[app url=”https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/life-organizer/id556595627″]

Who still carries an actual diary around with them these days? Sure, some people enjoy the tactile act of striking a line through items on a scribbled To-Do list, or scrawling important appointments on a big desktop planner, but most of us rely on our mobile devices to keep our schedules in check. App developers have flocked to satisfy this demand, filling the Productivity category on the App Store with handy organizers and journal tools. And now, as if we needed another, Becoming Your Best has entered this already crowded market with their effort, Life Organizer.

The issue with any kind of daily organizer-type tool is that they are only as useful as you allow them to be. Even the most powerful, feature-loaded scheduler is worthless if it doesn’t compel you to fill it with notifications, appointments and important events. Successful apps in this category have to blow us away with stunning design and streamlined functionality if we’re going to bother opening the app daily to stay on top of things. In this regard, Life Organizer, while clearly packed with functions and options, struggles to separate itself from the hordes of other similar apps.

Life Organizer 1   Life Organizer 2

For reminder apps or calendar schedulers like this, a sleek user interface is essential. Life Organizer, on the other hand, is a bit of a mess. Individual aspects and artefacts are fine on their own, but there is a distinct lack of cohesion overall. There are too many design styles scattered throughout, resulting in a patchwork aesthetic which is hard to love.

This isn’t all about a beauty contest though. In terms of functionality, there’s no denying that Life Organizer is the full package – there is a level of customization and micro-management here that we rarely see in this app genre. To-Do items can be prioritised and categorized, notes can be scribbled on screen or as recorded audio and then pinned to your hugely tweakable calendar, and more. There is even a section for recording your long and short term goals, keeping you on track for success in all areas of your life.

Life Organizer 4   Life Organizer 3

It’s a commendable attempt, for sure, and it sounds good in theory. In practice, though, there is some serious pruning and refinement needed before Life Organizer can compete in this busy corner of the App marketplace. Making sense of it can be a real chore, and deciphering the intricacies at times feels like more trouble than it’s worth. The menu system is clunky and sometimes bewildering – concerted effort will probably pay off, but an app like this needs to be inviting, it needs to be easy to use properly from the start. Any kind of barrier of entry, and new users will simply move on to a competing app.

There is depth here, but you’ll have to get past the outdated, derivative interface first, and then overcome the unfortunate learning curve before you can get the best out of Life Organizer. It’s also important to note that to enjoy the full host of features you will need to sign up for a monthly subscription. If you’re unconcerned about things like fluid interface design and ease-of-use, the free version offers more than enough core functionality to decide if a full subscription is worth the price. Just keep in mind that there are better, more intuitive apps out there which offer similar features in a more stylish package.

Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.