Calendly vs. Doodle
READ TIME: 12 MINUTES
Thad Thompson, December 10, 2021
One of the biggest challenges in scheduling a meeting among several people is finding when everyone is available to get together — not to mention finding everyone’s preferred times.
It really is a telling time when you need to create a doodle poll and then send your calendly link into the family WhatsApp chat to arrange all the siblings to be in the same place - mainly my fault I will add. pic.twitter.com/jKu0yKJIij— Jennifer McGlone (@jenmcglone) November 25, 2021
Polling tools have emerged to make it easy to know when everyone is available. Invitees can now use digital tools to surface available options and vote on their favorites, letting the host schedule the meeting for the time that works best for the most people.
Calendly and Doodle are the front-runners in appointment scheduling management. Which one is right for you? Use this guide to review the features and functionality of each, their pros and cons, and what types of users they tend to serve best. You’ll find direct feature comparisons below, but first let’s explore some of the high-level differences between Calendly and Doodle.
What is Calendly?
Calendly is an intuitive platform that automates scheduling, removing the back-and-forth so you can choose the best time quickly and with less hassle. Its core functionality was developed around scheduling, and has grown to support the entire meeting lifecycle. Over 10 million users worldwide rely on Calendly to plan meetings and appointments, as well as customize scheduling workflows and automate meeting communications.
How does Calendly work?
Using Calendly is easy. Just specify your appointment preferences, such as how long you want meetings to be and how much time you want between them, and then tell Calendly when you’re available.
Calendly takes this information and creates an interactive customized calendar. Then you can send that calendar link to clients, colleagues, friends, and anyone else you need to meet with. You can even add the link to your website or social media. And it doesn’t matter where they are — Calendly shows your invitees when you’re available in their own time zone, so there’s no worrying about someone booking the wrong time.
When someone clicks on the link, they choose a time and date and enter their contact information. Once the meeting is scheduled, Calendly notifies both you and the invitee via email. There are additional options for follow-up, depending on your subscription level (more on that later).
If you need to set up a meeting between three (or more!) people, it’s just as easy. Using the Meeting Polls feature, you can send your invitees a survey on their preferred times to get together. Once they vote, you can see the most popular times in the responses and book the meeting — all from the same platform.
Invitees share their preferences by selecting the times that work for them.
What are Calendly’s key features?
Support for one-on-one and group meetings
Integrated preferred time polling and scheduling for group meetings
Team scheduling and round robin meeting capabilities
Automatic time zone detection and adjustment
Automated confirmation and reminder messages
Event comment fields and attachments
Metrics and reporting to track meeting engagement
Embedded payment collection (Stripe and PayPal)
Numerous integrations including Zoom, GoToMeeting, HubSpot, and Salesforce
Time saving extensions with Firefox, Chrome, Gmail, and Outlook
Enterprise security and admin management capabilities
What is Doodle?
Doodle was first developed as a polling tool, and has evolved to include appointment scheduling functionality. It lets you set up an availability calendar that informs people when you’re free. They can then use a customized link to that calendar to set up a meeting time.
Doodle's calendar for selecting available times.
How does Doodle work?
Doodle has four basic interfaces:
A bookable calendar in which people can choose a time to meet with you
A one-on-one scheduler (for paid users only)
Group polling to assess availability
A survey builder for questions that aren’t “Which time works for you?”
Each interface stands alone, which can be inconvenient when you’re trying to save time. For example, you can send out a survey to determine the best meeting time for your group, but Doodle won’t automatically turn that time into a calendar invite.
There’s more manual work involved with Doodle, but there’s also plenty of flexibility in how you use it.
What are Doodle’s key features?
Polling for invitees’ preferred meeting times
Syncing with Google calendar, Office 365, and iCal
Easily shareable links
Time zone detection
iPhone and Android apps
Integrations with Zoom, Google Meet, and Slack
Are Calendly and Doodle suitable for businesses?
Both tools work for business and personal users. But, as a dedicated meeting lifecycle management platform, Calendly offers more team and enterprise functionality. It’s ideal for busy professionals and teams who want to be more productive, save time, and make a good impression through a technology-enhanced method of scheduling meetings and appointments.
Calendly’s business support
Calendly focuses on streamlining the scheduling process for small businesses and enterprises alike. It’s also a convenient way to show people outside your organization when you or your team are available, enabling you to share your calendar anywhere you can paste a link.
Calendly has a broad selection of integrations designed to support business users at all levels, from small and medium-sized businesses to enterprise organizations. For example:
A Salesforce integration automatically creates a new contact, lead, or opportunity when you schedule a prospect meeting.
A HubSpot integration also creates new contacts and activities, or updates existing ones, so you can track your conversations with leads and customers.
A Google Analytics integration tracks engagement and records appointments as conversions, allowing you to more effectively track marketing and sales campaign successes.
SSO and SCIM support secure onboarding and user management.
Plus, Calendly’s API lets you set up custom integrations with your native product, so it works seamlessly for you and your customers.
Calendly for Teams
Calendly has robust team scheduling that simplifies setting up internal and external meetings. Team scheduling features include:
Auto-assigned meetings that match invitees with available team members
A team member selection option that lets invitees choose which team member they want to meet with
Team-wide availability displayed on a single page
Reporting and analytics so admins can track scheduling activity
Calendly for Teams includes full Essentials scheduling for each team member as well as centralized billing and account management.
Doodle’s business support
Doodle works for business users as well, but its design and features are targeted primarily toward casual users. The interface is functional, the polls are simple to set up and answer, and anyone from a group can log in to view people’s responses.
However, Doodle’s free subscription includes ads — including videos that auto-play — on every screen, which can be distracting and unprofessional for business users.
Doodle’s free subscription delivers ads to invitees on every screen.
Doodle uses several integrations to simplify communications:
The Doodle Bot for Slack lets you automatically start a Doodle poll inside a Slack conversation.
Zoom and Google Meet integrations allow you to add video conferencing links from those platforms to appointments you schedule on Doodle.
Outlook, Teams, Google Calendar, Office 365, and Microsoft Exchange make it easy to add Doodle meetings to your personal calendar.
Doodle’s integrations aren’t quite as robust as Calendly’s and don’t scale well for enterprise needs. For example, there is no support for popular CRMs like Salesforce. However, the integrations are easy to use even if you have minimal experience.
I was waiting for this for soooo long! A doodle integrated with Calendly. I'll probably save 30 minutes per week. https://t.co/KhGS5L9VAs— Guillaume Bouchard (@gbouchar) December 2, 2021
Who uses Calendly and Doodle — and why?
Both Calendly and Doodle simplify and streamline scheduling, no matter what type of meeting you want to organize. However, they cater to different types of users and, accordingly, provide different levels of functionality to achieve those users’ goals.
Who uses Calendly
Calendly has designed its tool as a comprehensive solution for individuals and teams of all kinds:
Customer success and account management teams use Calendly to set up various types of client meetings, from onboarding to support. Automated reminders reduce no-shows while comment fields help everyone arrive prepared.
Sales and marketing teams automate scheduling across the pipeline. Website-embedded forms make it easy to capture earlier-stage prospects, and Calendly links can be used as calls-to-action in prospect emails.
Human resources and recruiting teams schedule interviews of all kinds, including one-on-one and panel interviews. They can also add questionnaires and forms to the invitation, streamlining the interview process significantly.
Schools and colleges schedule parent meetings, student advising, enrollment interviews, and more. Plus, the group scheduling option makes it simple for prospective students to schedule tours or attend information sessions.
Entrepreneurs, solo professionals, and community leaders can manage complex scheduling needs, without the cost of hiring an administrative assistant. Calendly’s convenience factor keeps people connected, while availability controls like adding time before or after meetings and limiting when you’re available help keep your schedule under control.
These are some of Calendly’s most common user types, but it’s also useful across industries and with private individuals. It’s great for scheduling shareholder meetings, but it’s just as convenient for scheduling coffee dates and home services visits.
Who uses Doodle
Doodle is geared toward non-business users, but companies and organizations of all kinds still use it to align calendars on a basic level:
Sales and marketing teams use it to schedule one-on-one meetings with prospects.
Recruiting and staffing teams schedule one-on-one, group, or video conference meetings. The “find a time” feature streamlines scheduling for interviews that involve multiple team members or interviewees.
Consultants and freelancers communicate and schedule with clients and colleagues.
Clubs, sports teams, faith groups, and community groups plan regular meetings and special events, make group decisions, and onboard new members.
Calendly has just introduced a polling feature to find a mutual convenient meeting time for groups. https://t.co/5K1LaMW0wl A sensible alternative to Doodle, because Calendly already easily allows one-on-one bookings on your calendar.— Max van Balgooy (@Maxvanbalgooy) December 2, 2021
How much do they cost?
Calendly and Doodle both have multiple pricing tiers, each with different features.
Calendly’s subscription options
Calendly has five pricing tiers. The prices below apply to accounts with annual billing, which can save you up to 20% per user per month.
One Google, Office 365, Outlook, or iCloud calendar connection
One active event type for unlimited one-on-one events
Calendar integrations including Google Calendar, iCalendar, and Office 365
Meeting Polls for finding group availability
Personalized Calendly link
Automatic notifications of new events
Essentials: $8 per user per month
Essentials includes all Basic features plus benefits like:
Up to two calendar connections
Unlimited active event types for unlimited one-on-one events
Group event scheduling
Customizable meeting reminder emails
Reporting and metrics
Professional: $12 per user per month
In addition to all Essentials features, Professional includes:
Up to six calendar connections
Collective event scheduling
Customizable notification and reminder Workflows
Personalized confirmation page and redirects after booking
Integrations with Stripe, Paypal, Hubspot, Mailchimp, Google Analytics, Zapier, and more
Teams: $16 per user per month
The Teams subscription extends the Professional features for use on a team-wide scale. It also adds functionality including:
Round robin event scheduling
Manage event types as an admin
Manage groups and permissions for your teams
Integrate with Salesforce
Custom pricing is available for larger organizations that need advanced security, control, and support. It includes everything in the Teams subscription, plus:
SAML (SSO) and SCIM provisioning
Expedited member support via email and live chat
Dedicated Calendly account partner
Onboarding and implementation support
Adoption and outcome guidance
Security review and MSA support
Calendly’s free trial gives you access to all features for 14 days. Afterward, you can subscribe to any of the paid options or default to the free plan.Sign up FREE for Calendly
Doodle’s subscription options
Doodle has a free plan and three Premium options. While costs are shown at monthly rates, they are billed annually. Per-user pricing is not available.
Pro: $6.95 per month
Calendar syncing and integrations
Options to request email, phone, and address
Reply deadlines and automatic reminders
Personalized scheduling URLs
One-on-one meeting scheduling
Team: $8.95 per user per month
The Team plan includes the features of the Pro plan as well as the tools to manage multiple user accounts, including access and permissions.
Enterprise: Custom pricing
The Enterprise plan is designed to suit the needs of companies with more than 20 users. It features:
Custom billing and terms
A dedicated customer success manager
Priority support and guaranteed response times
Onboarding and user training
Doodle has a 14-day trial that lets you try out all Premium features before buying.
Calendly vs. Doodle: Which is best?
For business users, Calendly is by far the better choice. It offers more support for different meeting types and more business-friendly integrations and pricing structures. It also provides automated, customizable Workflows that help you manage the entire meeting lifecycle, creating a better user experience.
I check my calendar at least 15 times a day, and i have at least 25 to 30 meetings every week, and @Calendly helps me a ton with my scheduling so this update to poll on best time for a group meeting is amazing, because i previously had to create a doodle form.#NigerianOwned pic.twitter.com/Cu7ZaIF1ZR— Martins Udotai (@Martozium) December 2, 2021
Here is a quick overview of how Doodle’s and Calendly’s features compare:
|Feature||Doodle||Calendly||Why it matters|
|Ad-free||No — up to 10 per page on free plan. Ads removed on paid plan.||Yes, always.||Ads appear on every booking page in Doodle’s free polling tool. Video ads play automatically, distracting the user from what they need to do most: vote on their preferred times.|
|Web conferencing||Limited. Zoom, Microsoft Teams only available on paid Pro.||Yes, many options and free forever.||All Calendly subscriptions include the major web conferencing integrations (Google Meet, GoTo Meeting, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Webex). Calendly automatically adds the conference details to the calendar invite, removing manual steps.|
|Email plugins and browser extensions||Limited. Outlook plugin only on Paid Pro and up.||Yes, multiple options.||Create a poll or meeting on-the-go from Outlook, Gmail, or a Chrome browser — wherever you're working, so you don’t disrupt your workflow.|
|All-in-one platform||No||Yes||Calendly enables you to manage voting and scheduling in one place instead of two separate workflows and tools.|
|Hold all time options for Host||No||Yes||Only Calendly prevents the meeting host from becoming unavailable while people vote on proposed time slots.|
|Ability to ask for contact info||Pro plan only||Yes||Name and email required for Calendly so the host can instantly book the meeting right after finding the best time; Doodle can request address on the Pro plan only.|
Calendly also has several major advantages across more general use applications. Here are a few more things to consider when determining whether Calendly or Doodle suits your needs:
Meeting types: Paid Calendly users can create an unlimited number of meeting types. Doodle doesn’t offer the option to create multiple meeting types, though you can describe a meeting when you send an invitation.
Team use: Calendly offers teams multiple options for scheduling one-on-one and group events under one billing umbrella. Doodle doesn’t offer these features, though the Team plan offers user permission management.
Scheduling ease: Calendly adds new events to your calendar automatically (even at the free level) and prevents double-booking.
Integrations: Calendly has a larger selection of built-in, enterprise-ready integrations, additional integrations available through Zapier, and a custom API.
Billing: Calendly charges per user across all subscription types, so it’s easier for businesses and organizations to find the right plan for their size.
Support: Doodle and Calendly have Help Centers and direct access to support, but only Calendly has live chat for paid levels. Doodle restricts dedicated support and a guaranteed 6-hour response to Enterprise clients.
Both Calendly and Doodle offer free trials, so don’t hesitate to try them out yourself. Both trials default to the free service tier after 14 days and neither requires a credit card, so you don’t risk forgetting to cancel and getting charged.
If you do decide to go with a paid plan, be certain of how flexible you need your choice to be. Doodle only lets you downgrade at the end of the year, while Calendly allows you to change your plan at any time with just a few clicks.
Ready to explore what Calendly can do for you? Sign up for free today.
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