[Update 2020]: I have completely migrated my Forex trading journal over to Forex Smart Tools and no longer use or recommend Trading Journal Spreadsheet now.
For the Forex trading journal, I am using and recommend Forex Smart Tools which include Trade Log and Advanced Calculator. It is a far more complete FX journaling tool at an affordable price. You can check out my review of Forex Smart Tools here.
I received an email from a reader, “P”, asking about the main difference between Trading Journal Spreadsheet (TJS) and Forex Smart Tools. I had the exact same questions before, I thought It might be helpful to post my reply here.
Here is P’s Question
TJS or Forex Smart Tools
Gav, I trade only forex. Which of these pieces of software in the
subject is better or,if neither, what are the major pros and cons of
First of all, both are good tools. But they serve different purposes.
Trade log (number crunching)
- Trading Journal Spreadsheet (TJS) is a spreadsheet for you to keep your trading record, and it calculates all necessary matrix for you such as expectancy, drawdown etc. It is real good for statistics purposes. And you will need these numbers when reviewing your trading performance.
- Forex smart tool has a similar function, but not as flexible as TJS, personally, for trade log function, I would prefer spreadsheet like TJS.
- [Update 2020] Forex Smart Tools now allows you to export your trading records to a spreadsheet for further analysis. This is a great feature for those die-hard spreadsheet users.
- As Trading Journal Spreadsheet is a spreadsheet, so it is highly portable. You can copy to any machine with Microsoft Excel installed. On the downside, it is not as stable as a complete software package.
- While Forex smart tools is a complete software package, so you will need to install the whole package into the machine that you are going to use. And there is a limit of a license.
- Forex Smart Tools uses a real database in the software package, not a spreadsheet, so it is safe and stable compared to a spreadsheet.
This is the main difference between the two of them.
- Trading Journal Spreadsheet , again, a spreadsheet base, real good at numbesr, and maybe some text for you to keep a simple journal.
- Forex smart tool shines in this area. First you can keep your trade log (numbers) just like TJS , you can also write down your journal (in text) and attach charts. I found it to be very convenient when reviewing each trade, where I can see the numbers, charts, and my journal (I wrote down the market condition of the day, why I entered the trade, what mistake I made etc for every trade). And if you want, you can also print out each trade as a PDF for review purpose.
Now, what do I use?
As I swing trade FX, so Forex smart tool serves me very well for record-keeping, charts, numbers, etc in one place.
And also I day trade futures, so numbers are crucial to me, that’s why Trading Journal Spreadsheet plays a big part in my business.
What do you need?
These are just tools. Good tools I would say. It comes down to you to decide which one fits into your routine and plan.
I had previously wrote review for both of these tools. Just to clarify, these are the tools that I personally use. So any comment or recommendation are from my experience of them.
Hope it helps!