How to Make a Genogram on Google Docs

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of creating a genogram on Google Docs. A genogram is a visual representation of a family’s structure and relationships, often used in healthcare, psychology, and social work. By following the steps outlined below, you will be able to craft a professional and accurate genogram that can be a valuable tool for understanding family dynamics, identifying patterns, and making informed decisions.

What is a Genogram?

A genogram is a type of family tree, but it goes beyond just the standard genealogical information. It includes additional details about family relationships, health issues, emotional connections, and various factors that influence family dynamics. Genograms are widely used in medical and mental health fields to better understand family history and uncover patterns of hereditary diseases, psychological traits, and social interactions.

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Genogram on Google Docs

1. Sign in to Google Docs

To get started, you need to sign in to your Google account and access Google Docs. If you don’t have an account, you can create one for free.

2. Create a New Document

Once you’re logged in, click on the “+ New” button on the left-hand side of the screen and select “Google Docs” from the drop-down menu. This action will open a new blank document.

3. Set Up the Document

Before you begin drawing your genogram, make sure the document is properly formatted. Set the page orientation to landscape to have more horizontal space. Adjust the margins as needed, but it’s recommended to keep them small to maximize the available space for your genogram.

4. Draw the Basic Structure

Start by drawing a box in the center of the document to represent the individual or couple at the center of your genogram. Then, add lines connecting this central box to other boxes representing family members. Use different shapes to differentiate between males and females.

5. Add Family Members

Expand your genogram by adding family members to the appropriate branches. Include parents, siblings, children, and any significant others. Use lines to represent biological relationships and dotted lines for non-biological connections like adoption or step-relationships.

6. Include Key Information

To make your genogram informative, add key details about each family member. This may include birthdates, marriage dates, occupation, health issues, major life events, and any other relevant information that can contribute to a comprehensive understanding of the family.

7. Utilize Symbols and Colors

Incorporate symbols and colors to convey additional information. For example, you can use specific symbols to indicate medical conditions, psychological disorders, or other significant traits within the family.

8. Analyze and Interpret

Once you’ve completed your genogram, take some time to analyze the patterns and relationships it reveals. Look for trends, similarities, and differences between family members. This analysis can provide valuable insights into family dynamics and inherited traits.

Advantages of Using Google Docs for Genograms

Google Docs offers several benefits when creating genograms:

1. Collaboration

Google Docs allows real-time collaboration, enabling multiple people to work on the same genogram simultaneously. This feature is especially useful for family therapists and researchers working together on complex family cases.

2. Easy Access and Storage

Your genogram will be securely stored in your Google Drive, making it easily accessible from any device with an internet connection. You won’t have to worry about losing your work, and you can edit or share it whenever necessary.

3. Simple Sharing

You can easily share your genogram with others, whether it’s with colleagues for professional collaboration or with family members for personal use. Google Docs provides various sharing options to control who can view or edit the genogram.

4. Built-in Formatting Tools

Google Docs offers various formatting tools to make your genogram visually appealing and professional. You can adjust font sizes, colors, and add images or shapes to enhance the overall presentation.


Creating a genogram on Google Docs is a powerful way to visually map out family relationships and better understand family dynamics. By following the step-by-step guide provided in this article, you can craft a detailed and informative genogram that can be a valuable tool in various professional and personal contexts.

Remember, a well-designed genogram can reveal significant insights into family history, helping medical professionals, therapists, and individuals gain a deeper understanding of their familial connections and influences. Embrace the versatility of Google Docs and use it to create meaningful genograms that leave a lasting impact. Happy genogramming!

Can I edit my genogram after I’ve created it?

Yes, you can always go back and edit your genogram on Google Docs. Simply click on the shape or text you want to edit, make your changes, and save the document.

Can I share my genogram with others?

Yes, you can share your genogram with others by giving them permission to view or edit the document. This is especially useful if you’re creating a genogram for a family reunion or medical appointment.

Can I use a template to create my genogram on Google Docs?

Yes, Google Docs offers several templates you can use to create a genogram. You can find these templates by going to “File” and selecting “New” from the drop-down menu.

Are there any other tools I can use to create a genogram?

Yes, there are several other tools you can use to create a genogram, including specialized genogram software and online generators. However, Google Docs is a convenient and free option that’s easy to use and share with others.

What is the difference between a genogram and a family tree?

A genogram includes more than just names and dates; it also includes information about family members’ relationships

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