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Secrets to Keeping Busy Families Organized: Use Mind Maps as Family Organizer

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Secrets to Keeping Busy Families Organized: Use Mind Maps as Family Organizer


Despite the typical chaos, Elizabeth and James Smith, the parent of three kids, were able to find the order using mind maps and tree tables in their everyday lives. XMind becomes a great tool to help better manage family matters and claim back a tremendous amount of time to focus on what matters for oneself.

Find out how to set up a comprehensive family planner that covers grocery lists, meal planners, to-do lists and errands all in one file! Also, find in this blog ways to build emergency contact forms, important date timelines, and methods of using third-party cloud services to view and edit your files across different devices.

The Weekly Family Planner

Like any other family of five, the Smith family encounters laughter and overcomes challenges together as one. The Monday breakfast has always been chaotic in the first week of September. Kids do not want to be back in school (or can’t wait to be back!), and the parents have to get back to a relatively rigid morning routine to comply with the kids’.

Having to juggle between multiple tasks in life, Elizabeth ups her efficiency game by integrating the organization of life and work matters all on XMind. The ability of XMind to have various structures in a single mind map allows Elizabeth to build an all-in-one planner for herself and her family members. And by connecting the XMind account with a shared iCloud Drive, the Smith family was able to view this planner across various devices and make changes if needed, with all changes in sync. Check out how you can connect your XMind account to third party cloud services here.

Unlike other ordinary to-do lists, you have absolute freedom in XMind to set up the design, the elements, and add outside link/resources you’d find helpful in your family planner. Below is a demonstration of a family planner, and several tricks and tips.

Weekdays are shown as different topics, and under each topic has the errands (subtopics) for the day that can be folded and crossed out once finished.

01 Built-in Markers and Stickers

By using the built-in markers in XMind, Elizabeth was able to mark important family events with a star, and put cute emojis beside the prom shopping date she looks forward going with her daughter.

The markers are like ornaments on a Christmas tree, they light up the canvas and bring all elements together, always speaks a trait of character. XMind’s built-in marker collection provides a range of emotion markers (and more) that allows users to personalize their maps and decorate according to their mood and reaction, express who you are as a person even through your mind maps.

02 Use Insert Feature for Seamless Access

With the insert link feature, she was able to insert links to the electronic invitation for Tommy’s piano recital; simply click on the icon and let XMind takes you directly to the webpage without having to look through them hefty emails again to find the correct address of the recital!


Insert your topic to create a two-way portal to your meal planner, grocery list, or any other structure you’d like in your file! By placing the insert topic button beside the subtopic that says “Grocery List,” Elizabeth was able to jump to the grocery list to check-off items and jump back to the to-dos to continue with other errands with just a click!

03 Conflate the Past and Present with Audio Note

It’s the long family car rides where the best things can happen—enjoying the beautiful scenery and thoughts exchanging naturally between you and the kids, in awe of their creative ideas or suggestions and having no pen and paper at hand? Elizabeth and James insert audio notes in their family planner as an alternative way to mark and record the kids' ideas and to-dos. The cross-device access to the mind maps allows you to edit and listen back to the audio whenever, keeping things organized 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Above is a demonstration of how to insert an audio note in the iOS version of XMind. Please download the XMind application according to your portable devices.

04 All for One, and One for All.

Using multiple mind map structures in one file can only increase the efficiency enormously. Such presentation of mind maps aren’t common in the market, and XMind did it to help you facilitate complex ideas and allow you to jump outside the ordinary thought process.

The tree table here is the grocery list for Elizabeth to better organize the items to be purchased, in the old-fashioned box-like structure just like how you would write them down on a piece of paper. The matrix here is the meal planner for the Smith family, seven days a week and three meals a day, all in this compact form to be filled beforehand to spare time for preparation. Also, insert links to YouTube recipes or food blogs in the matrix for easy access! Click the image to view and download this mind map!


Important Dates (For the Family)

Use the timeline or tree chart in XMind to mark those special days that mean a lot to the family. Use stickers, font colors, or even emojis to customize the unique and meaningful day to all your family members. Print them out and put them on the wall for future references; no more movie nights on the day of Grandpa’s birthday!

Check out the video on how to print mind maps in XMind here.


Click the image to view and download this mind map!

Family Emergency Contact Form

James made use of the tree tables and built an emergency contact form, as shown below. A detailed and clear overview of the kids’ information and who to contact in case of emergency. Easy to read and easy to share. He was no more writing down information for the babysitter. Save time by simply printing this out or sending a copy to their phone! Click the image to view and download this mind map!

This file can be shared through the XMind Share feature, which allows the file to be viewed by clicking the URL generated. Other ways of export include but are not up to PNG, PDF, Markdown, and SVG files. Read more on exporting your .xmind files here.


Family life is a bitter-sweet symphonic repertory with fortes and pianos throughout the arrangement; some play a supporting role, and some lead the way. We hope the story of the Smith family can spark new ideas for you to start planning your own unique ways of using mind maps outside of the workplace or school. Make use of these fun features in XMind and mind map away!

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