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Paperbell vs. Honeybook: Which Is A Good Coaching Alternative?

Paperbell vs. Honeybook: Which Is A Good Coaching Alternative?

When starting out as a coach, you can often get by with just pen and paper, or manage everything in your email with a google spreadsheet. That is until about 5 clients. Then the manual work, copying, and pasting, and forgetting details… becomes more of a problem.


A good CRM can come to the rescue. We’re going to be comparing two popular coaching CRMs, Paperbell and HoneyBook. We’ll cover the best features of both, what they’re missing, pricing differences and more, so that you can decide which platform might be a good fit for you and your small business.

Let’s get into it.

What is Paperbell?

Paperbell is a CRM that was built specifically for coaching businesses. It has templates, client management, packages, and appointment scheduling. Though Paperbell serves coaches functionally well, it’s client-facing experience is not as beautifully designed, and we’ll get into some missing features like a robust client portal that supports chat and voice notes.

What is HoneyBook?

HoneyBook is a popular CRM that started off serving wedding photographers and freelancers. It has all of the backend tooling you’d want in a CRM — invoicing, contracts, payments. Because of its history, most of the platform build around projects, not clients.

Best features of Paperbell

We’re going to cover a few features Paperbell does better than HoneyBook, specifically for coaches.

1. Payment plans

If your clients are about to sign up for a 3, 6, or 12-month package with you, you may want to offer some payment flexibility in the form of payment plans. Paperbell allows you to create payment plans for packages, so you can meet clients where they’re at.

2. Landing page of services

Paperbell has a customizable landing page that will feature your packages and digital downloads. This can serve as a straight forward web page for your clients to sign up for a service. Here’s an example of what that page can look like:

3. Group sessions within packages

While creating your package offering on Paperbell, you can add group coaching sessions alongside your 1:1 sessions. This would be great for those who like to mix up their offering with individual and group sessions.

4. Free for up to 1 client

If you’re new to coaching, or trying to figure out if you actually need a CRM, this is a great way to test drive your needs. You get access to all of Paperbell’s features for your single client and you don’t have to pay until you get a second client.

Once you have two or more clients, your options are $50/month or $480/year. 

Best features of HoneyBook

1. Easily customizable and branded invoices

HoneyBook has easy to use editors for their invoice and contract templates. You can edit all of the contents without needing to open up a third party PDF editor like Adobe, plus apply your custom branding to it.

2. Automated workflows

Building automated workflows is one of the best ways that a CRM can save you time and energy. Especially for those incredibly repetitive tasks like sending out reminders, or following up with a testimonial survey, or signing documentation. HoneyBook has a workflow interface that you can use to set up automations that run in the background, while you get back to coaching.

4. Pipeline

Since HoneyBook’s origin was based on wedding photographers, they use the words project and proposals a lot. Most prominently, in their pipeline feature, where you’re typically moving a project through a series of states until completion. If you’re doing a lot of project-based work, having this visibility could be very valuable.

3. Templates Gallery

This is a newer feature for HoneyBook. The blank page effect can be difficult, so instead of starting from scratch, you can start building contracts, proposals and forms using one of their 70+ editable templates.


Paperbell vs. HoneyBook: Key differences

Most of Paperbell’s functionality is built around the concept of packages, so if you don’t sell packages, this is probably not a good fit.

How they accept payments

  • Paperbell: Has integrations with Stripe and PayPal, which means you need one of those services in order to use Paperbell’s payment feature.
  • HoneyBook: Has built-in payment processing, so you don’t need to sign up for a third party processor.

How they handle client management

  • Paperbell: For each client, you can see the history of appointments, surveys, packages, notes, surveys and private files.
  • HoneyBook: Relatively shallow client management. Main details you can include are name, email, mailing address and business information.

How they support different locations

  • Paperbell: Supports english-speaking clients from around the world.
  • HoneyBook: Primarily serves US and Canada, especially with their payments feature.

How their pricing works

  • Paperbell: Free for 1 client, then $50/month or $480/year.
  • HoneyBook: Free trial for 7 days, then $39/month or $390/year. 

Choosing the best platform for your business

Your final choice of CRM will be determined by how much you value automation, what your offerings are, and where you are in your coaching journey.

If you’re just starting out, and not sure if you need a CRM for your coaching business, Paperbell can be a great free start. Especially since it offers the ability to do one-on-one and group sessions.

If you’re looking for more robust workflows and automations to save you time, then HoneyBook might be more up your alley. And, it’s cheaper!

If neither quite fits the bill and you’re looking for something client-centered, while having simple yet robust automations, then Practice might be a better fit.

Built for Web, iOS and Android — Practice is the client management software for businesses of one. Making it super simple for you and your clients to use, while looking super professional.


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