab and wait for the values to load, you may need to refresh the page and be patient as it can take a minute to load. If it's working correctly, you should see something similar to the below screenshot.
The Calc tab contains 3 calculators on the left, Risk Calculator, Position Size Calculator & the Average Entry / Exit Price Calculator. On the right, there are 2 stats boxes, Current Price & "XXX/YYY" Stats. For demonstration purposes, I have included a sample trade which I will run through and I'll explain each section as we go.
Start by selecting the currency you wish to trade with, you can choose between BTC, ETH & USD, for this example, we will go with BTC. The Available Capital will depend on your trading strategy, I wouldn't recommend putting your entire available balance in here as that's poor risk management. For this example, we are using a small percentage of our total available capital.
Select the Exchange you plan to trade on, the prices shown above will be calculated automatically accordingly for this exchange. This will also populate the Current Price section.
Finally, select the risk percentage. For new traders, I wouldn't advise risking more than 1%.
Position Size Calculator
The Position Size Calculator is a powerful tool, this will show you the potential profit or loss based on your entry, stop and target prices. The Potential Loss and Position Size will be determined by the Available Capital and Risk % set in the Risk Calculator.
In our example, I have selected the QLC/BTC pair on Binance. Entry, Stop and Target as above.
Target R is the calculated risk to return ratio, I wont be getting into the math behind this but I recommend reading more on Risk & Position sizing.
Average Entry / Exit Price Calculator
This calculator is optional, some traders like to scale in/out of trades (this means having multiple entry or exit prices). To keep the journal simple, I have used an Avg. Entry Price & Avg. Exit Price in the journal. As per above screenshot, you can see there are 3 exit prices but not all are equal amounts. This is a weighted average calculator, meaning its works out the average price based on the quantity.
This section is self-explanatory, this is the current pricing for each pair based on the Exchange selection in the Risk Calculator.
Again, this section is self-explanatory, this is the current pricing for the Trading Pair selected in the Position Size Calculator. With the exception of Trad. Vol. Binance:XXX/YYY, this info is retrieved from coinmarketcap.com which has a quota of 100 requests per day. Exceeding the quota will result in the an API error. You can pay to remove the quota but all other functions in this journal will continue to work as the rest of the data required obtained directly from the exchange.
BTC & ETH Journal Tabs
After calculating our risk on the Calc tab, we can now enter the data in the fields as I have above. All coloured fields will be automatically calculated, just add the date and select the pair from the dropdown. You can use the Status column to track and filter trades. As you can see above, I have entered the data (entry, stop and target) which we calculated in the Calc tab, the Profit / Distance from Entry will show your current profit on open trades or distance from Entry Price.
Total Position will show the base pair value of the entire position and there are also some check boxes to remind you to set alerts for entry, stop, target, as well as orders for targets and stops.
The Trade Notes section can be used to record the thoughts/motivation behind your setup and further to the right there is a Post Analysis section where you can add notes after the trade is closed. If you execute a lot of trades, this is quite useful to reflect on to see what trading setups work for you and where you may need to improve.
Once you have entered your Avg. Exit Price the P/L on closed trades section at the bottom of the sheet will be populated, this will also be reflected on the P/L tab.