Scheduling appointments is a vital part of both business and personal life.
But there’s just so much that can go wrong when it’s not done right…
Say for example, you miss an appointment with an important client because you wrote the date and time down on a post-it note that ended up getting chucked away. Best case scenario, you upset the client. Worse case scenario, you lose the client altogether.
Or here’s another scenario. You have an important report due, but you missed the deadline because you didn’t set a reminder to get everything wrapped up. This could have consequences for the whole company because it could postpone the introduction of new procedures coming into place.
To be frank, the list goes on.
But in this day and age, there’s so much that can be done to prevent these scenarios from ever happening. What you and your business needs is an appointment scheduling app.
Calendly is certainly one of the most well known apps of this sort out there. But it’s hardly the only one on the market. And before you go to all the rigmarole of installing the software onto your device and getting it all set up, you must first ensure that it’s right for you and meets your specific needs.
This is why we’ve put together this article. First, we’re going to give you the low down on Calendly, before giving you an in-depth review of 6 different alternatives to Calendly that you certainly ought to consider before you lump for just the one.
Following on from that, we’ll then wrap up with a brief conclusion, before providing you with some welcome answers to some of your most frequently asked questions on the subject.
So, without further ado, let’s get straight to it!
Please feel free to scroll ahead to any section of particular interest to you.
What We Like About Calendly
Ease Of Use
Calendly is a breeze to use…
All you have to do is enter your availability for appointments onto the calendar. Then you can send an invite to your invite through Calendly, which can be sent by either text or email. Then the invitee simply selects a time that suits you both, and books it in.
This is way more efficient than how we used to book appointments up until now. All those emails back and forth, “Can you do this date?” “How about this date” “Can you make 10am?” and so on.
Calendly’s user interface is very intuitive and a breeze to use, you’ll rarely run into any problems with it.
Now, it’s worth noting at this point that many of the appointment scheduling apps out there only allow a limited number of appointments each month. But where Calendly differs from this is that they offer an unlimited number of appointments. And you’ll never have to worry about whether you’re getting too close to the limit.
This is particularly beneficial when there’s a whole team of people in the business to schedule appointments with, and it really comes into its own for those who only require 15 minutes for an appointment.
One of the star features of Calendly is how it integrates with a wide range of popular calendars. These include the likes of Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Office 365, Google and iCloud.
This is perfect, because not only does it mean you can have a record of the appointment on a range of different smart devices such as tablets, smartphones, and smartwatches.
Moreover, Calendly also has a wide range of other integrations besides, such as customer relationship management software, or even website building templates.
Automated Workflow Templates
Besides booking the appointment itself, you can also set up Calendly to automate related workflow items, too.
For example, you can set up Calendly to automatically send out confirmation emails to let your invitees know their appointment is booked, reminders closer to the date/time, and a quick feedback survey after the appointment.
However, it’s important to note at this point that some of the automated workflow items are only accessible on the paid Calendly plans and not on the free version.
What Calendly Could Do Better
But, despite having so many great plus points, Calendly is far from perfect, which is why we’re reviewing some of the best alternatives for you. Here’s what Calendly could be doing better.
No Desktop Software Available
One of the biggest pitfalls of Calendly is how there’s no desktop app for it. This might be just fine for those employees who work on their feet, but it’s quite a drawback for office users who have their appointments at their desk.
You Can’t Take Payments On The Free Plan
It makes sense for clients to pay for their appointments as they book them. And this is possible to do on Calendly’s paid plans, but unfortunately not on their free plan. Quite a let-down.
The Cost Increases For Each User
Calendly charges a fee of circa $10 per user per month. And this can make it unnecessarily costly for businesses with large teams.
Especially, when you consider that some of the alternatives to Calendly charge an amount that works out to about $1 or so per month for each user. (More on that later in the article).
Lack Of Customization Options On The Dashboard
While Calendly is great for scheduling with external invitees, it’s not so hot for scheduling other types of work, such as social media content management and the like.
And, you’ll be pleased to know, some of the best alternatives to Calendly can address some of these issues, and occasionally offer more besides. Which brings us nicely onto our next section.
What Are The Best Alternatives To Calendly?
In our view, the best alternatives to Calendly are as follows:
- Squarespace Scheduling
- Wix Bookings
And now to look into each in detail.
Here’s a quick review of what we believe to be 6 of the best Calendly alternatives. They aren’t written in any particular order.
1. Squarespace Scheduling
Why Squarespace Scheduling Made Our Shortlist
Squarespace Scheduling comes from Squarespace, the same group of companies that bring users website building platforms and website hosting services. But, we were pleased to learn, you can access their appointment scheduling app without having to own a Squarespace website.
But, what brought us to include Squarespace scheduling in our shortlist was that in addition to booking regular one-on-one appointments, you can also use it to book group meetings such as classes or webinars.
And what really helps with this also, is how you can use it with other major integrations, such as Zoom, ClassPass, Zapier and MailChimp.
If you already happen to have a Squarespace website, this would be the perfect add-on. It comes already built into your dashboard and access is seamless.
The pricing of the app is pretty good too. There are a range of different paid plans to choose from, and the Powerhouse plan at just under $50 per month gives you up to a whopping 36 calendars, so it’s a fantastic choice for businesses with a lot of employees.
And the other great thing about Squarespace scheduling is that the higher tier plans enable you to sell your customers and clients memberships, subscriptions, gift certificates, and other up-sells besides.
Moreover, there are also multiple payment processing apps it works with, including the likes of PayPal, Stripe, and Square. AND, it will sync perfectly with all of the major calendar apps, including Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Office 365, iCloud, and Google.
Where Calendly Beats Squarespace Scheduling
The worst thing about Squarespace Scheduling is that, unlike with Calendly, there’s no free plan whatsoever. But that said, their paid plans can be quite affordable, starting at circa $14 per month.
Calendly is also way better than Squarespace Scheduling when it comes to booking internal team meetings. You don’t have to email everyone individually about their availability, you simply book them right onto everyone’s schedule in one fell swoop.
Who Squarespace Scheduling May Be Best For
Squarespace Scheduling is hands down the best scheduling app for any business who already owns a Squarespace website.
But, it also makes for a great appointment scheduling app for anyone who sells online courses or classes, due to their handy group booking system.
Why Setmore Made Our Shortlist
There are several reasons why Setmore made it onto our shortlist. And two of these are how Setmore trumps Calendly in two different areas.
First off, Setmore features a desktop app for your PC or laptop, which is perfect for users who are office based, and saves them having to find their devices to check their schedule, when their desktop is right in front of them. Moreover, this also means you can view your schedule offline if you lose Wi-Fi.
Second of all, it also offers a very generous free plan. Whereas Calendly usually offers a monthly fee of circa $10 per user per month, Setmore’s free plan comes with 4 user accounts, which is perfect for small teams. A much more economical option than Calendly in that respect.
And then there are all the good things it has in common with Calendly. It’s incredibly easy to use, you don’t need to be some kind of tech wiz to get started, thanks to the super handy set-up wizard, you’ll be ready to go in no time at all.
Where Calendly Beats Setmore
Although Setmore works well with several different calendar apps, including the likes of Google and Microsoft Office 365, it doesn’t integrate well with the likes of Microsoft Outlook or Apple’s iCloud. So if you use either of these calendars, Calendly trumps Setmore in that respect.
Who Setmore May Be Best For
The Setmore app is best suited for those who are office based due to the desktop app, and for those who want to use a free or cheap plan but have multiple users who’d be taking advantage.
Why Simplybook.me Made Our Shortlist
Now, this is an app with some great features. It goes beyond merely scheduling appointments, and it provides you with an entire online landing page.
This is the perfect option for solo entrepreneurs who simply don’t have the time or money to fork out for building a website. Moreover, their landing pages look really good too, very professional and up-market.
And the next great thing about it is its membership feature, whereby it enables you to offer discounts and treats to subscribed members. And everyone knows how well such incentives work to boost sales, not to mention boosting client retention.
Then there’s the fact that Simplybook.me offers a whopping 40 different payment processors, so your clients can pay for their appointment in just about any way that works for them.
And that’s not all. With Simplybook.me you can connect with people who speak other languages, since it incorporates 15 different languages altogether.
Where Calendly Beats Simplybook.me
As with many other Calendly alternatives, Simplybook.me doesn’t integrate with as many different calendars as Calendly does. In fact, to date, it only really integrates with Google and Microsoft Outlook.
Who Simplybook.me May Be Best For
The Simplybook.me app is perfect for entrepreneurs who want to get off the ground as quickly as possible and have a professional online landing page built up without having to pay loads of bucks for a web designer.
It’s also a great choice for those who want to offer their clients a good choice of different payment options. Or for entrepreneurs who want to offer discounts to their membership community.
Why TimeSync Made Our Shortlist
What we love the most about TimeSync is all the different integrations it offers. For video conferencing, for example, it integrates great with the likes of GoogleMeet and Zoom.
Better yet, this integration with video conferencing apps is available on the free plan, and does not cost a cent. Whereas on Calendly, you’d have to subscribe to a paid plan for this service.
But that’s not all. It also integrates with the likes of Facebook Pixel, Google Analytics, and several customer relationship management tools.
Another area where TimeSync shines is how it asks your invitees a series of pertinent questions prior to booking an appointment. This is quite the time saver, and it basically means that when the appointment comes, you are better prepared, and may have a more productive meeting.
Where Calendly Beats TimeSync
TimeSync is not perfect, however, and does have several notable drawbacks. First off, although TimeSync will integrate with some Calendars, such as Google, or Microsoft’s Outlook, it won’t work with them all.
And you don’t get the same automated workflow items you get with Calendly. Sure, it can manage notifications and reminders, but you can’t automate any feedback surveys.
It’s not the best app for those companies on tight budgets either, especially those with several employees to schedule appointments for, with a subscription fee of $25 per month per user.
Who TimeSync May Be Best For
We recommend TimeSync to those professionals who conduct the brunt of their work through video calling, due to the app’s seamless integration with the likes of Zoom and GoogleMeet.
But it’s also a good choice for larger businesses, where it’s useful to ask a series of qualifying questions before an appointment is officially booked.
Why Monday.com Made Our Shortlist
Now, strictly speaking, Monday.com is much more of a productivity tool rather than an appointment scheduling app per se. However, it has become increasingly popular in recent years and is far better at dealing with internal scheduling than Calendly is.
And, due to its rather different intent, it offers a range of different workspaces and multiple dashboards within each. This way you can coordinate the work of every team within the company rather than just the one.
And it goes above and beyond basic appointment scheduling – you can use it for sprint planning, content management planning for blogs, and social media scheduling too.
Better yet, the free version accommodates two users rather than just the usual one.
Where Calendly Beats Monday.com
Sadly, the paid plans for Monday.com run rather steep, starting at $30 per month for up to 3 users.
Moreover, Calendly certainly trumps Monday.com when it comes to simplicity. So we can see why some users would prefer Calendly over Monday.com despite its great many features. Calendly is far more stripped back and straightforward.
Who Monday.com May Be Best For
Monday.com is a great little app for those who are also looking for a project management tool, with the added bonus of the inclusion of sales and marketing positions, integrated customer relationship management, and even product development too.
6. Wix Bookings
Why Wix Bookings Made Our Shortlist
If like many entrepreneurs these days, you have a Wix website for your business, then Wix’s Bookings app could be just what you need to schedule appointments with your clients.
It’s really convenient because you can sync it with your Google calendar, and accept payment for appointments directly on your website.
Where Calendly Beats Wix Bookings
Sadly, not only does the Wix Bookings app only work on Wix websites, it can only be used on one of Wix’s business premium plans.
Moreover, the booking feature can only be added to one page of the website, which could be problematic if the idea is to schedule appointments for multiple employees.
Worse yet, it’s not possible to vary the duration of the scheduled appointments, which could also prove problematic.
Who Wix Bookings May Be Best For
Wix Bookings is only really for those business owners or managers who own a Wix website. It cannot be used with non-Wix websites. But it is easy to use, and users love how they can use it to take online payments and how it syncs with their Google calendar.
Wrap Up – What’s The Best Alternative To Calendly For My Needs?
So, if you have been paying attention, you’ll have noticed that we’ve identified 6 great alternatives to Calendly that may be worth some thought.
But they all have their various pros and cons, which need to be weighed up against your business needs. And to that end, here’s a quick wrap up to help you.
Best Calendly alternative/s for project management: Monday.com
Best Calendly alternative/s with website included: Squarespace Scheduling, Simplybook.me, Wix
Best Calendly alternative/s for taking payments online: Squarespace Scheduling, Setmore, Simplybook.me, Wix Bookings
Best Calendly alternative/s for a large team of employees: Setmore
Best Calendly alternative/s for qualifying leads: TimeSync
Best Calendly alternative/s for video conferencing: TimeSync
Best Calendly alternative for organizing group sessions: Squarespace Scheduling
If we did have to pick just one overall winner, I guess it would be Squarespace Scheduling. But they all make for great contenders.
Answers To Some Of Your Most Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Best Appointment Schedule App?
As you may have gathered from our conclusion earlier, our favorite appointment scheduling app has to be Squarespace Scheduling. It was the longest and most compelling review in our shortlist and has many notable benefits that are missing in Calendly…
It has all kinds of integrated tools, such as Zoom, MailChimp and Zapier. It syncs with all the major calendar apps, you can use it for group bookings. You can have multiple users at a very competitive rate, and you can add in membership offers, upsells, and gift certificates.
What Is The Best Free Appointment Scheduling App?
We would argue that the best free appointment scheduling app is the free plan on Setmore. This is because you can have up to 4 users on their free plan. This is the perfect option for small teams of 4 or less that can accept different bookings all at the same time.
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