TLDR: Acuity Scheduling is the best overall scheduling software. It is perfect for professionals on the go who just want something lightweight, flexible and customizable. With automated notifications, it’s a hands off solution that you can rely on and even has a free tier so you can explore its features.
As businesses grow, new obligations and opportunities arise. This can mean more time conflicts and demands on schedules. That’s where having the best scheduling software comes into play.
A well-executed scheduling software delivers on the greatest promises and potential of today’s hyper-connected internet era.
By using scheduling software, you can schedule meetings, control workflow, and streamline your day to day operations.
Scheduling software is especially vital for organizations that work across multiple sites, or have employees that work remotely (which is more common in the current environment).
Here’s everything you need to know when considering adding a scheduling software to your workplace.
What Is Scheduling Software?
The term scheduling software is a catch-all term for a variety of SaaS (Software as a Service) applications that can handle all, or various segments of, your business’s scheduling needs.
This will most commonly include scheduling for internal meetings, client meetings, and similar appointments.
More comprehensive versions of scheduling software can be used to set staff schedules and shifts or manage workflow and resources.
So in a very real sense, scheduling software is any application that you use to compare and synchronize your schedule, or the schedules of your employees or coworkers.
In a more technical sense, it’s a (usually) cloud-based software that can synchronize with internal or external calendars.
It’s most notable feature is the ability to create meetings or appointment invites, and add them to the schedule of all parties involved.
From there it will block off those times for future invites, automatically avoiding conflicts that would result from human error in scheduling.
What Is Best Scheduling Software?
Here are my top picks:
1. Acuity Scheduling – Best Overall
Acuity Scheduling is an online scheduling software, focused on the ability to streamline client bookings, and avoid the hassle of back and forth communication.
It clearly lists the times and dates that you’ve set as available, while concealing times (and the reasons) you are not, and allows clients to book at their convenience. It then notifies you of the booking and automates follow-ups with the client via email and text reminders.
Acuity Scheduling is lightweight, and flexible, and can be customized to a wide variety of business needs.
These include scheduling classes, interviews, workshops, and subscriptions. It also includes the ability to integrate with online payment providers to process payments at the time of scheduling and apply gift cards and coupon codes.
- Automated scheduling for a variety of appointment types, including recurring appointments
- The ability to sync multiple calendars
- Your and your clients’ information is automatically private and secure, in compliance with HIPAA and other regulations
- Integrates with both payment and bookkeeping software
- Integrates with video conferencing and other online platforms for remote appointments
- The cloud-based calendar is available via a web browser or as a mobile app
- Extremely user friendly on both ends
- Wide range of integration options
- Numerous options for notifications and reminders
- A lightweight and extremely flexible platform
- A free version is available
- Doesn’t calculate taxes
- The free version has pretty severe limits
Acuity uses a tiered pricing model which includes a free tier to the service.
The free tier includes unlimited scheduling and the ability for clients to self-schedule, and the integrations listed, but none of the other options.
Their $15/mo “Emerging” tier adds automated notifications, and some custom branding options, like the ability to add logos and change color schemes.
The “Growing” tier adds the ability for subscriptions, payment packages, and gift cards for $25/mo.
The “Powerhouse” tier adds support for multiple locations, a fully white-label platform, and additional security and coding tools for a total of $50/mo.
A 7-day free trial is offered, as well as discounts for annual pre-payment.
2. SimplyBook – Best Integrations
SimplyBook is available either through a custom website or as a widget that can be added to your existing website.
Your calendar can also be easily exported to social media outlets, including Facebook and Instagram, allowing people to easily book from your promotions.
Your SimplyBook calendar can sync with Google or Outlook calendars.
SimplyBook offers distinct categories for the types of services and appointments available through your company.
It allows you to integrate with several payment providers, and accept full payment and deposits, as well as the ability to apply discounts and gift cards.
- Two-way calendar syncing allows you to integrate SimplyBook with your current calendar and scheduling tools
- Easily process payments, including deposits and gift cards
- Intake forms can be added to appointment scheduling
- Full data security, including multi-factor authentication and HIPAA compliance
- The ability to bundle services or sell subscriptions
- Numerous notification tools, including appointment reminders and rescheduling prompts
- Highly flexible and customizable service
- Wide range of integrations with other industry tools
- Great support for social media sharing
- Pricing models are a bit complex
- Doesn’t prioritize card payments
SimplyBook’s pricing is based on the number of monthly bookings needed, and custom features desired.
The limits on bookings are reasonable, and if you only need a few of the tools available, you can get by with a lower pricing tier, (including the free tier) but if you need most or all of the tools it requires you’re locked into a much higher subscription than your business volume might support.
The free tier includes one custom feature and 50 bookings a month.
The Basic tier $9.90/mo ups that to 3 features, and 100 bookings, as well as adding checkout and gift card support.
Standard, at $29.90/mo, offers 500 bookings, 8 custom features, and HIPAA compliance.
For the full range of features, you’ll need the $59.90/mo Premium tier, which also unlocks white label branding and 2000 bookings a month.
A 14-day free trial and discounts for annual pre-payment are available.
3. Setmore – Most User Friendly
Setmore allows you to offer, and manage, automatic scheduling through their website, and desktop or mobile apps (available for Android or iPhone).
Their service offers full integration with Teleport and Zoom for 1-click video appointments as a way to carry out remote classes or meetings.
Setmore is one of the most fully integrated scheduling services, with support for almost a dozen web and eCommerce platforms.
They also integrate with dozens of bookkeeping, CRM, and promotional programs, as well as links and direct booking for social media platforms.
- Numerous appointment types, including classes, recurring appointments, and video appointments
- Support for multiple logins allows employees to track their own appointments
- Automatic syncing with Google or Outlook calendar
- Integration with dozens of third-party apps, including eCommerce and CRM tools
- Online payment support, including credit and debit payments through Stripe and Square
- Automated notifications and reminders via email or text
- 24/7 online support
- A highly integrated solution
- Excellent automated features
- Quick response time for customer support
- Limits on customization, and no white label option
- Manually scheduling, adjusting, or canceling appointments can be a bit complicated
Setmore offers a free and premium tier of its service.
The free tier includes basically all the features of their service, and support for up to 4 employee logins.
The Premium tier, at $25/mo, adds up to 20 staff logins, support for text message reminders, and payment processing through Stripe (the free tier only supports square).
A discount is available for annual payments.
Setmore also includes live booking, run through a 24/7 call center. It’s charged based on monthly call volume and includes all of Setmore’s premium features.
4. Calendly – Best For Taking Payments
Calendly focuses on providing a solution for internal meetings, including support for video meetings.
Their service syncs with up to six different calendar platforms, including Google, iCloud, and Outlook.
It can also integrate with GoToMeeting and Salesforce, allowing a streamlined solution for both internal meetings and sales presentations.
Calendly also includes support for those in the education and wellness industries providing payment support.
Their service includes the ability to create recurring appointments and provides text and email reminders to clients.
- Sync with up to six calendars at once, with support for Google, Outlook, Office 365, or iCloud
- Integration with several web hosting, CRM, and eCommerce tools
- Support for online payment through Stripe and PayPal
- Available as a Chrome plugin, streamlining processes even further
- High levels of customization and further integration available through Calendly’s API
- A great solution for sales and business meetings
- User friendly on both ends of the service
- Support for video meetings
- High level of business-specific customizations
- Free tier available
- Limited features for follow-ups
- Creating meetings that involve multiple users is a bit complicated
- Fairly heavy limits on the free tier
Like many of its competitors, Calendly offers a free version of its service.
The free version supports 1 type of event to be scheduled an unlimited number of times to one calendar and allows links to be shared or hosted on a website.
The premium tier, which is $10/user/mo allows unlimited event types, including group meetings (not available on the free tier), email notifications, and white label branding.
At the Pro tier, you also gain access to the API and hundreds of integrations. The Pro tier adds extra analytical tools, ad service integration, and payment tools, for $15/user/mo.
A 14-day free trial is included, and annual payment discounts are available.
5. Bitrix24 – Best Enterprise Tool
Bitrix24 is a single platform that integrates and automates internal communications and scheduling.
This includes the expected automated meeting scheduling, but also communication tools, workload assessments, and time tracking.
It includes tools for both private and company-wide communications and allows the creation of department and project-specific communication groups.
Bitrix24 also integrates with your CRM software and functions as a single platform for communication with clients.
You can schedule meetings and video calls through Bitrix24. It includes integrations with social media, and live chat support.
- All on one social workplace platform
- Includes the sharing and storage of documents
- Numerous Human Resources tools, including monitoring, scheduling, and workflow automation
- Allows collaboration and sharing through channels created specifically for those groups or projects
- CRM integration
- Several options for client scheduling and communication, including live chat and social media features
- Creation and hosting of company websites are also available
- The most integrated automated workplace platform
- A mobile app is available for constant connectivity and notifications for new meeting requests
- The sheer number of features may make it overwhelming for new users, or those that don’t need the full range of tools available
- Not great for informal communication and extended conversation
The range of Bitrix24’s tools and features require far more pricing tiers than some of the other options on this list.
They do offer a free version of the service that includes basic communication, project, and CRM functions and up to 5GB of online storage.
Their Start+ tier includes expanded functionality and online storage available for up to 2 users, for a total of $24/user/mo.
For businesses that need the same functions for 6-24 users, plans are available for $69/user/mo with some customization in the level of CRM and online presence supported.
The $99/user/mo business tier adds more functionality and storage, as well as analytical tools, and supports up to 50 users.
A $199/user/mo is also available and supports an unlimited number of users.
Discounts for annual or biannual prepayment are also available.
6. Findmyshift – Best For Managing Employees
Findmyshift is an employee scheduling and management software.
It offers the ability to automatically create and adjust schedules, manage time off, and track attendance. It also includes time clock features for hourly management of employees.
Findmyshift allows you to create group messages to communicate with employees.
It also generates automated reminders for employees that may not be working a standard 9-to-5 shift.
Findmyshift also includes powerful reporting and analytical tools, that allow you to anticipate payroll demands, including overtime for specific employees.
It will track and report this data in real-time as you create schedules, allowing you to minimize staffing costs upfront.
- A simple drag and drop scheduler, making it easy to create and change shift schedules
- Time clock and attendance tools allow you to keep track of employee activity, including hours and overtime
- Integration with other management and bookkeeping platforms
- Track and approve time-off requests, with features that will notify you if the employee is unavailable or ineligible
- The service is available through both web browsers and a mobile app
- Automated reminders, via the app, email, or text
- Single platform tool for a variety of staffing and budgeting needs
- Automated tracking tools reduce scheduling errors and redundancy
- A free version of the service is available
- Some issues when adding or editing extremely large numbers of employees
- Limited functionality on the app
A free version of FindMyShift is available and includes all of the basic scheduling and time clock features, but limits the number of tracked employees to 5, and doesn’t include extended tracking or analytical features.
The premium tier, available for both businesses and volunteer organizations, offers support for unlimited employees, full historical records, and analytics. It also includes the ability to schedule more than a week into the future.
The business tier is available for $35/mo for your entire team.
The volunteer version of the app doesn’t include payroll calculation (naturally) and is discounted to $26.25/mo.
Discounts for annual payments, as well as for multiple teams, are available.
7. Appointy – Best For Client Management
Appointy is an integrated solution to both client scheduling and appointment management.
Their software allows you to share your calendar, and promote your availability on social media, to allow new and existing clients to schedule at their convenience.
Their service will generate automatic reminders and allow your clients to schedule follow up appointments.
Finally, it allows you to run loyalty programs, including a variety of automated promotions.
The employee management side of things will allow you to assign those appointments to specific employees, and track and manage their activity even if they’re at multiple locations.
- Appointy offers tools that can be customized to numerous types of business, including health and wellness, fitness, education, beauty, and professional services like accounting
- Automated scheduling of one-time and recurring appointments
- Sync with multiple calendars, and view all appointments on one platform
- All data is secured, including HIPAA compliance
- Several employee management tools, including multi-location functions
- Online payment processing available
- Integrate with other business tools through Zapier
- Great scheduling tool for businesses with multiple locations or employees
- Easy to use interface
- Free version available
- Some outages were reported
- Limited options for social media integration
- No support available for the free option
Appointy includes a free version of its software that supports up to 100 appointments of a single type per month.
If you need to schedule multiple appointment types, sync with an external calendar, or process payments, you’ll need to upgrade to the $29.99/mo Growth tier.
The Professional tier, at $59.99/mo, includes staff logins, and the ability to apply gift certificates and promotional discounts.
The $99.99/mo gives you a dedicated account manager, and enables custom branding, making it a white-label service.
8. SuperSaaS – Best Website Integration
SuperSaas allows the automatic booking of appointments online.
It allows you to offer automatic scheduling to your clients and supports multiple types of appointments and schedules depending on the nature of your business.
It can sync with external calendars, including Google and Outlook.
SuperSaas also integrates with your website as well as social media and is highly customizable.
It can be used to process payments at the time of scheduling.
It includes several automated time-saving features, including notifications, that save time and allow you to focus on your business.
- Automated online scheduling for multiple appointment types, including recurring appointments
- It offers a large number of customization and integration options
- Process payments online at the time of scheduling with Stripe or PayPal
- Can be synchronized with multiple calendars to avoid overscheduling
- Management tools allow delegation to employees or other users
- Powerful analytical tools allow you to track customer trends and individual needs
- Strikes an excellent balance between customization and ease of use
- Data security makes it suitable even for HIPAA industries
- Free version available
- In-depth changes to the appearance are limited
- Not well optimized for mobile
SuperSaas offers a free version, supported by ads, that allows up to 50 upcoming bookings. This version doesn’t offer syncing with external calendars.
Their premium versions include syncing, and removing ads.
The pricing for the premium service scales based on the number of upcoming appointments and past appointments you need the ability to track.
Starting at $8/mo for 100 upcoming and 1000 historical appointments, $16/mo for 300 upcoming and 3000 historical, and so on, all the way up to $186/mo for 15,000 upcoming appointments and 150,000 historical appointments.
9. MeetingBird – Most Flexible
MeetingBird is a scheduling plugin for Gmail, Outlook, or Front.
Through MeetingBird you can create links and calendars that allow both colleagues and clients to schedule meetings that then sync to the calendar of whichever service you’re using, or sync with multiple calendars.
MeetingBird includes a homepage style interface that allows you to view upcoming meetings, and generate links and invites.
It supports group meetings and can be integrated with Zoom for video meetings.
- Meetingbird is a lightweight plugin that integrates with your existing and email platform
- Support for multiple appointment types, including group and video meetings
- A clean interface for both you and your clients
- The ability to sync with multiple calendars
- Tools that correct time-zone differences for users in multiple locations
- Can be connected with other tools through Zapier
- No need to learn or adopt a new platform
- Lightweight and easy to use
- Free service
- There are a few useful premium features, but they aren’t explained or advertised
- Requires a bit of knowledge to get the full use of
MeetingBird is primarily a free service and includes all its advertised features with no limits for free in perpetuity.
It actually takes some digging to figure out that they have a premium tier for their service (or why you might need it).
The premium tier, at $9/mo when paid annually, adds white label branding and some enhanced functions like the ability to include your calendar availability in the body of your email.
10. Ganttic – Best For Project Management
Ganttic is a resource management software that includes several tools for you to manage employees, project resources, and workflow.
It features a simple interface that allows multiple options for viewing and sorting schedules and upcoming projects.
Using Ganttic, you can set recurring tasks, task dependencies, and assign staff to those tasks using a simple drag and drop interface.
Ganttic also includes powerful analytical tools. This allows you to view your data efficiently like a project manager and allocate time and resources optimally.
- A clean drag and drop interface for resource management and scheduling
- Numerous workflow tools, including recurring tasks and dependencies
- It can be synchronized with external calendars, including Google
- Tasks can be scheduled with varying precision, between 15 minutes and one day
- Analytical tools allow you to view the resources and time used on a past project, and calculate similar needs in the future
- Easy to use and adopt
- Excellent viewing and sorting options
- Unlimited users
- The interface works well but looks dated
- Rescheduling or reassigning tasks is a bit more involved than it could be
Ganttic’s pricing model is based on the number of resources tracked at one time, resources being anything from employees, and their time to raw materials, equipment, and space.
Their free version allows you to track up to 10 resources at a time and scales upward from there.
Tracking 20 resources at a time costs $25/mo, 50 resources is $59/mo, 150 is $149/mo, and so on up to 1000 resources for $599/mo.
As the name might suggest, Square Appointments is an automated scheduling service offered by payment processor Square.
It allows your customers an automated platform to book your services. And, no surprise, it supports multiple payment options, including payment being due at booking, checkout, or the ability to send custom invoices.
Like many competitors, Square Appointments offers integration with your website, as well as social media outlets like Facebook and Instagram.
They offer automated reminders through text and email and allow you to set cancellation policies imposing full or partial penalties for last-minute cancellations, further reducing the risk of no-shows.
- An integrated scheduling and payment platform
- The service generates automated reminders for upcoming appointments, as well as notification of changes
- Available via a web browser or mobile app
- Integration options for both websites and social media
- A free version of the service available
- Single platform for both scheduling and payment, instead of other services that integrate with a payment option (usually Square)
- Extremely mobile-friendly interface
- Strong focus on payment and eCommerce
- No support for coupons/discounts
- Not great for scheduling add-ons to a core appointment
Square Appointments is free for individuals and is intended as a way to augment Square’s payment processing service.
That means they’ll take their usual cut of whatever payments processed (about 3% depending on the type of transaction). Otherwise, the services offered through Square Appointments are unlimited for single users.
Team pricing ranges from $50/mo for teams of 2-5, $90/mo for teams of 6-10, and custom pricing options for larger groups.
The services offered remain the same across all tiers.
SkedPal is an AI-powered personal scheduling software targeted at freelancers and other independent professionals.
It uses predictive models to create a time-blocked schedule that allows you to meet deadlines and stay on a schedule while working from home.
SkedPal syncs with other calendars, including Google, Outlook, and iCloud, and depending on your preferences, automates or assists with scheduling your calendar and core tasks around appointments and other obligations.
Essentially it’s a combination of a calendar app and a to-do list that learns your work habits and demands as you use it.
If you work remotely with a team, SkedPal also includes support for workflow and team schedules.
- AI-powered scheduling software that offers both calendar and to-do list functions
- Guidance and support for independent professionals, especially those who may struggle with time management
- Synchronization with other calendar and scheduling programs to create a single-platform schedule
- Scheduling of both personal and professional obligations, including health and wellness time
- Create and adjust your schedule with an AI assistant that knows your limits and abilities
- Easy to use and navigate interface, with custom color-coded options
- Available as a website or mobile app
- Some limits on how tasks can be broken down
- Ability to view long term versions of your schedule are limited
SkedPal is a premium service with a 14-day free trial.
Once the trial runs out you have the option to prepay an annual subscription for a total of $119.40 which works out to be $9.95/mo or pay on a month-to-month basis for a total of $14.95/mo.
Bookwhen is an online scheduling software that focuses on the needs of educators, trainers, and speakers.
As such, it offers the ability to schedule one-time and recurring appointments, as well as scheduling workshops and seminars.
Using Bookwhen you can easily choose between appointment types that are one-on-one or that are open to multiple enrollees.
You can also easily attach locations, which is particularly useful for hosting events and seminars.
For events with multiple attendees, you have options for how these services are sold or ticketed.
You can offer group and family discounts, recurring purchase discounts, or bundle them with your regular services.
During the event, Bookwhen also functions as a check-in service, so you can keep track of who has arrived, if you’re waiting on anyone, and if there have been cancellations.
- A platform for scheduling a variety of classes and events
- Option to create one-on-one training or consults, or group classes and workshops
- Events can be invite-only, or open to the public
- Includes payment processing through Stripe and Paypal, and includes multiple options for discounts and bundles
- Highly customizable booking forms, including intake details, waivers, and marketing opt-in
- Automated reminders and event check-ins make the day of your event simple and worry-free
- The ability to host events online, including zoom integration
- Great for educators, trainers, and businesses of all sizes
- Highly customizable options for many types of events
- Great for professionals who need a lot of time and focus on their work
- Free version available
- Difficult to reschedule events that already have attendees (can be done through the support team)
- May be difficult for users to enroll in multiple classes that you have not bundled
- Limited functions on the free version
Bookwhen offers several pricing tiers, including a free tier that supports up to 50 bookings per month.
The free version does not include payment processing through the service, meaning it’s only an option for people offering free classes, or who are taking payment at the time of the event.
The $15/mo Lite version includes 300 bookings per month, across an unlimited number of available classes and seminars (including online), and supports payment through the app.
The $29/mo Standard option ups the booking limit to 800 per month, and adds automated reminder emails.
The $59/mo option includes the same services but raises the cap to 1800 bookings per month.
Custom pricing options are available to users who need more monthly spaces for booking, and more in-depth features.
A 14-day free trial is offered, and discounts for annual payment are available.
EngageBay is a multi-use platform for online businesses. It includes tools for marketing, CRM, sales, and support.
It can automate key parts of your marketing strategy, like updating ads and tracking engagement.
The sales & CRM tools of EngageBay allow you to track customers through all stages of your sales pipeline, and even suggests when deals and promotions might help customers along.
Additionally, EngageBay’s support tools help you retain existing customers or guide potential customers through questions or concerns they might have during the purchase process.
It’s designed to provide new and growing businesses with a single platform, allowing a small team to engage with a growing customer base, and scale their support without need to rush the hiring process to provide support.
- Marketing analysis tools allow you to track engagement and campaign efficacy
- Automate email campaigns
- Guide customers through your sales pipeline easily and with minimal engagement needed
- CRM software tracks customer engagement and schedules appointments and key follow-ups
- Live chat and support programs make it easy for your customers to reach you
- Automated support functions
- All-in-one platform for online businesses
- Run marketing campaigns without constant oversight and involvement
- Excellent for small and growing businesses
- Free tier available
- Limited customization for site and landing page templates
- Limited support and engagement options for social media
EngageBay’s pricing is based primarily on the number of contacts and branded emails your company needs to track and send.
There are some additional support and automation features that unlock at each tier, but for the most part, they’re in line with what your company needs or would find useful as you scale up and need support for a larger number of contacts.
The free tier offers 1000 emails and contacts, landing pages, and automated response and support tools.
For $14.99/mo that number jumps to 15,000 contacts and 10,000 emails and adds SMS tools and third-party integrations.
For $49.99/mo that increases even further to 50,000 contacts and 25,000 emails and will track products and proposals.
Finally, for $79.99/mo it allows unlimited contacts, and 50,000 emails, and numerous analytical tools.
Discounts are available for annual and biannual payment, as well as lower pricing options for versions of the service that include just one of its several suites of tools.
Setster jumps right to the enterprise level for its services, offering automated appointment scheduling for large organizations. It boasts several universities and Fortune 500 companies among its user base.
As such, it’s a highly customizable platform, meant to integrate with existing workflow tools, and includes API access and numerous developer tools.
Setster’s scheduling service itself is capable of scheduling thousands of appointments at once, between any number of employees, clients, or executives.
It has custom rules for setting availability, and can even include mandatory space between meetings to allow meetings to run long, or to give attendees time to prepare between meetings.
It also supports both physical and virtual meetings and can sync across multiple locations including different time zones.
- Support for unlimited users and appointments
- Highly customizable rules for locations, timing, and availability (including lead time on meetings)
- Numerous options for appointment types, including group meetings, in-person meetings, and virtual meetings
- Payment processing tools through Stripe, Freshbooks, or PayPal
- Sync with multiple calendars and multiple scheduling platforms
- Extremely high capacity for integration, including API access
- Access and sync from any device
- An extremely powerful software that’s suitable for large businesses
- Integrates with whatever scheduling and workflow tools that are currently in use
- A large and diverse set of tools and functions
- Not a great option for small businesses
- No free option
- Not great for simultaneous or multiple part events (like VIP upgrades, etc)
- Can be difficult to cancel appointments or clear canceled appointments from your schedule
Setster’s pricing is based primarily on the levels of access and customization necessary. All tiers include access to all core features.
Smaller businesses, and those who don’t need high levels of developer access, can license Setster for $20/mo for the first user, with discounts for each additional user.
Developer access can be licensed for $128/mo with even steeper discounts for each user (roughly $6/mo for each additional user).
The Dedicated tier includes server hosting and custom codebase. It starts at $1206/mo, with additional users priced at about the same level as the Developer tier.
Annual payment discounts are available, as well as a 15-day free trial.
InviteOnce is a service that allows you to quickly create and schedule custom meetings with the option to suggest a specific time or let the invitee pick a time and date that works for them.
It means the meetings created are specific to the customer, time, and location that you have in mind.
You can also load the program with custom templates allowing you to quickly reproduce meeting types that frequently use.
Depending on the nature of your business, these meetings can be with you, with a panel of core people in your organization, or can be assigned round-robin style to your sales team.
InviteOnce has a sister service, called ScheduleOnce, aimed at organizations that are equipped to deal with automated requests and don’t require hands-on lead generations.
It uses a lot of the same features and rules and InviteOnce, the core difference essentially being how involved your need your appointment setting and lead generation needs to be.
- Allows scheduling of customizable meetings, which the option for set times or whenever a customer has availability
- Numerous options for setting the availability of individuals or your organization, including the ability to pool availability
- AI-powered time suggestions that display in the body of the email invitation
- Sync with numerous calendars, on platforms that include Google, Outlook, and iCloud
- High levels of data security, including compliance with several industry standards like PCI and HIPAA
- Even higher levels of scheduling automation available through sister service ScheduleOnce
- Detailed, personal meetings make your customers feel engaged and valued
- Customized rules for scheduling and availability allow meetings to be scheduled quickly
- Easy to use interface
- High level of integration available
- Free tier available
- Currently in beta, which means it’s free, but features may change rapidly without notice
- Can be difficult to access long-term records
InviteOnce is currently in Beta, which means the service is free for organizations of all sizes.
Once out of beta, it lists $10/mo for teams of 10 users or less, and $2/user/mo for larger organizations, custom pricing for teams larger than 250 users.
ScheduleOnce on the other hand is not in Beta. The larger, more automated version of the service is available for $15/mo for 3 or fewer users, $10/user/mo for up to 100 users, and custom pricing available beyond that.
Upkeep is an automated CMMS software, which means it specializes in preventative maintenance and work orders for site repair and maintenance.
It seems to streamline the process of site management by providing a single platform for tracking work orders, maintenance history, and automating the rescheduling of maintenance tasks.
It also tracks inventory, and man-hours used in the process.
Upkeep’s platform is entirely mobile, and combined with their automation tools and predictive models, offers an ROI of over 600% on their service.
- Track and schedule both work orders and preventative maintenance tasks
- Allows work requests to be submitted directly through the site or app
- The service is designed with mobile use in mind, making your workforce more flexible and more easily deployed
- Track all resources, from labor and tools to inventory, and submit purchase orders for new items as necessary
- Automate workflow and task assignments based on demand and the expertise of your individual technicians
- Provide quick and precise responses, especially in industries where uptime is vital
- Trusted by numerous large companies, including manufacturers and restaurant chains
- Easy import and export of data makes migration easy
- Can’t be installed on company servers
- Might lack some industry-specific features if you’re not in one of its core industries
It doesn’t widely advertise it, but UpKeep does offer a free tier, but it’s really only suited for a single, independent technician, and doesn’t include the option to view work history.
For its core user base, it offers three pricing tiers, Starter which comes in at $35/user/mo, and offers all the core work order and scheduling tools.
The Professional tier, at $60/user/mo, adds a request portal and supports more users.
The Business tier is $100/user/mo, but can only be purchased as an annual subscription. It adds several automation and tracking features, the ability to place purchase orders, and integration tools.
Annual discounts are available for the Starter and professional tiers, but the Business tier can only be purchased annually, so will always be $1200/user/year or $100/user/mo
Nowsta is a scheduling and timeclock program for businesses with hourly employees. It’s especially useful for those without set hours and those that may not even work in a set location.
This flexibility makes it especially popular for restaurants and caterers.
Nowsta includes the ability to integrate with payroll services, and can even be used to automatically pay staff. Which again, is excellent for companies without set schedules or that work gigs.
- Send and receive real-time schedule requests through the mobile app, making scheduling easy
- Sort employees by availability and qualifications, making it easy to assemble teams.
- Track attendance and hours worked with GPS enabled clock-in
- Automate payroll tasks, including hourly calculation, and allow instant payouts
- Track the hours, and performance of individual employees, which allows you to get an objective look at who your best team members are
- Available through a web browser or mobile app, with a version of the app available for your employees to clock in and respond to schedule requests
- Great for unpredictable job types, especially gig work
- Removes back and forth and confusion in scheduling
- Makes scheduling and payroll quick and easy
- Poor tracking of long term PTO and other unavailability
- Optimization for Android isn’t as good as iPhone
- No free option available
Nowsta is available in three pricing tiers, and its pricing is based on the features and number of users necessary.
All plans are a minimum of $39/mo so regardless of the size of your organization, it will not be less than that.
The Starter plan includes the basic scheduling and tracking tools, 3 admin logins, and unlimited SMS correspondence for $2.50/user/mo.
The Professional tier includes all the advanced tracking and reporting features and 20 admin logins, and comes in at $4/user/mo.
The Enterprise tier adds unlimited admin logins, a regional management dashboard, and org-wide analytics for $8/user/mo.
Discounts for annual payments are available with all plans.
Jobber is a scheduling and management software specifically for field service professionals, especially contractors and other home service professionals.
Jobber allows you to schedule directly with clients, and manage the crews and technicians you send out to appointments.
It includes CRM tools, allowing you to manage existing and repeat clients.
It has automated booking tools, including reminders for clients, allowing you to project professionalism and confidence.
It allows customers to submit specific work requests online based on your availability.
- A combination of employee and customer management tools make it easy to oversee your field service business
- Automatic scheduling that syncs with your calendars to prevent overbooking and extended downtime
- Quoting and invoicing included, allowing a single-platform tool for all your business needs
- Analytical tools allow you to track over 20 aspects of your business
- Built around the mobile app, allowing full and easy use in the field
- Easy use and adoption
- Great scheduling features for anything one-man outfits to large crews
- The best industry-specific CRM
- Limited options for employee tracking
- Reports aren’t as comprehensive as they could be
Jobber has three pricing tiers, largely based on the number of user logins required.
The Core plan is $29/mo and includes all the basic scheduling, quoting, and invoice tools.
The Connect plan is $99/mo and adds client notifications, follow-ups, online booking, and employee tracking and management tools.
The Grow plan, at $199/mo, allows more users, automates certain tasks, and includes marketing tools like postcards and Facebook and Instagram posts.
A 14-day free trial is included, and discounts for annual payment are available.
What Should You Look For in Scheduling Software?
What you look for in scheduling software is, to a degree, going to depend on what the specific needs of your business are.
If your business is in the creative industry, your needs are going to be different than if you’re in a sales or service industry. There is even scheduling software that is designed to oversee industrial workspaces.
The first thing to make sure is that the software options you’re looking at are designed with your sector in mind.
That’s going to affect exactly what you’re going to be prioritizing in terms of specifics and functionality.
Once that’s locked in, you’re going to be looking at things like:
1. The Main Thing: Scheduling
This obviously is the most important thing that scheduling software does, so you want to make sure it does it well, and in a way that matches the needs of your business.
Consider if you want appointments to be invite-only, or if you want clients to be able to put themselves on your calendar at their convenience.
Do you need a schedule that’s going to work around large chunks of uninterrupted work time, or do you need many open and flexible appointment slots, or something else entirely?
Rather than looking at flashy premium features, make sure the software does exactly what you need it to when it comes to your schedule.
2. Integration With Other Apps
Most scheduling software includes a built-in calendar, but as a busy professional, you have personal and business obligations that exist outside of the appointments and other obligations you’re scheduling through the software.
Make sure it’s going to integrate with whatever calendar(s) you and your employees are currently using.
Many scheduling apps can also integrate with email, bookkeeping, payment processors, and social media.
This can be extremely useful, so consider which integration features you need and plan accordingly.
3. Device & Platform Compatibility
In the same vein as integration, make sure the software is compatible with the devices and platforms you’re going to be using it on.
The best scheduling software options are going to include mobile compatibility because obviously being able to access and update your schedule on the go is a must.
Most of the options are available through browser, but some have desktop apps available, which can be more stable and easier to edit, but might not update as easily.
4. Does It Match Your Business Size & Growth?
There are options that are perfect for small businesses, but completely unsuitable (or not cost-effective) for large companies and vice versa.
There are a few options that run the gamut, and even a small number that can scale well if your business is in a position to grow rapidly.
In the former cases, it’s going to be easy to pick the best option for you.
In the latter case, scalability is going to be a major concern, and you’ll want to do a bit more research to make sure that it can handle a large influx of new clients or employees.
5. Customer Support
Even the best scheduling software programs are going to have issues and downtime, so you want to make sure that you’re getting prompt and comprehensive support when that happens.
If you run a larger business, having dedicated support and setup is going to be a major plus.
Scheduling Software FAQ
Do I need a website to use scheduling software?
Not at all. Many options can integrate with an existing website, but can also function as a standalone landing page. Whatever your current web presence is, the correct scheduling software can be added to it.
Can I keep using my current calendar?
If you’re not currently using scheduling software, chances are all of your appointments are in Outlook, Google Calendar, or iCloud.
Most scheduling software options can sync with all of those, allowing you to automatically update and continue using whatever app you’re currently using for your schedule.
Will I still be able to make appointments in person or over the phone?
Scheduling software is designed to supplement and streamline your appointment-making process, not replace it entirely.
Many will allow you to add appointments in the software itself. Otherwise, they will sync with your calendar, allowing appointments to be added to Outlook, Google, or iCloud in the same way as before.
Do I need server space or any extra technology to use scheduling software?
Scheduling software is cloud-based software, designed to integrate with whatever platforms you’re currently using, and be accessible via browser or mobile app.
Unless you’re operating at the enterprise level (hundreds or thousands of users), there’s no need to add anything to your current tech infrastructure.
Do I need a computer to use scheduling software?
Most scheduling software is available for mobile apps and can be managed entirely from a phone or tablet.
Some functions, especially integration, may be limited without a computer, so it’s recommended that at minimum, you set it up on a computer.
Is using scheduling software secure?
Scheduling software only allows extremely limited access to your schedule.
Users without admin permission can only see times that you’ve set as open, and can only edit the appointment space they’ve selected.
Many scheduling software options even operate with high levels of data security compliance, up to and including HIPAA.
Are there any free options for scheduling software?
Most scheduling software providers have a free version of their service available, usually suitable for small businesses. Most also offer a free trial of their service (typically about 2 weeks).
If you decide to continue with or upgrade to a premium version, the price for premium options scales with the size and demands of your organization.
What kinds of businesses can/should use scheduling software?
With virtually no exceptions, all businesses would benefit from scheduling software of some kind.
The businesses that are going to benefit most are usually health, wellness, and personal care businesses, and sales and services organizations, so most of the best scheduling software programs are targeted at those industries.
Options exist for all sectors to use scheduling software, and have unique features and benefits specific to various industries.
Scheduling software can provide vital timesaving services to businesses in many sectors.
If much of your day or your business obligations involve appointments or meetings, you should strongly consider adding a scheduling software to your workflow management tools.
The exact best option can vary, depending on the exact nature of your business, and even your own personal preferences.
Research carefully using these tools and tips, find what works best for you, and enjoy the benefits of automated scheduling.
Let me know what you ended up choosing in the comments below.