Between back-and-forth emails to find availability and manual booking tasks, appointment scheduling takes too much valuable time away from small businesses.
Get that time back with online appointment scheduling software. Online booking systems and appointment scheduling apps eliminate scheduling emails, appointment reminders, and other tasks needed to book appointments. And you get more time to focus on growing your business.
Which is the best appointment scheduling software for small businesses? Today’s scheduling platform market is full of choices. Use this guide to get familiar with the major options.
Calendly is an intuitive, visually driven scheduling automation solution. You can set up Calendly and start scheduling meetings almost immediately — in fact, Calendly ranks near the top of G2’s “ease of use” listing. Simply create a scheduling link and send it to the person you want to meet with. Your invitee picks the time that’s convenient, and Calendly’s automation does the rest.
Calendly provides several ways to create scheduling links:
Your Calendly homepage
Mobile app for Apple iOS and Android.
Scheduling links can be shared directly over email, SMS/text, QR code, and other channels. You can customize your meeting types, or use one of Calendly’s meeting templates. Calendly can be embedded on your website as a booking page, or integrated with CRMs like Hubspot and Salesforce to book appointments. Integrations include a wide variety of apps and Zapier connections, so you can share meeting details instantly with the tools you rely on every day.
How it works
Calendly streamlines your booking process by automating the manual admin tasks of scheduling. Your calendar syncs to Calendly, which shows meeting invitees your available time slots. When someone chooses their preferred time, the scheduling tool automatically adds the meeting to their calendar and yours.
Calendly blends simplicity with flexibility, and includes many helpful features in the free Basic version, such as unlimited appointments for one-on-one meetings. The app lets you customize settings so you can ensure your scheduling supports your business needs and preferences:
Customize the hours you’re available for appointments
Cap the number of meetings allowed per day so you don’t get overbooked
Add a time buffer before and after events so you have time to focus on your next appointment
Display availability in your invitee’s time zone
Certain Calendly paid plans provide analytics on invitee engagement and scheduling activity, helping you make your scheduling processes even more efficient.
We love the simplicity of Calendly, including the ability to give our clients a link and let them easily schedule interviews between their team members/customers and our writers."
Who it's for
Calendly works for all team sizes and appointment types, from one-on-one meetings to large groups. Admins can set up team booking pages so each team member accesses the relevant event and invitee types. Calendly also has multiple security and compliance measures to keep information safe.
Thanks to app integrations with Zoom, Google Meet, and Webex, you can add meeting details to your virtual events and avoid late arrivals and no-shows because invitees can’t find their login information.
Calendly offers multiple pricing tiers, from a free Basic free plan all the way up to enterprise-level scheduling solutions. If you’d like to try Calendly first, the app also offers a free appointment scheduling trial period. To see which option is the best fit for your business, visit Calendly’s pricing page.
2. Google Workspace appointment scheduling
Google offers online appointment scheduling in select editions of Google Workspace. While Google’s appointment slots are used for booking appointments inside the company, appointment scheduling lets external invitees schedule time with you. Customers don’t need a Google account to book appointments, as scheduling happens through a booking page.
Google’s scheduling functionality is basic — only one-on-one appointments are offered — making it ideal for small businesses with simple scheduling needs.
Businesses that prefer working in Google can expand their Google Calendar’s functionality. The appointment scheduler lets you specify how far in advance appointments can be booked, adjust your availability for specific dates, add time buffers between meetings, and limit your daily number of bookings. Google also lets you send confirmation and reminder emails to people who schedule time with you.
The appointment scheduling software integrates with Google Calendar, Google Meet, and other Google apps. That integration lets Google automatically detect any scheduling conflicts with your existing appointments.
Google appointments scheduling pricing
Google's appointment scheduling is good for small businesses who already pay for Google Workspace and only schedule 1:1 appointments via Google Meet, because it’s included with the full Google product suite. Otherwise, interested users would need to purchase a Google Workspace account. You can find a full list of plans on the Google Workspace pricing page.
3. Microsoft Bookings
Microsoft Bookings is an online appointment scheduling add-on for Microsoft 365 Business and Enterprise subscribers. The app organizes schedules and manages appointments, letting clients book available times in your schedule without double-booking appointments.
Microsoft Bookings offers simple scheduling functionality. Bookings lets you define the types of appointments you want to offer, and other scheduling information such as your business hours and information and available staff members. These details are published to a booking page your customers use to schedule time.
On the admin side, Microsoft Bookings lets you manage existing appointments and book new appointments on behalf of customers. The app provides a directory of customers who have scheduled appointments before or been added to your system manually. Admins can assign scheduling roles and permissions, though full user management functionally requires an Enterprise subscription.
Microsoft Bookings works well for small businesses who rely on Microsoft apps, as it integrates with Outlook calendar, Office suite, Microsoft Teams, and other tools. However, it has some limitations when it comes to integrating with third-party apps.
Microsoft Bookings pricing
Microsoft Bookings requires a Microsoft 365 business or enterprise subscription to work. If your small business uses a higher-tier plan, you may already have access. If you’re not a subscriber, visit the Microsoft 365 Business pricing page to learn about the current subscription tiers.
4. Square Appointments
Square Appointments booking software is part of Square’s POS payment processing solution. Its basic functionality is the same as other leading appointment scheduling apps — clients can book from anywhere, and you can track multiple schedules and locations. Square also gives you the option to accept or decline appointments.
Square Appointments has a free online booking website, or you can embed a booking widget into Squarespace, Wix, and Wordpress websites. The app also lets you create specialized booking links for Google Calendar, Instagram, and other social media channels.
Unsurprisingly, Square Appointments is fully featured when it comes to payments. You can collect payment at checkout, require prepayment at the time of booking, or send invoices. Square Appointments can also accept cancellation fees.
Square also has the Square Assistant, a digital messenger that automates client communications. It can confirm, cancel, or reschedule appointments, all based on your preferences. The app also sends automatic appointment reminders through SMS/text and email.
Square Appointments pricing
Like most appointment scheduling apps, Square Appointments lets you choose from multiple pricing tiers. However, the monthly subscription costs are variable. Pricing is based on the number of locations, plus processing fees for each transaction. Learn more on the Square Appointments pricing page.
I do not enjoy having three or four emails for every stakeholder in a meeting asking, 'When are you available?' It can take days to a week or two to get that meeting booked. Losing that time can cost you money."
Founder & CEO
10to8 is a cloud-based online appointment scheduling app that offers branded communications across multiple locations, calendars, and teams. Customers can easily book appointments through a customizable booking page. Anyone who books time with you receives automated SMS/text, phone call, or email reminders so they don’t miss an appointment. The platform tracks all messages, so you know if a customer has seen your notifications.
With 10to8, you get real-time notifications when a client or staff member makes or reschedules an appointment. You can access 10to8 through any operating system and device, so information about your upcoming appointments is always available when you’re on the go. 10to8 also features Stripe and Paypal integrations, so you can accept credit card payments with appointment requests and keep your revenue flowing.
10to8 also offers reporting and analytics tools. A live dashboard shows how your business is performing based on appointment volume. You can also run reports by customer, service type or staff member. Admins can set calendar access controls so staff can only view or edit certain calendars.
10to8 has a free plan just for small businesses in addition to multiple paid plans. Users can pay monthly or annually, with a reduced rate for yearly subscriptions. You can compare the plans on 10to8’s pricing page.
6. Acuity Scheduling
Acuity Scheduling’s cloud-based appointment scheduling software supports self-service booking and multi-calendar scheduling. Clients can select from your available time slots and book in real time. The app was acquired by Squarespace in 2019, so it integrates well with Square’s tools.
Acuity embeds into your website and accepts payments through PayPal, Square, or Stripe. You can also accept tips, offer coupons and upsell with checkout add-ons like retail products or extra services. Acuity includes accounting, invoicing, and client management features that keep small businesses running. However, Acuity has some limitations when it comes to advanced scheduling features, such as group appointments.
The appointment signup form is customizable and includes an option for client intake forms. These forms help you collect all customer information in one place as you prepare for your appointments. Acuity will send clients customized confirmations and reminder notifications to reduce the risk of no-shows.
Acuity Scheduling pricing
Acuity provides a free trial period, after which small business users can choose from three paid plans. All paid users have access to advanced features, but higher tiers let you manage more calendars, staff members, and locations. The Acuity pricing page has all the details.
SimplyBook.me takes booking requests 24 hours a day and supports multiple locations. Confirmations and reminders for staff and clients keep everyone on the same page.
SimplyBook.me lets you create your own branded booking website that can stand alone or integrate into your existing site as a widget. You can also add booking CTAs to Facebook, Instagram, and Google Business Profile.
With SimplyBook.me, you can accept credit card payments through an inbuilt POS or through payment processors like Stripe and PayPal. You can also add coupons or upsells as part of the checkout process, and then track the performance of your promotions.
An admin platform is included so you can view, create, edit and cancel appointments. The platform also lets you manage employee timetables, so you can manage internal and external scheduling all in one place.
SimplyBook.me has a free tier that includes the basic functionality a small business or entrepreneur needs except POS functionality. The other paid tiers offer increasing amounts of features. The SimplyBook.me pricing page has all the details.
YouCanBook.me is another appointment scheduling software solution that helps you avoid back-and-forth emails to book meetings and double-bookings. It has an intuitive dashboard for ease of use and a quick setup process. YouCanBook.me integrates with several apps, letting you automatically share meeting details with video conferencing, payment, and calendar apps.
YouCanBook.me has features familiar in other scheduling solutions. It provides a personalized booking page that integrates with Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook Calendar. You can add data fields to your booking form, and the scheduling tool automatically adds your customer’s notes to your calendar event. If your small business hosts demos and webinars, YouCanBook.me supports group events that let you book multiple people for the same time slot.
The app sends customizable confirmation, reminders, and follow-ups, so you and your customers stay up to date with every appointment and reduce the risk of no-shows. YouCanBook.me automatically detects time zones, so everyone knows exactly when a meeting has been scheduled.
YouCanBook.me also offers team scheduling features. Pooled availability lets customers book appointments with a specific staff member or the first available person. Assignable roles let admins control who has access to different scheduling features.
YouCanBook.me starts with a free trial membership, and then converts to a monthly payment plan. The paid plans unlock more features and flexibility, with discounts for 1- and 2-year memberships. Learn more on the YoucanBook.me pricing page.
Calendar takes a minimalist approach to online appointment scheduling, with a clean graphic interface that focuses on the most frequently used features. Meetings can be color-coded on your calendar, so you can see what types of appointments you have at a glance. Calendar also lets you build multiple teams, which use workspaces in the platform to group and organize their time slots and scheduling pages.
Scheduling features and functionality in Calendar are standard. The app lets you create custom appointment events, and also provides meeting templates to help you get started. Once you define your available hours, simply send a scheduling link to your customers so they can choose the most convenient time.
Calendar can calendar sync with Google Calendar, Office 365, and Outlook, link to Zoom for videoconferencing, and connect with a variety of tools through its native Zapier integration. The scheduling tool also allows you to meet with up to five attendees at a time in a group meeting.
One notable feature is Calendar’s analytics package. This dashboard examines your appointments and delivers insights into how you use your time. You can see what types of appointments are booked most often, where these meetings happen, and the people you meet with most often.
Calendar offers a mix of free and paid plans, with more features available as you upgrade your pricing tier. Like other scheduling software platforms, the annual membership offers a discount over a monthly payment plan. For more information, visit the Calendar pricing page.
Like any good scheduling tool, Appointment lets customers set and reschedule appointments 24/7, based on your defined availability. Appointment provides a booking page, making it a great option for service providers who don’t have a dedicated website.
Appointment also supports encrypted and secure transactions via SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) technology, so you can accept payments via PayPal at the time of scheduling.
Appointment’s booking app supports multiple services and locations, so you can provide scheduling flexibility with no risk of double-booking. Your booking page can be customized with logos and content, and then embedded into your website. Appointment also gives admins plenty of control, letting them define which staff members can view or edit which calendar.
Additionally, Appointment provides easy access to reporting that helps you understand appointment trends, customer spending patterns, who your best customers are, and more. For example, you can track discount and gift card usage to measure the effectiveness of different promotions.
Appointment has several monthly payment options for individual users. Small businesses can choose one of Appointment’s annual subscription plans, or opt for a pay-as-you plan based on the number of bookings. Full details are available on the Appointment pricing page.
All appointment scheduling software platforms use different approaches and features to automate scheduling and let you focus on growing business. Which is the best appointment scheduling app? It depends on your specific business needs. This list gives you a great starting point for evaluating and choosing the solution that’s the right fit for you.
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