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Best Tools For Sims Legacy Family Gameplay

In this episode I share tools and mods to support your legacy gameplay, ensuring that you stick with your Sims legacy family and their generations continue to exist long after you’ve played them.

Listen to this episode if:

  • Your screenshots folder is where your Sim memories go to be forgotten.
  • You want to set yourself up for success to complete a legacy challenge.
  • You want to add depth to your Sims legacy family gameplay.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

You’ve got the most fun legacy family storyline set up and your new favorite Sim lined up to be founder. All you need to get a Sims legacy family going, right? In theory yes, but you’ll probably want to remember all the wild adventures your founder and future descendants get into. And having a plan for each Sim or even each session can help you progress and stick with your legacy as well.

Planning and Organization Tools

To keep things from becoming overwhelming, it can help to start your Sim sessions with a plan, even a loose one. The Digital Sim Life Planner (made for tablets) and paperback Sim Planner are made for this. They include planning pages designed to fit how time works in The Sims. Both give you a space to plan your Sim’s lives and keep a record of your Sims’ stories.

As your Sims legacy family story enfolds and their community progresses with them, you may find yourself wanting to keep a record of not only your Sims but the ones involved in their lives as well. Perhaps you’ll even want to document the entire neighborhood or world of Sims. It could be fun to keep track of the Sims’ stats and how the population changes as your Sims legacy family grows and begins to dominate.

There are all sorts of tools that are great for this kind of record keeping. You can use spreadsheets like Google Sheets or hybrid options, like Airtable or Notion. The advantage of hybrid options is that they combine the best of both database and writing software. They allow you to collect more than just numbers but long-form text and images as well.

If you’re a fan of Notion, I recommend grabbing the free Sims 2 Notion template made by SkittlesSims. PleasantSims also made a great spreadsheet for The Sims 2.

Memory Keeping Tools

Collecting the memories and histories of your Sims legacy family is how generations can live on long after you’ve played them. It’s so bittersweet to look through old screenshots and remember all the good times – unless you don’t!

These screenshots might’ve been made weeks, months or even years ago. Without anything else, you might not even remember the name of the Sim in the screenshot, let alone the context of the memory.

So keep a diary of your Sims. You can do this on pen and paper or digitally. The Digital Sim Life Planner for example is great for scrapbooking.

Or build a wikipedia of their family history. I recommend the free OneNote app. It offers a loooot of space which can be overwhelming. You can shop my template, the Sim Chronicles for OneNote, if you want a more structured setup.

Slideshows are also a quick and easy way to create digital family photo albums. You can use Powerpoint or Google Slides and find great templates at slidesgo.com.

Family Tree Apps

Watching the family tree of your Sims legacy family grow is probably by far the most satisfying thing about Sims legacy family gameplay. The in-game family trees are nice but quite limited and can become corrupt. You’ll need an external tool if you want to keep a reliable record of your Sims’ family legacy tree.

Family tree apps such as My Family Tree (PC) and MacFamily Tree (Mac and iOS) offer robust genealogy software for tracking multiple families, complex relationships, events, traits and even your Sims’ stories. If you need a web-based solution so you can share your family trees, I recommend also using Family Echo.

Useful Mods

Last but not least, there are some pretty handy-dandy mods out there to enhance your family legacy gameplay or simply make it more manageable.

The Child Birth Mod by Pandasama and Mortem by SimRealist both add depth and emotional impact to meaningful moments in our Sims’ lives. The Better Nanny Mod by Little Ms. Sam is super helpful when your household has too many kids.

There are also quite a few photo mods by Ravasheen (see list above) as well as the Life Notes Mod by Lumpinou that help us collect memories directly in the game.

Before you start your next Sims legacy family, consider these tools to help you manage and improve your gameplay experience. With planning and organization, dedicated memory keeping, and advanced family tree management, you can ensure that your Sims legacy family will truly go down in history-because there will be a record of it.


[00:00:00] Gloria from Yellow Llama Co.:

Welcome to Sentimental Simmer, a podcast made for emotionally attached simmers and storytellers with wild imaginations. I’m your host, Gloria, and I run Yellow Llama Co., a planner shop made to help simmers play with purpose. Every week, I talk all about things, sim life planning, storytelling, and memory keeping. I’ll also brainstorm new ways to obsess over our pixel people, whether they’d be in the Sims or another live sim game. And now let’s get into it. In this episode, we’re gonna be talking about the best tools out there for your legacy gameplay. After all these episodes, there’s practically nothing standing in your way of growing a thriving legacy family, and finally getting past generation 1. But there’s still something to consider to set yourself up for success before you dive in.

Gloria [00:00:53]:

You wanna make sure all the stories you play will not waste away in your screenshots folder. You don’t want to play for so long. Like, this This could go on for years on end, and then in 10 years’ time, have no memory anymore of how things began. You’re gonna need tools to keep track of that. I hear about so many stories of simmers building these huge legacies only to have a vague recollection of what happened. So what can you do? What’s out there to support our storytelling, the making of these huge legacy families. So first and foremost, what can help with the planning and organization? Now I apologize. This tool hasn’t been around for too long now.

Gloria [00:01:30]:

It’s the digital Sims life planner I made back in fall of 2022. So haven’t been around for too long, so unfortunately, we weren’t able to use it for past generations or fa past, families even playing. But I think it’s a great option now. So it’s basically an interactive PDF designed for note taking apps, you know, to be used with a stylus and tablet. So for example, GoodNotes. It has calendar weekly and daily planning pages made especially for simmers. So these pages have custom time. So they’re made especially to be used with how time works in the game.

Gloria [00:02:04]:

So the pages are dated for 7, 14, in 28 day season settings like you can find them in the Sims 4. There are also undated versions if you like to, you know, switch it up often in your save files and you don’t always consistently play with the same season settings, but this is really unique to any planner you can get out there. The planner also includes a bunch of templates that are really dedicated to planning and tracking your Sims goals and achievements. For example, their aspirations or life stage goals. I sell the planner in my shop at Llama. You can even get a free version that only has calendar pages if you wanna try it out. Also made in 2022 is the Sims Planner, which comes in a daily or weekly version, which you can grab on Amazon. This is the OG printed planner that has either daily or weekly pages that you can use to plan your Sims sessions ahead of time.

Gloria [00:02:51]:

So I I made this plan initially because I could tell sometimes I was overwhelmed. I would sit in front of the computer when playing the game, and I just wouldn’t know what to do next, and I just shut the game off After, like, 5 minutes or a half hour, I find it helps if during gameplay, before you shut the game off, you kind of already think of what you wanna do next And you write that down on the planner. You can it has monthly pages where you can write down in a calendar view what the Sims have, you know, coming up whether that be events and whatnot or they wanna visit somebody, but you also have these daily or weekly pages where you can keep track of their to dos and their goals, and you can even use it as a diary. You can also journal about what happened during gameplay as well. And with this, of course, there’s no software needed. You just need a pen or pencil and you can get started right away. I know Notion is another app that’s very popular with simmers. It’s an online note taking app that is basically a hybrid between a spreadsheet and a word processor, and so you can build pretty large databases with it.

Gloria [00:03:49]:

There’s a free template made by Skittle Sims that you can use to collect and track your Sims households and lots in Notion. It’s made for the Sims 2, but it can easily be modified to suit the Sims 3 or the Sims 4 gameplay as well. Another popular tool used by Simmer, Probably since the game exists are spreadsheets. Maybe in the past, the Excel sheets, but now we’ve, I think, evolved to using G Sheets and Airtable, which are both free apps. Spreadsheets are basically a great tool also to build a database of your sims, you know, kinda like a registry. And I think spreadsheets are especially a useful tool if you are playing a legacy challenge. I need to keep track of a lot of stats. I’ll share some examples of templates you can use in the show notes.

Gloria [00:04:34]:

Now if you ask me, 2nd most important thing to track in this game when you are playing or probably there are 2 things that I think are the most important. It’s a family tree and also keeping memories. I think they’re kind of almost the same, but, of course, they’re, like, maybe different tools there. But let’s start with memory keeping because I think It’s just such a shame. I have so many families that I’ve played, and like I said, I never really gotten far with Legacy Game Boy. But I will I really still wish I could remember all the things I did get far with, and I could remember like, I don’t even have names of Sims I’ve played anymore or faces or anything because, because, you know, there’s probably not the only Simmer that’s experienced this, but, you know, lost the save file, lost screenshots because computer died on me or, you know, a A hard drive died on me, and so there’s just so much that has been lost to that. And, that’s why I if there’s anything I think you should do, it is Keep track of the stories you are experiencing in your game. You’re going to want to remember them.

Gloria [00:05:31]:

You’re going to be a simmer for life. I can A test to this, I’ve been a simmer for, like, 20 years now, and I’m going to be a simmer for the next 20, 30, 40. And so I’m gonna want, And it’s better better we started yesterday, but if anything, then just start now. Here are some tools that I think are really great to do so. So there’s OneNote, for example. That’s a free app by Microsoft. It’s compatible with Mac, PC, iOS, and Android. So no matter what your setup, you can use it.

Gloria [00:06:02]:

You can even save your information on the cloud. So, you know, on the go, you can open up your notebooks anywhere. It’s got a familiar structure. You know, it’s like a classic notebook with tabs and whatnot in sections where you have really infinite space to add photos, text, and links. I actually used to use it for my Apples of Planes family, but I felt like it was a bit too open. You know, like I said, you have literally, you have this white space that can expand infinitely, and that kind of got a bit chaotic. But I actually built a template that you can also buy on my shop that brings structure to the OneNote pages and helps you collect milestones, memories. You know? You can collect the history of your families.

Gloria [00:06:43]:

You can collect heirlooms. You can collect Stories in your save file, you know, love stories, success stories, all sorts. It even has a planner section. So I think even if you don’t use that template With OneNote, you can really if you, you know, really yourself in and, like, keep yourself to a certain space, it’s a really strong app to build, like, a a Wikipedia like archive of your Sims stories. That you can easily jump back in and look through things. You can, add links to internal pages to external pages as well. So So you can even use it as a registry of your Sims. I think it’s a really solid tool for memory keeping for sure.

Gloria [00:07:18]:

And then, of course, my digital Sims life planner, I’m mentioning this again. It’s not only great for planning, it’s good for memory keeping as Yellow extra made templates that help you collect the history of your Sims, you know, with the Sims profiles and also their achievements. It also has memory albums you can use, even a milestone tracker. So it has spaces where you can add photos. Of course, course, you can use the daily pages as well. For example, as a diary, which I like to do as well. I bring in screenshots from my game and I crop them. I I Decorate the pages.

Gloria [00:07:48]:

I can really get creative with it, and it’s a lot of fun. And it’s something that I can really flip through and look back on when I’m wanna get nostalgic and Look back on what my Sims have accomplished. It also has notebook sections where that you can use to organize and save those templates that you’re using. So I think it’s great for planning and for memory keeping. Another free tool you can use to collect memories of your Sims are slideshow apps. Like, you can use gslides. If If you have it, you can use PowerPoint. I think there might even be a free version of that online.

Gloria [00:08:17]:

And Keynote, of course, is also a slideshow app, and you can build family albums with that. That’s especially great if you wanna create the album of a specific occasion, like a wedding or birthday party or, maybe you wanna create, like, A biography of a Sims, you know, you wanna, collect everything about that particular sim’s history. Well, I think a slideshow as an a family as, like, an album would be perfect for that. And you can even save links to that slideshow album in OneNote or Notion or wherever you collect your your save file stories. There are, like, a lot of free cute templates already online that you can use right from the gate. So slides go.com is where I like to find cute templates where I’m looking for something modern or something looking historical or maybe something even that looks like a actual memory album, that’s a great place to find them. Of course, this list would be nothing if it did not include ways to build a family tree outside of the game because it don’t matter if we’re talking about Sims 2, Sims 3,000 4. The family trainer games is janky, and it is bound to become corrupt.

Gloria [00:09:18]:

You’ll have Sims missing, And it’s just sad, especially if you end up building a large generation, you’re going to want to not lose all that history and all that work. So Definitely get a tree app, a a family tree app. I would always personally recommend going for a proper family tree app, like a genealogy app, an app made to collect family information. The Plum Tree app was, for example, a great app that was made especially for simmers. It looked Slick, but, unfortunately, once that was closed, that was pretty traumatic to a lot of simmers, I think, who were losing their Huge family trees and had to redo them on the fly real quick before the, site closed completely. You couldn’t download the families as a GEDCOM file, which is the universal format for your standard family tree app. And so you really had to start over from scratch. Like, you couldn’t even Ex like, export a file that you could import into another app.

Gloria [00:10:15]:

So that was pretty devastating for a lot of simmers, I think. Well, I understand, you know, it’s It’s really cool to have an app that is made for simmers. In the end, I would always go for personally, I would always go for an app that is dedicated to actually creating a family tree. And so my personal recommendation is hands down the My Family Tree app. I think it is The best app to date if you’re serious about keeping track of your family trees. It’s free. It’s unfortunately available on the Windows, so sorry, Mac users, but it’s A standard genealogy program. It creates GEDCOM files.

Gloria [00:10:48]:

So if you ever, for any reason, decided you didn’t like the app, You can easily move to a different one, but it’s really more than a genealogy app. It’s software that you can use to track your Sims stories and really any imaginable attributes and events even as well. You can have custom attributes that you can use to create traits, to preferences. There are tags. There’s a story section. You can even have events and a timeline. Like, I think it’s so cool. You can track multiple families from entire worlds or save files even within the same project.

Gloria [00:11:20]:

You can create multiple projects all for free. And that’s really just the tip of the iceberg. I dive deeper into how this app works and how you can use it for the Sims over on YouTube in an overview video, so definitely check that out. Highly recommend. Of course, Mac users don’t wanna leave you hanging, And so I have a recommendation for you as well. It’s called the Mac Family Tree, and it’s so snazzy looking. It’s super slick, super modern. It’s compatible, obviously, with Mac.

Gloria [00:11:47]:

It’s made for Mac, only Mac. Sorry, Windows users. It’s not free, but it’s sold for onetime price. It’s a bit of a steep price, you know, if you compare it to free, but it’s a onetime price. We simmers, Most of us are in it for the long haul. Right? So I think it’ll be worth its investment. It has story features, which which I think is super important when it comes to playing or using a family tree with the Sims. And so I would definitely recommend it to Mac users.

Gloria [00:12:12]:

There is one app that is absolute OG app for simmers. It’s been since Sims 2, and that is Family Echo. And that is a browser based Family Tree app. It doesn’t have the bells and whistles of the My Family Tree app, but it’s reliable and accessible. And I think what is really strong for my family echo is If you’re playing a save file or a family that you want to share with your community or your friends, you want To have the option to share, like, an online link of that or a view of that family tree, then Family Echo is the way to go for sure. Last but certainly not least, here are some mods you can use to support your Legacy Family gameplay. We’ve got the childbirth mod by Llama, which will just make the experience of giving birth feel much more realistic and make everything feel more emotionally impactful, and you’ll feel far more connected to those newborn Sims than if you didn’t have the mod. Then there’s better nanny mod by little miss Sam, obviously, to keep from Getting overwhelmed when you have all those babies.

Gloria [00:13:14]:

And then I really love the Mortem mod by simrealist, which will allow you to Say goodbye to your Sims with integrity rather than just going poof. You can have memorials and, you know, like, a funeral service. It’s really great. And when it comes to memory keeping in game, Like, I’ve described in season 1. I touched on this as well, but there are some great mods for that. So Life Notes From Lumpinu introduces a note taking system within the game where your Sims can jot down their thoughts and experiences and create a personal diary. These even live on after the Sims passes, so they can, like, act as an artifact or an heirloom of their life. Then, of course, I Love Up and Down, the ink for yourself, Memory Keeper by Ravasheen.

Gloria [00:13:56]:

Love, love, love. It’s a journal that your Sims can use Create entries of anything you can imagine Co it can be used to collect information about heirlooms or just information about the family and just anything really. So it’s Must have. You can really get creative with it. And then, of course, an important part of memory keeping are photos. And so you’ll wanna create a A family photo wall in your Sims homes. You want to create photos in general of your Sims, and so has made quite a few mods that support that as well. So we have her Eizo Love Photos full control camera, which lets you take photos of Sims without even, you know, photographer Sims.

Gloria [00:14:32]:

Brilliant. There’s the modern family portrait mod, which Auto generates a family portrait on the go so that you don’t even have to get your Sims, like, set up with a pose, play, or anything like that. They just you can just take of, a photo with a click of a button. There’s the photographic memory 2.0 mod that she has that lets you copy and transfer photos you’ve already made to other objects. Her latest is The Sims Portrait Maker, which is brilliant. You can generate a portrait photo of your sim at any time with a click of a button in in their current outfit and with their current hairstyle. And so that’s just genius. So love, love, love.

Gloria [00:15:04]:

Can’t wait to see what she creates in the future because I’m sure she’s not done yet. So I hope this set of tools will help you enjoy your legacies even more after you’ve built thriving, huge, 20 plus generation strong legacies. Like, most importantly, you’ll definitely want to remember what your Sims did during their lives. And so definitely set this up before starting your legacy family, and I think then really nothing can stand in your way. In the next episode, we’re gonna be talking about okay. I lied. There is something that can stand your way. And that is like with any Sims Content.

Gloria [00:15:36]:

It can go corrupt on you. Save files can bloat and get laggy and Yellow. And so I want to talk on just it goes hand in hand. The longer you play a save file and the Longer your legacy gets, the more chances are that things are gonna go left. And so we’re gonna be talking about how to deal with that in the next episode. I warmly invite you, in the meantime, to join the Yellow llama co on heartbeat where we love to share our stories an inspiration, and, yeah, just talk everything life sim related. I’m looking forward to seeing you there. Until then, Happy Simming!

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