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Free, Easy Trading Journal with Chart

Some of you may be interested in the new format I made in my daily trading reports in the chat room.  I found a quick and easy way to log my activity and get a nice chart showing my progress.  And best of all this Trading Journal is free.  All you need to get started is to have a Google account to get access to Google Drive.  Google Drive is Google's free office products center.  


I had been looking at Google forms off and on for a bit now and I also have been using other Google apps for a couple of years.  But I hadn't really done much other than simple documents and a few spreadsheets.  But I am always amazed with all of what Google gives us for free.



To get started, once you have your Google account, go to Google Drive and Click on the "Create" button and select "Form".    

This will open the Form creation tool. Then give your new form a title and then pick a theme to control the appearance of your form.  For this article I am calling my form "Trading Journal" and picking the Notepaper theme.  Pick any theme you want ;-)



Now we get down to making the form.


The first window is for Form Settings,

we don't need to worry about this so hit the little triangle and close that area.  
It should now say "Progress Bar: No"


The next window is the main part of building the Form.  


A form consists of Questions and Responses.  For this demo I am interested in showing my progress over time and being able to make notes as to what is happening during the trading day.  The form will log the date and time automatically so I really only need to use two questions.  First will be the Net Liquid number for the Account Balance at the time I make the entry.  And also a Comment field.  So for the first question set the Question Title to "Account Balance" and change the Question Type to "Text".


Now hit the "Add item" button to get to the second question and pick "Paragraph text" as the Question Type.
 I typed in "Notes" for the "Question Title".  I also added some Help Text.  

When you are ready go ahead and hit done.


The last part of setting up your form is the Confirmation Page.

I checked all of the boxes.  
You don't need to Send the form unless you are going to share the form with someone else or post the form into FaceBook or G+ or somewhere.  But for me this form is just for me to post into my personal Trading Journal.


Next hit the "View Live Form" at the top  

...and see what we have done.


Now while you have the form open in your browser, Bookmark this page so you can easily get to it whenever you want!  


We now have the form and guess what?  We actually made a spreadsheet to hold our responses in the background at the same time.  

Enter a couple of test entries. Hit the "Submit Another Response" between entries.

Now Hit the See Previous Responses  


Don't worry about the chart here, it is just showing the number of times the form was filled out each day.
We will be making a different chart soon.  Now hit the "View all responses" as a quick way to go to the spreadsheet from there we will make our cool chart so we can see our progress and our trading activities.  


Note: you can also go to Google Drive and find and open the spreadsheet from there also.


Once you have the spreadsheet open it should look something like this.


For some reason I ended up with a extra blank column for column "C".  I may have gotten this from changes I made to the form while playing around a bit.  But in any case for the chart we are making we need the data in the first three columns. Since the columns was made from a form Google says we can't just delete it but we can move it.  


Just select the "D" column by clicking on the "D" and then hover over the "D" and you should see a hand.  Click and while holding the mouse button down drag the column over to the left of the "C" column.   

Don't worry about the warning you get, it should be fine for this project.


You should now have data in columns A,B,and C.  Click on the "A" and while holding the shift key click on the "C", that should highlight the three columns.

Next with the columns highlighted hit the chart button.

And now the Chart editor should appear.  And here again Google has done most of the work for us already.


It has already picked the Time Line chart template with a few default settings already set up for us.  In fact the only thing I want to change is the height range.  To do this just go to the Customize tab and uncheck the "Fixed (show zero)" box.  Then it will only show the range of the numbers we entered.


When you are done hit the "Insert Button" and the chart will appear on your Spreadsheet.  

You may need to drag the chart over to the side but that is all there is to setting up this Trading Journal.  


There are a lot more things you could do with this setup.  But be sure to put the link to the form into your Browser Bar or somewhere to make it easy to get to so it is always ready for making quick notes.  

You can make posts to your journal as many times a day as you want.  This makes it very flexible for making comments about things you see during the day.


I would still pull out the big guns like TraderVue or a more complex spreadsheet for analyzing and comparing my strategies to each other.  But for a quick and easy way to keep myself on track and see my general progress, this is going to work well.


Have any questions or comments?  Have any other free trading journal ideas?

Leave them in the comment section below.



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