Many times new and experienced traders get what we call "candle stick drunk" they end up over trading and taking tons of trades that they normally wouldn't take but they are lost in the sauce and have no real data on what they should be doing. This is where journaling comes in and helps! Before trading real money it is always suggested to have at least 6 months worth of data showing that your system is profitable, this comes in the form of journaling all your trades especially SIM trades when you're starting out.
What the big deal?
Journaling is a BIG deal due to the fact it is the records to your business. If you're running a business I would hope that you keep all the records of what you have spent money on and what is working and whats not. That is exactly what a journal is used for, it shows you what type of trade setups are working and which ones are not. This can be a great tool when it comes time to improve your trading, just like we use a top down approach to finding trades, using a top down approach to finding out what works and what doesn't can be just as beneficial.
Not all journals are created equal!
Read that again, not all journals are created equal. If you don't put the effort into your journal then you wont get anything out of it, it's that simple. The Gorilla Futures journal you receive once you become a member covers all aspects of what is needed in a journal. We cover documenting trades but there is more to this, what is your emotional state, volume, why did you enter into the trade and much more. The journal is meant to be the backbone of any great trading system, it is there to tell you without a bias whats working and whats not. For example if you keep having red days then you need to go back and exaime what the issue is. Maybe you find out that every day you try to trade the last hour of the day and keep taking huge losses. This shows that first off the last hour of the day is not the right time for you to be trading. You take this information and add a new rule " I will not trade the last hour of the session NO matter what". Now you know when not to trade you need to look deeper to see if there is a setup that you keep taking and isn't working out.
For example maybe you keep taking a counter trend 3 point turn and you keep getting run over. You would then go back to your rules and add another rule, "I will not trade ANY counter trend 3 point turn". Now that you have a better idea of what the issue is you can begin to fix it. Now this is just an example but since you have been journaling all your trades you will be able to go back and see where you need to improve and what rules you need to add.
If you are having trouble, maybe you just blew your account or in the middle of a long draw down period. Don't quit just yet, go back and look at your journal and see where you can improve. Now the journal won't work if you don't go into it when an unbiased view. If you go into your journal and start to make excuses why a trade didn't workout then you have done more harm then good. The journal is there to help and you need to let it do its job!