For any small business owner, how you manage your time can significantly impact the growth of your business. Aside from practicing good time management, take advantage of digital tools to assist you with everyday tasks, such as appointment scheduling. Whether you’re a life coach, freelancer, or consultant, you probably need to book meetings and appointments with clients. Rather than manually inputting calendar information and setting up meetings yourself, scheduling apps can handle that for you.
Calendly is one of the most popular and widely used appointment scheduling apps out there, and for good reason. It’s simple, affordable, and easy to use. But is there any other scheduling software similar to Calendly to use? And how do they compare to Calendly? We’ve gathered 7 Calendly alternatives for you to learn more about their scheduling software, features, and pricing information. Keep reading to see which meeting scheduling tool may be right for you and your business.
What is Calendly?
Chances are you’ve heard of Calendly or even received a link to book a meeting through their platform before. If not, here’s what you need to know. Calendly is a leading appointment scheduling software that automates the appointment booking process. Users send a customizable link to their invitee which will direct them to your calendar to schedule a meeting. You can also add this link to your social media accounts, website, and emails so anyone will have access to set up a meeting with you.
Its simple interface design provides a straightforward experience for both users and clients. With a few clicks and basic information like your name and email, your appointment is booked in just a few minutes. Calendly allows users to sync other calendars from Outlook, Google Calendar, and Office 365 to provide up-to-date availability. You can also integrate Zoom, GoToMeeting, Google Meet, Webex, and Microsoft Teams to host your meetings. Depending on which plan you choose, you may also gain access to payment processing integration through PayPal and Stripe.
What’s great about Calendly is that it offers an entirely free plan, their Basic Plan. Of course, if you want a bit more customization and advanced features (such as automated reminders and multiple event types) you can upgrade to a higher-tiered plan. Calendly’s subscription plans can be paid for on a monthly or annual basis. Take a look at each plan’s monthly cost:
- Basic Plan: Free
- Essentials Plan: $10 per month
- Professional Plan: $15 per month
- Teams Plan: $20 per month
Calendly’s customer support team is available through 24/7 email support. Requests can be submitted through their contact page and will be answered by a member of the support team as soon as possible. Calendly has also curated a digital Help Center with many articles and tutorials to help you troubleshoot any issues right away.
What to Look For in an Appointment Scheduling Tool?
Before we get into alternative Calendly software, we want you to know what to look for when deciding which appointment tool to use. Your booking tool should be just one of several components that make up your client relationship management (or CRM) system. Not all scheduling software comes with the same bells and whistles, so depending on what you’re looking for, certain tools may better fit your needs than others. Consider these factors:
- Automation: The goal of any reliable scheduling tool is its ability to automate tasks such as booking meetings, sending appointment reminders, and follow-up notifications. Having software that syncs with your calendar and automatically updates your current availability is another aspect of automation to be aware of. You may also find you need a tool that automatically sends out intake forms or surveys, so keep that function in mind while researching your options.
- Interface: Hopefully, your meeting invitees will be able to schedule appointments and sessions with just a few clicks. The easier it is to operate and navigate the scheduler tool, the fast you’ll book out your calendar. This will also enhance your client’s experience with the platform and reduce the risk of delayed bookings. It’s best to take advantage of any free trial period so you can test out the platform and software before committing to it.
- Advanced features: Besides being able to schedule meetings, you may be interested in software that provides different levels of customization, such as a custom link or booking page. Converting time zones, the ability to embed your calendar on your website, and time tracking are examples of advanced features you could benefit from using—you just need to look for the software that offers them.
- App integration: You mostly likely have multiple platforms and apps you work out of to run your business. Finding a scheduling tool that allows for app integration—either directly or through a system like Zapier—will only enhance your experience and help streamline your work. Look for app integration for tools like PayPal, Strip, Zoom, Google Meet, Quickbooks, and other common platforms geared toward small business operations.
- Pricing: As with any subscription you have to help run your business, you’ll need to budget out a certain amount dedicated to your scheduling app. Most tools offer the option of paying for your subscription on a monthly or annual basis, some may even allow quarterly payments. Pay attention to the limitations each platform offers under their specific plans, such as how many bookings are allowed per month or the number of team members you can add. And in many cases, you can upgrade or downgrade your plan at any time to fit your budget and needs as you continue to grow.
8 Calendly Alternatives
Now that you have some key features in mind, here’s our round-up of Calendly alternatives to use with your business.
1. Acuity Scheduling
Acuity Scheduling (formerly Squarespace Scheduling) is an all-around scheduling app with additional client management features. Users can take advantage of automated reminders and follow-ups, intake forms, and Zapier integration. Other features include access to Mailchimp for email campaigns, payment processing through Stripe, Square, and PayPal, plus group events and classes—and these are just part of the standard plan. Higher-tiered plans bring even more customization, HIPAA compliance for health and wellness practices, and appointment packages to offer your clients.
Many users enjoy Acuity as a personal assistant on top of its scheduling capabilities. This is a great option for small businesses who want a more robust tool with multiple functions. The option to add up to 36 team members to its Powerhouse Plan is another bonus for those working towards the growth and expansion of their team.
Acuity’s customer support team is available through email, and users will have access to the digital Help Center to view articles and tutorials to troubleshoot their problems. If you’re interested in trying out the Acuity system, take advantage of the 7-day free trial period for any plan before subscribing to one of their paid plans:
- Emerging Plan: $20 per month
- Growing Plan: $34 per month
- Powerhouse Plan: $61 per month
2. Chili Piper
With a focus on converting inbound leads into bookings, Chili Piper blends top-of-sales funnel functionality with appointment scheduling. Chili Piper is actually a suite of products that when used together, assists with automating tasks at every step of the sales funnel process. Instant Booker provides fast and instant booking with one-click scheduling. Handoff uses a round robin system to reroute and assign meetings. Form Concierge helps to qualify leads, reroute them, and schedule appointments from a web-based form. Distro is a routing software that assigns potential leads to representatives, through round robin as well as lead-to-account matching.
Chili Piper integrates many different applications such as Salesforce, Slack, GoToMeeting, and Zoom to allow for a smoother workflow. If you come across any problems or questions, you can reach out to the customer support team via chat, search the Help Center for useful articles or ask questions in the community forum. Unfortunately, Chili Piper doesn’t offer any free trial period, although you can request a demonstration for any of the products to test the platform with a member of their team. You can subscribe to an individual product, or bundle them together to save 17% per user:
- Instant Booker Plan: $22.50 per month (minimum 5 users)
- Handoff Plan: $37.50 per month (minimum 3 users)
- Form Concierge Plan: $45 per month (no minimum)
- Distro Plan: $45 per month (minimum 4 users)
Hubspot is a well-known CRM platform that offers a variety of products and software to run your business. In addition to its client management tools, Hubspot brings sales funnel functionality, marketing capability, and customer service to the table. Each “hub” is considered a separate product within the Hubspot suite—Marketing, Sales, Service, CMS, and Operations. Business owners can take full advantage of its suite of tools, or if you’re simply looking for its meeting scheduler, you can use that through the Free Tools Plan.
Like other scheduling apps, the meeting scheduler helps automate appointments and syncs with existing calendars through Google and Office 365. Its simple interface design enables clients and customers to easily select their appointment time and date without the hassle of back-and-forth communication. If you operate on a team system, Hubspot’s round robin feature allows automatic matching to team members whose availability aligns with theirs.
At first glance, Hubspot’s pricing structure is a bit complicated, as each plan breaks down a maximum number of users for every individual product within that plan. Before deciding on which plan best suits your business, you’ll need to carefully calculate how many team members will be using each product. The Starter CRM Suite may be a good option if you’re interested in multiple products and have more than one team member you plan to onboard. Of course, if you’re only looking for the scheduling tool, you can use it through Hubspot’s Free Tools plan, but here’s what their other monthly subscriptions look like:
- Free Tools Plan: Free
- Starter CRM Suite: $50 per month
- Starter Plan: $20 per month
- Professional Plan: $890 per month
- Enterprise Plan: $3600 per month (billed at $43,200 per year)
Simplybook is an appointment scheduling software that prioritizes automation for an efficient client onboarding workflow. Although its primary function is to engage new leads and book meetings, Simplybook offers a handful of business management tools, such as payment processing and deposits, employee management, and analytics to track your progress. Integrations through Zapier, PayPal, Stripe, Mailchimp, and Google Meet are also available.
Users can create customized websites through Simplybook’s platform, where they can collect testimonials and reviews, add custom landing pages, and incorporate brand colors and logos. You can also include the Simplybook calendar widget on your business website for clients to access. One feature that stands out is its QR code capability, making it even easier for clients to access your scheduler.
Simplybook is one of a handful of appointment scheduling tools that offer a completely free plan. With this free plan, you’ll have access to 50 bookings a month, a booking website or widget, plus payments. More advanced features—like branding, coupons, gift cards, and HIPAA compliance—are included in their paid subscriptions. Simplybook’s plans are priced as follows:
- Free Plan: Free
- Basic Plan: $9.90 per month
- Standard Plan: $29.90 per month
- Premium Plan: $59.90 per month
- Premium Plus Plan: $99.90 per month
The food industry is one of the largest workforces out there. 7shifts was designed specifically for restaurant owners and employees to help manage schedules and track shifts. Their platform focuses on team management and addresses one of the biggest pain points food industry workers face: scheduling shifts. Within the platform, managers and business owners can create and edit employee work schedules, track sales and data, and see time off requests submitted by employees. Employees also benefit from direct communication with their managers by leaving feedback and status reports. In that sense, it’s similar to Connecteam used for employee management, but this way it’s already a built-in feature.
7shifts offers a 14-day free trial to explore the platform. They also encourage interested restaurant owners to book a demonstration with a team member to walk through the software together. All plans grant you access to the scheduling tool and shift pool, time clock, an applicant tracking system, as well as team chat and announcement features. If you choose to pay annually you’ll save 10% off your total cost, or you can subscribe monthly at these prices:
- Comp Plan: Free
- Entrée Plan: $29.99 per month
- The Works Plan: $69.99 per month
- Gourmet Plan: $135 per month
- 7shifts Payroll Plan: $39.99 per month (can be added to any plan, +$5 per month per paid employee)
In many ways, Doodle is one of Calendly’s biggest competitors. Why? Because they share many similar features and are essentially on par for customer satisfaction and accessibility. Both Calendly and Doodle offer one user the ability to book one type of event or create one booking page on their most basic plan. This keeps in line with simple and straightforward appointment scheduling without the need for excessive features.
However, you can always upgrade to a paid plan that comes with a variety of features. With Doodle, users will have access to automated reminders and follow-ups, unlimited group meetings and one-on-one meetings, a Google calendar connection, and brand customization. Thanks to Zapier integration, you can connect your Doodle account with over 4,000 additional apps to further streamline your process and spend less time on administrative tasks throughout your day.
Doodle is a good option whether you’re a solopreneur or run a small business with a few team members. Each plan allows a certain number of users, so if you have a larger team, check out the Enterprise plan to get the most out of the software for your team. Since Doodle offers a completely free plan, they don’t have a free trial period for interested users to try. You can either stick with your free plan or upgrade to one of their higher-tiered subscriptions on a monthly or annual basis. Here’s a quick look at Doodle’s monthly plan subscriptions:
- Free Plan: Free (1 user)
- Pro Plan: $14.95 per month (1 user)
- Team Plan: $19.95 per month (5 users)
- Enterprise Plan: Contact for price
7. Microsoft Booking
If you’re already a Microsoft 365 user you can take advantage of Microsoft Booking, a built-in scheduling feature that comes with the software. Microsoft Bookings is integrated with your existing Microsoft calendar as well as Outlook to sync your most up-to-date availability. This helps reduce double-booking appointments and frees up time to spend with your clients. To keep things all within the Microsoft family, users can easily incorporate Microsoft Teams to host their meetings.
In order to use Microsoft Booking you’ll need to subscribe to a Microsoft 365 plan. All plans come with a free 30-day trial period, and you can pay on a monthly basis that renews annually. Here’s a look at each Microsoft 365 subscription plan:
- Business Basic: $6.00 per month
- Business Standard: $12.50 per month
- Business Premium: $22.00 per month
We can’t pass up the opportunity to tell you about our own appointment scheduling tool. Practice has created a meeting scheduling tool as part of our CRM platform that matches the same functions Calendly offers. We’ve prioritized automation with a simple interface design so clients can easily book appointments with just a few clicks. Users can sync multiple Google calendars, embed your scheduler directly into your website, and create multiple types of appointments for clients to choose from.
If you need to send intake forms to your clients, Practice has integrated that feature as part of the scheduling process. You can also send forms before or after your meeting to fit your personal workflow. Another feature included in the scheduling process is the ability to include and accept payments. Collect payments from your clients when they book an appointment as a way to secure their spot on your calendar. Users can also create one-off meetings—such as webinars or group sessions—to give you more control over your business.
Try Practice with a free 7-day trial, and don’t forget to book a demonstration with one of our team members. Our support team can help walk you through the platform and answer any questions you may have about the software. Here’s what our monthly subscription plans look like:
- Basic Plan: $35 per month
- Pro Plan: $60 per month
- Teams Plan: Coming Soon, contact for more information
Which Calendly Alternative Is Best For Your Business?
Calendly in itself is a reliable scheduling software for businesses that need a simple booking tool. Its minimal design and easy-to-use functionality make it a great choice, so perhaps you don’t need to look any further. But if you’re interested in a tool with a bit more customization or flexibility, maybe some client and employee management tools as well, there are several options for you to consider.
Whichever tool you choose, just be sure it meets your business needs, allows room for growth and expansion, and fits within your budget. You want to find a scheduling app that minimizes manual tasks and streamlines your workflow. To help with your business operation, find out more about Practice and how we can support your goals with a 7-day free trial and one-on-one onboarding with a member of our team.