Best scheduling software of 2022

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Published Jun 11, 2022 9: 00 AM

Whether you are booking clients or managing a staff, scheduling software can help you to save time and money while better managing your busy schedule. This software can be free or paid for with advanced scheduling features that adjust the timeline based on completed tasks. Finding the right software for your business is the most difficult part.

Some software is designed for the service industry while others can be used to manage complex projects involving multiple people. Start by narrowing down what features you require. You might need reminders to make client appointments or to schedule meetings with multiple people in the same company. Are you looking for payment integrations or time tracking? Software that works best for your business will depend on its size and nature.

We compiled a list of five top scheduling software programs, starting with a free version and ending with software that helps keep teams on task.

How we chose the best scheduling software

Scheduling software design varies a great deal. We considered critical reviews, peer recommendations and user impressions to narrow down the field. Because a business can make appointments with clients, it will have different scheduling needs than one that executes long-term projects that involve collaborative team meetings. We included scheduling software that could accommodate a wide range. We also considered whether the software was adaptable or scalable to grow with a growing business.

It was also important to consider the possibility of incorporating third-party apps, such as Zapier, Stripe and PayPal. Integrations are a great way to integrate the software with your existing system. Some excellent scheduling software can be difficult to learn. We also considered ease-of use and features that improve ease-of–use, such as color-coded charts and click-and-drop templates and dashboards tailored for specific industries.

Finally, how can the software grow with you business? Some software is designed for small businesses with less than 50 employees. Other people can grow and expand with you, from a small company to a large one. Both types were included in our list.

What to consider when buying the best scheduling software

The type of scheduling software that you need will depend on the nature of your business. A calendar is essential for a hair salon or fitness center. Clients can book appointments. Restaurants may also need payroll and employee scheduling features. To ensure you get the right software, think about what you need it to do.

Beware of unnecessary features. Some businesses require all the bells and whistles to allow employees to manage multiple projects and create complex timelines. Other businesses don’t require that level of complexity. Additional features that you don’t use can increase the cost of scheduling software, but they can also make it difficult to use and clutter your dashboard. Before you sign up, take the time to determine what you need and not.

  • Appointment scheduling: Do you need software that can create links so clients can set appointments with you? You want a calendar that you can integrate into your website. You may also be able to set up automatic reminders and cancellation features for appointments.
  • Group scheduling: Scheduling meetings can be a daunting task when every member of your team has a hectic schedule. Group scheduling software can help you schedule meetings that work for everyone and reserve rooms.
  • Employee scheduling: Creating an employee schedule can be an overwhelming task once you take into account vacation days, employee requests, and other needs. This type of scheduling software often includes timecard and payroll features.
  • Employee collaboration: Employee collaboration can greatly enhance project management. Collaboration scheduling software typically includes a predetermined amount of cloud storage so employees can upload graphics, documents, and leave comments. This software can also be used to plan large events or group meetings.

Third-party integrations

It is rare for a business that uses only one type of software. Therefore, it is important to consider all third-party software and software you use to manage your business. Customers may be able to make appointments and pay in advance using scheduling software that integrates with Stripe and PayPal. To add additional functionality to a basic scheduling program, you may also want to integrate third-party apps such as Calendly or Google Calendar.

Ease-of-use

Scheduling software is not easy to use. Some software allows you create a Gantt chart or timeline to help manage projects and employee scheduling. The software’s features are more complicated and more difficult to use.

Look for software that isn’t overpriced with features you won’t use. It’s not worth paying for features you won’t use. You may find that some software has more advanced features if you buy more expensive packages. A small business might be able to use a free scheduling program or a basic package without any additional features.

Scalability

Some software is specifically designed for solo print orders or small businesses with under 20 employees. Others are designed to grow to up to 1,000 employees in several locations. Think about your business goals and where it is going. You don’t need to worry about software scalability if your goals aren’t focused on growth. Scalability is more important if your company is thriving with multiple locations and growing numbers of employees.

The best scheduling software: Reviews & Recommendations

Best overall: Calendly

Why it made it: Calendly is a flexible platform that can grow with your company. It offers a variety of packages that cover everything, from scheduling appointments to organizing events in multiple locations with a group of people.

Specs

  • Free version available: Yes
  • Access: Web, iOS, Android
  • Third-party integrations: Over 700 with Professional package

Pros

  • Feature-rich free tier
  • Several affordable packages
  • Excellent integration options (professional tier or higher)
  • Simple, easy-to-use dashboard
  • Can set up one-on-one appointments, group meetings, or events
  • Includes website scheduling

Cons

  • Customer support can be lacking at times

Calendly streamlines scheduling for businesses both large and small. It’s a great tool if you frequently send emails to schedule meetings with clients or colleagues. It allows you to set your availability, and allows people to schedule appointments through the software. Calendly’s packages are ideal for solopreneurs who need to make one-on-one appointments or large businesses that have teams working on long-term projects. It also features one of the simplest dashboards, which makes the learning curve very easy.

One of Calendly’s greatest strengths are its integrations. The Professional tier and higher packages integrate with over 700 apps through Zapier. It also offers integrations with Google Meet and Microsoft Teams, WebEx, Slack and Zoom. The basic package also allows customers and clients to create an appointment calendar on your website. The only limitation of the free tier is the number of events you can schedule. Paid tires allow you to host unlimited types of events, including one-on-one meetings and events in different locations.

Calendly can be used in a variety of industries and business sizes. If your business needs more features than your current package offers, you can upgrade to a higher tier. Customer support is where Calendly can sometimes fail.

Best for appointments: SimplyBook.me

Why it made the cut: SimplyBook.me is a customer-centric system that allows for quick, easy scheduling that’s both affordable and flexible.

Specs

  • Free version available: Yes
  • Access: Web, iOS, Android
  • Third-party integrations: Some, expands with Zapier integration

Pros

  • Excellent booking options for service businesses
  • Option to get a booking website with your account
  • Offers scheduling widgets for your website or social media profiles
  • Automatically sends email and SMS confirmations
  • Easily launch classes and memberships

Cons

  • Free plan offers limited custom add-ons

SimplyBook.me is an excellent scheduling software for service-industry businesses. Although there is a free plan available, it is worth signing up for a subscription to gain access to custom features. These include payment acceptance, gift cards, coupons, and gift vouchers. While the free plan allows you to use one “custom feature”, each more expensive package offers additional custom features.

Every account includes a booking page if you don’t own a website. If you have a website, or social media accounts, simply insert the SimplyBook.me widget to your website and social media profiles. Clients can be booked directly from there.

One of the best features is the automatic SMS and email confirmations and reminders. This software reduces no-shows and saves you time. Clients have the option to cancel their booking at any moment. You can also launch classes or sell memberships to expand your offerings.

SimplyBook.me integrates with Google Calendar, Outlook Calendar, and other common apps. It can also be integrated with Zapier using six command options to simplify the use of other applications. The free plan allows only one custom add-on. This doesn’t make it very useful.

Best for small business: Acuity Scheduling

Why it made the cut: The flexibility of Acuity Scheduling allows small businesses to have greater control over their day and gives clients and customers access to your schedule in real time.

Specs

  • Free version available: No
  • Access: Web, iOS, Android
  • Third-party integrations: Many, including over 500 through Zapier

Pros

  • Clients can easily make appointments
  • Share calendars on social media
  • Embed calendar links on your website or in emails
  • Excellent security for customers
  • Syncs appointments with different time zones

Cons

  • No free tier
  • Poor phone support

Acuity Scheduling (a Squarespace company, also available as Squarespace Scheduling) gives advanced scheduling power to small businesses. Clients can schedule themselves through your website or social media profiles. It also integrates with many online meeting apps and over 500 apps through Zapier. Users can share their appointment calendars online, via email, or through their social media profiles. We also love that Acuity Scheduling is focused on security for both you and your customers for more secure self-scheduling on a daily basis. The app also automatically sends follow-up emails, notifications and reminders to decrease no-shows.

You can also create appointment packages depending on your package tier. The highest tier is designed for 36 different locations and has automatic time zone conversion for global businesses, including support in multiple time zones. If you have more than 36 locations, they can also customize a package for you.

There is no free tier. Although you do get a seven-day trial, it is not long enough to determine if this software is right for you. (Most trial periods are 14 days.) The only problem with Acuity Scheduler is their poor phone support.

Best for projects: Bitrix24

Why it made it: Use this software to schedule events and meetings, manage internal and externe communication, send and take virtual phone calls, monitor tasks, and track projects.

Specs

  • Free version available: Yes
  • Access: Web, iOS, Android
  • Third-party integrations: Integrates CRM, workflows, Zoom, Zapier, and more

Pros

  • Online time clock and work schedules
  • Collaborate with coworkers
  • Receive and make virtual phone calls
  • Time planning tools, including event scheduler, meeting manager, and syncing with Outlook

Cons

  • Has a steep learning curve
  • Premium plan is more expensive than similar plans

Bitrix24 combines an online calendar with task and project management tools for an all-in-one approach to managing your business. The collaboration features are one Bitrix24s highlight. Employees can collaborate with each other or clients using the time planning tools. Coworkers can upload graphics, documents, and other information to complete tasks or projects.

The calendar shows the administrator when employees clock in and out, as well as their work schedules. WebDAV allows for the creation of tasks and projects, with flexible permissions. WebDAV allows team members to make and receive virtual calls, schedule meetings, and even schedule them with clients and other team members.

On the downside, Bitrix24 doesn’t have the easiest dashboard to navigate. The learning curve is steep due to the many features it offers. Premium plans are also more expensive than similar software solutions.

Best budget: HubSpot Meetings

Why it made it: HubSpot Meetings, a free scheduling software solution that sends personalized booking links to create group meetings, is .

Specs

  • Free version available: Yes
  • Access: Web-only
  • Third-party integrations: Limited to Gmail, GSuite, Outlook, Office 365

Pros

  • Syncs with Google Calendar and Office 365
  • Syncs time zones
  • Create group meeting links
  • Round-robin meeting scheduler
  • Embed calendar on existing website
  • Easily integrates with other HubSpot software

Cons

  • Not the right choice if you don’t like HubSpot
  • Access only through the website

HubSpot Meetings makes it easy to book appointments or meetings with clients while integrating with other HubSpot marketing software. The free account comes with a single personalized booking link which you can send via email or embed on a website. HubSpot Meetings is also available as a free All-in-One WordPress plugin. If you don’t have your own website, each account includes a customized booking page.

HubSpot Meetings readily integrates with Google Calendar (and G Suite) and Office 365, including Outlook. To schedule meetings with multiple people within an organization, users can create links for group meetings. You can also use custom forms to find out more about your contact and receive reminders before you meet with them.

This is a great solution, especially for marketers already using HubSpot products. Even if you don’t use HubSpot products, this is a great way for clients and coworkers to set-up one-on-one meetings or group meetings. It’s not accessible through the HubSpot app so you will need to use the web interface.

FAQs

Q: What is the most popular scheduling software?

Calendly is one of the most popular scheduling software options currently on the market. Its simplicity and ease-of-use make it a popular choice for businesses of all sizes.

Q: Which scheduling tool is best?

The best scheduling tool depends on what kind of scheduling you need. Some businesses need a scheduling tool like Calendly or SimplyBook.me where customers and clients can self-schedule. These services can also send customers reminders and allow them to cancel when necessary.

Q: Does Google have a free scheduling tool?

Google has extensions that can act as a free scheduling tool. You can also do some scheduling through Google Calendar by adding video calls to your events, inviting guests to a scheduled event, and you can create multiple calendars where different teams can schedule meetings. They don’t have a free scheduling tool as robust as the ones on our list.

Q: Is there anything better than Calendly?

Calendly offers excellent scheduling options. It’s not perfect for everyone, however. Small businesses may need extra features that are offered through software like Acuity Scheduling or project management features through Bitrix24.

Q: What’s the best way to schedule meetings?

The best scheduling software options include ways for clients and customers to schedule their own appointments or meetings based on your availability. This software can be used to automatically remind customers and allow them to cancel appointments. Software that allows group scheduling can reduce confusion and reduce the number of emails required to accommodate everyone’s schedule.

Q: What is scheduling software best for?

Scheduling software is best for booking appointments for services like hair care, fitness, or dental work. It can also be used for scheduling meetings with clients and coworkers to facilitate collaboration. Some software can be used to manage projects, updating schedules automatically as tasks are completed. Software that is more robust may be able to track employee time, pay payroll, and accept payments through multiple apps.

Q: How much does scheduling software cost?

Many scheduling software companies offer a free tier that offers limited functionality. As your business grows, you might need more advanced features. Packages can cost as little as $7 or $8 per month when paid annually or up to $50 to $100 per month for a premium package that includes support for multiple locations and thousands of employees. It is cheaper to subscribe for a year than to pay monthly.

Final thoughts on the best scheduling software

It’s hard to beat the simplicity and ease of use offered by Calendly. You can also increase your package to include event scheduling and meeting planning as your needs change. Calendly offers an adequate free tier, but you might get more functionality for free with HubSpot Meetings, especially if you already use any of HubSpot’s software. Hubspot Meetings allows you to adjust your availability so clients and colleagues can schedule meetings. No matter what software you choose, ensure it fits your business model to streamline your workflow and enhance the services you provide.

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