A trading journal or notebook and how well you keep it, is fundamentally linked to how much money you will make as a trader on Betfair and Betdaq, it’s as simple as that. It will help you plan ahead, pick trading strategies that work for you and make you a more organised efficient trader.
First of all you’ll need to download Evernote, you can download Evernote here, this is an extremely powerful and useful tool and you can download it for your computer and your smart phone or tablet. If you’re part of the ever diminishing percentage of people in the western world not to have a smart phone, get one; you’re a trader now and you need to have the best tools at your disposal.
The reason I like Evernote as opposed to Microsoft One Note or any of the other apps of this nature, is that you can work offline, which is a feature you’d think they all have, but they don’t; needless to say there are a myriad of reasons why you don’t want to or can’t get on the internet at any given time, so Evernote it is.
Also Evernote has become my digital commonplace, somewhere I can write all my thoughts and plans, keep articles of interest, make check lists and much more, you’ll find a lot of these features handy for your trading journal, but you’ll also find them generally handy when it comes to organising your life.
Once you've downloaded Evernote create a notebook and call it trading records, then keep your finger pressed on it lightly and choose the option move to new stack, name that stack Trading Notebook or Journal, I prefer journal as that is all encompassing.
Then create another set of notebooks and keep them in that stack, I’d suggest you have one called Future Trades and another called Trading Notes, after that it’s up to you, you’ll probably find as you go along that you’ll add more notebooks as you go along.
For instance I have one called Italian Results, each week I simply take a screenshot from livescores.com of the Italian, Serie A results, the reason I do this is because I tend to trade the under 2.5 goals market and this will help me spot trends of low or high scoring teams.
In your Trading Records notebook create a note for each day of trading, name the note by the date and at the top of the note put your opening balance and at the bottom your closing balance.
Note: I was taking screenshots of my trades from my Samsung S4 and pasting them straight into Evernote, that way the only typing I did was writing down my feelings and the circumstance of the trade. However I found that the pictures were too big when viewed on my computer so I stopped. However you may find with your make of phone and your methods that pasting screenshots is a good way to record your trades.
I don't always do it, but I try and write down feelings and circumstances as quite often I will learn more from losing patterns than you will from winning ones sometimes.
As you can see from above, my reason for trading was that I was high from an earlier win (this is called a Happy Jump and should be avoided!) Also I was going to a friend's house and had little time to settle and I got there after kick off.
You can also see that I was tweeting close to the time when I should have been concentrating on a trade and right at the end I could have traded out for a small loss but hung in there and made a bigger one, so I didn't Trade Like A Vulcan.
The next time I felt that these circumstances were rearing their ugly heads again; I didn't trade and protected my bankroll.
In Future Trades put the events that you’re thinking about trading on, write why you’re thinking and if you’re waiting for an external event to happen that might affect an outcome, like a star player recovering from injury.
In Trading Notes, make notes for individual teams and trades, you can paste in any research you find, again you may find that Trading Notes gets too general for you and you’ll create sub folders as your research and notes grow.
The most crucial thing about a trading journal is to keep reviewing it; make time every day to review it, read your notes try and spot patterns both winning and losing, that way you’re more likely to find a market that you’re comfortable with and you can profit from consistently.
“Not all Traders on Betfair use trading notebooks, but all the successful ones do."
The Zen Trader