Thursday, February 27, 2014

Taking Trading Journals to the Next Level

Traders have long used journals as performance tools.  A trading journal is a great way to track your ideas about markets and also track your development as a trader.  Finding the right format for a journal is important, as a journal for your market ideas might be quite different from a trading performance journal.  The common goal of all journals, however, is to cement important observations and facilitate reflection and creative thought.  When we take ideas out of our heads and commit them to screen or paper, we become thinker, writer, and reader.  That enables us to process information more deeply and in multiple ways.

I am a big fan of using Evernote as a platform for journaling.  Evernote enables you to write journal entries online, store them in the cloud, and access them from just about any device.  Because Evernote stores pictures, videos, web content, and even handwritten information, it is a great way of turning a journal into a multimedia learning tool.  For example, you could cut and paste news articles about a market into a journal entry, annotate with your own comments and observations, and include relevant charts of that market.  

One of the most useful features of Evernote is that it allows you to tag content and acts as a searchable database.  That allows you to pull out all entries on a particular stock or all posts that pertain to a given topic, such as overtrading.  You can even use your phone as a scanner, take pictures of something from your trading screen, and save them to your Evernote journal.

Want to share your journal for coaching and mentorship?  Group journals enable multiple people to contribute to a single journal, or you can grant access to your journal to trusted colleagues.  

Used properly, a multimedia journal can be a great productivity tool and a powerful prod to creativity.

Further Reading:  Formatting a Trading Journal