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Paperbell vs Acuity: Appointment Scheduling Alternatives

Paperbell vs Acuity: Appointment Scheduling Alternatives

When looking for a useful business tool, Paperbell and Acuity might pop up in your top options. Learn more about these tools with this unpaid comparison.


Finding the best scheduling tool for your coaching business is one of your most crucial business decisions. With so many options around, the choice can feel pretty overwhelming. Scheduling tools are essential if you want to boost client engagement and grow your business. Comprehensive client management platforms that easily integrate with other applications, including invoicing systems and existing calendars, are hugely worthwhile.

Here we explore Paperbell vs. Acuity, offering insight into both customer relationship management (CRM) tools. We'll also explore how scheduling tools, in general, can optimize workflow and client relationships for life coaches, amounting to business growth and greater organization.

Let’s explore both in greater detail.

What is Paperbell? 

Paperbell is a CRM tool that was built for coaches and consultants. The platform offers various features related to client management and scheduling. Its features support users when managing schedules, signing contracts, conducting intake surveys, and general admin and business-related tasks. The platform’s functionality is an excellent option for coaches. However, its lack of readily available customizable coaching tool templates might frustrate some coaches who must manually create and upload them.  

Paperbell helps coaching professionals with the following features and abilities: 

  • Booking page 
  • Landing pages
  • Coaching packages 
  • Coaching agreements and contracts 
  • Payments and subscriptions 
  • Hosting all coaching material on a centralized platform 
  • A specialized client section

What is Acuity Scheduling? 

Acuity is a cloud-based scheduling platform for service providers who need calendar management support. Much like the Calendly platform, its great strength lies in its scheduling abilities. It works well for tutors, fitness coaches, creatives, and any professional who needs help with scheduling appointments and managing their calendars. It's ideal for smaller businesses in need of scheduling support. While it's user-friendly, offers customizable scheduling solutions, and integrates with many business apps, it might not be as well suited to coaches with recurring appointments. Acuity doesn't currently provide support for repetitive appointments or instalment payments. 

Acuity helps professionals with the following features and abilities:

  • Scheduling appointments 
  • Payment processing 
  • Sending automated reminders to clients 
  • Integrating with various business tools 

Key Differences Between Paperbell and Acuity

Paperbell and Acuity are both CRM platforms that help busy professionals manage clients and navigate a whole range of work tasks and processes. While there are many similarities between the two – that we'll explore more in-depth later - there are some differences between the platforms when we examine their offerings and pricing options. In a nutshell, Acuity is more calendar-based, and Paperbell offers a wider set of features, including scheduling solutions.  

Let's examine some key differences between Paperbell and Acuity in terms of client experience, pricing options, payment options for clients, contract signing, and user interface. 

1. Client experience 

Client experience is central to good business practices. One of the most significant differences between Paperbell and Acuity is the fact that Paperbell has a specialized client portal. Clients can access the portal 24/7 and, once inside, can do the following:

  • Book new appointments
  • View or amend existing bookings
  • Review a history of all meetings and purchases
  • Answer surveys or review previous surveys
  • Download their signed contracts
  • Access resources and downloads 

If you enable your coaching sessions to show publicly on Paperbell, clients can schedule appointments themselves. This self-booking service is useful for coaches who don't want to personally schedule every meeting. It also gives clients a greater level of autonomy, allowing them to book appointments without back-and-forth correspondence. 

While Acuity also allows clients to book appointments, they can't access the same fully functioning portal as Paperbell or access coaching resources and PDFs. 

2. Pricing options 

Acuity and Paperbell have different pricing models for subscribers. 

Acuity has three pricing options for clients, all in US dollars. The Emerging Plan (at $16 a month), the Growing Plan (at $27 a month), and the Powerhouse Plan (at $49 a month.) They don't have a free version but do have a free 7-day trial for potential clients to experience all the features. They also offer customers 20 % off for annual subscriptions. 

Unlike Acuity's various options, Paperbell has one set plan at $57 US a month. Users can also purchase a yearly subscription and get two months free when they choose this option (this works out to $570 US for the year). 

Paperbell doesn't offer a free trial, but they have a free version for your first client, no matter how long their process takes. Once you've worked with your first client and want to add more, you'll have to upgrade your account and pay monthly or purchase the yearly subscription plan. 

3. Payment Plans for your clients 

Coaching clients may sign up for a 3-, 6-, or 12-month coaching package and might want some flexibility around the payment process. Paperbell allows coaches to create specialized payment plans with specific clients, allowing you to cater to specific client needs. 

Acuity, on the other hand, doesn't allow for this. They only accept one-time payments. As such, pay-in-full discounts and instalment plans become tricky to navigate with this platform. Nonetheless, they do offer discount and coupon options, and this could be worked around, albeit more complex.

4. Contract signing 

Unlike Paperbell, Acuity lacks the ability for clients to sign contracts directly. Paperbell's contract-signing capabilities are ideal for coaches who don't want to chase after clients and hassle them to sign contracts. Paperbell allows your clients to quickly and efficiently schedule their appointment, sign the contract, and pay all in a few easy steps. This means that contracts are signed before your first session. 

Coaches simply upload their contract PDF to Paperbell, and the platform manages the rest. 

5. Interfaces

Paperbell is only accessible via the web. Acuity is available via the web, Android, and iPhone, making it more accessible for coaches on the go who want to manage schedules via their smartphones. 

Paperbell and Acuity Similarities 

Both Paperbell and Acuity offer Cloud, SaaS, and web-based deployment. Here are some of the main similarities between the two CRM platforms regarding appointment scheduling, integration, customer reminder emails, and customer support. 

1. Appointment scheduling  

Both client management platforms allow you to schedule appointments with ease. Coaches can schedule appointments themselves, or clients can access the calendar and book available slots. Both apps are integrated with various online calendar tools, as discussed below. 

2. Integration 

Both platforms offer users a long list of integrations, including invoicing apps, email marketing platforms, payment systems, and other CRMs. Users might need to utilize Zapier to connect the platforms into automated workflows. Integrated apps include Google Calendar, Zoom, QuickBooks, FreshBooks, Sage, Mail Chimp, Drip, Google Analytics, Pipedrive, Zoho, Daylite, GoTo Meeting, Join Me, Strip, PayPal, and Square. 

3. Customer reminder emails 

Both platforms offer coaching clients notifications and reminders. Life can get busy, and a reminder feature is a great way to keep clients in the loop.

Email notifications cover a range of topics, including:

  • Initial confirmation with the client 
  • Appointment reminders 
  • Cancellation emails 
  • Follow-up emails with customizable timing 
  • Subscription-paid emails
  • Subscription cancelled emails 

4. Customer support and training 

Both Paperbell and Acuity offer clients email support. With Paperbell, clients will enjoy quick responses between Monday and Friday. Simply send an email, and one of their customer agents will respond. 

Both also offer in-depth training and onboarding so that users feel confident when navigating the scheduling software. 

Meet Practice, an Alternative to Paperbell, Acuity, HoneyBook, and more

Running your own coaching business should be simple. If you are searching for a one-stop shop for all your CRM needs and ease of use, consider Practice's specialized coaching software, built for the web, Android, and iPhone applications, so that you can always manage clients, even on the go. 

We support our community with all the necessary features to boost client engagement and secure coaching clients. The Practice scheduling tool is tailor-made for life coaches, allowing you to simplify and consolidate all business admin. Features include:

  • Straightforward appointment scheduling processes
  • Customized availability solutions
  • Minimum booking windows
  • Buffers
  • Organized records of every interaction
  • Unlimited file storage for all files up to 100mbs
  • An easy-to-use client portal (with chat and voice memo features)
  • Various business tool integrations

Practice also easily ties in with other business processes and platforms so that you can effortlessly schedule appointments, take payments, access easy invoicing solutions, send intake forms, and manage all your clients from one simple platform. With unlimited contacts and storage at your disposal and comprehensive online support, you're never alone when you work with Practice. 

Each business owner needs to choose a platform that best serves their business. Start our 7-day free trial and see how Practice simplifies all administrative tasks so that you can focus on what matters — coaching your clients. 

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