If you are a swing trader or a position trader, it is easier to maintain a trade-by-trade trading journal. However, a day trader or active trader may find it difficult to document each trade, so a general sentiment of how he is maintaining his system and the overall sentiment on the day may be more appropriate. As you learn some of the various risk management techniques, it will become simpler to use a trading journal on a per-trade basis. Until then, let's take our time.
Trading is an art. By being aware of your intuition and your feelings, you may find that you are able to trade in unique and different ways. The only way to discover that is by documenting it. The information can be maintained separately or right on the charts that you use to execute trades. The key is to document your emotions, logic, and reasoning for entering and exiting trades. Through the accumulation of 10, 30, or 100 journal entries, you are able to reasonably determine how well you are doing.
Maintaining this information lets you know what you are thinking and feeling when you enter and exit trades and lets you know if your trading tools are working properly. It also shows you if you are exiting too quickly or if you are going against your trading plan.
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