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Review: Moleskine Balance is a wellbeing-focused calendar app

Developer: Moleskine
Price: Free trial, then $5/£5 monthly
Size: 39.7 MB
Version: 1.8.379
Platform: iPhone & iPad

Moleskine Balance

Moleskine Balance is a calendar app that focuses on the experience and quality of what you’re doing, as well as highlighting the spare time you have in between tasks.

Having set the app up and fed in all your calendars, you’ll be confronted with the app’s current day view. You’ll note that there’s ample space for each entry, with time gaps in between highlighted in a way that leaves you in no doubt how much time you have to play with in a day.

The app shows you where you have free time

You can mark tasks as completed or skip them with a lateral swipe, while tapping on them enters a more detailed view. Here you can add checklist-like subtasks, add notes, and mark your satisfaction with the task once completed. The latter takes the form of a score, as well as a simple survey on how energized you feel by the task.

In this way, it’s possible to reflect not just on how you are filling your time in a qualitative sense, rather than the quantitive basis that most calendar apps operate on.

You’re encouraged reflect on how completed tasks make you feel

It’s also possible to tie in Apple Reminders and Health and add things like step goals or mindfulness periods.

Moleskine Balance has got the signature brand style that has made previous apps like Moleskine Actions and Moleskine Journey such a delight to use. Seriously, the way Moleskine manages to make its apps look both super stylish while being wholly distinct from the dominant Apple aesthetic is deeply impressive.

The UI, while beautiful, isn’t always the most intuitive

For all that, the Moleskine style comes at a bit of a cost here. It’s not the most intuitive calendar app we’ve ever used, with a confusing layout of screens and view toggles that takes a fair amount of experimental tapping and swiping before they become instinctual.

It’s also true that Moleskine’s App Store offering now extends to several distinct products, and that there’s a certain degree overlap between them. We’re all for a ‘horses for courses’ approach to apps, but we can’t help entertaining a tiny inkling that Moleskine could produce the one outstanding time management app to rule them all if it would just focus its resources.

Add step counts and mindfulness slots

Despite requiring something of a learning curve, Moleskine Balance remains a sharp, appealing, and fresh take on the calendar app. If you’re interested in how you’re allocating your time or where the stress points are in your day, it’s worth adding to the list of options.