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The 8 Best Appointment Scheduling and Booking Apps

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Appointment Schedule Planner And Date Calendar On Laptop And Phone

Every small business owner has been there. You’re waiting on an important appointment and 10 minutes pass. Then 15, then 20… Soon, it becomes clear that your big client just isn’t going to show up. You’ve lost out on business, plus you’ve wasted precious time that you could have spent on important tasks.

Maybe you’ve accidentally missed out on a big meeting because you ended up double-booked at the last second. Or, maybe one of your staff didn’t show up for an appointment because they weren’t notified. You’re feeling overwhelmed, your clients are angry, and you’re not sure how your schedule got so out of control.

Appointment scheduling apps can help solve this problem. With an appointment scheduling app, your clients can book directly from your website at a time that works for both of you. Most platforms also offer text and email reminders to prevent no-show clients and keep your staff members on track.

There are so many appointment scheduling and booking apps on the market right now, but which ones are worth the money? More importantly, which one is right for your business?

We’ve rounded up the eight best apps to help you take control of your calendar and boost your scheduling workflow.

The Benefits of Appointment Scheduling Apps

Using an appointment scheduling app can help your business run more efficiently in many ways. Here are some of the benefits of implementing an appointment scheduling app:

Fewer No-Show Appointments

Appointment scheduling apps send reminders to your clients about upcoming appointments, which means you’re less likely to experience no-shows. In fact, customer data suggests that text message reminders can reduce no-shows by 80 percent or more.

Time Savings

Using an appointment scheduling app saves time for both you and your clients. Talking on the phone or emailing back and forth to make an appointment can be time-consuming. With an easily accessible booking form, clients can book in just a few seconds.

Convenient Booking

70 percent of customers prefer to make appointments online, rather than booking over the phone. Appointment scheduling apps are also very convenient because many provide instant booking options. This allows clients to book at any time of day (even while you’re sleeping), rather than having to book appointments during business hours.

Two-Way Texting

Even if you don’t make use of all the booking options available in a scheduling app, the best apps offer more value than that for your business. For instance, scheduling platforms that provide a two-way texting interface allow you to easily communicate with customers without sharing your personal cell phone number. This way, if a client wants to send you a custom message for any reason (e.g. “Shoot, I can’t make it today!), you’ll have access to that information and the ability to respond accordingly.

Keeps You Organized

Booking apps allow you to view all of your appointments in one place, which can help you stay organized during hectic days. With some platforms offering third-party calendar integrations, you can access your schedule from any device.

Automated Reminders

Sending appointment reminders manually can be time-consuming for you and your team. The best appointment scheduling apps send them for you automatically, so you don’t have to take time out of your day to send them yourself.

That said, you can also receive replies to appointment reminder texts so you can have a more detailed conversation with any customer if necessary. This ensures clients don’t slip through the cracks.

Who Uses Appointment Scheduling and Booking Apps?

Appointment scheduling apps are flexible and can work for many different types of businesses. Here are just a few examples of businesses that can benefit from using these apps:

  • Medical providers: Doctors, dentists, mental health specialists, physical therapists, and other medical providers can all benefit from using scheduling apps to manage patients and their appointments.
  • Cosmetic service providers: Hair stylists, salon owners, nail artists, makeup artists, tattoo artists, massage therapists, and more use appointment scheduling apps for consultations. They often use apps that allow customers to select specific services.
  • Professional services: Lawyers, accountants, financial advisors, bankers, and other consultants are all examples of professional service providers who can use booking apps to take control of their busy schedules and reduce no-shows.
  • Entrepreneurs and freelancers: When you’re running your own business, meetings are a key part of your schedule. You’ll need to keep track of when you need to meet with clients, collaborators, or vendors. Some scheduling apps are specifically built for people running their own businesses.
  • Higher education: Counselors in higher education settings can use booking apps to schedule meetings with prospective students, while professors and TAs can use them to schedule office hours.
  • Corporate sales teams: Sales teams need to work together to handle a high volume of meetings over the course of a work week. Some appointment scheduling apps are built to help keep the whole team on the same page.

What To Look For In An Appointment Scheduling App

There are many different scheduling apps on the market. While they all offer online scheduling, each app has its own unique features. Here’s what to look for when selecting an appointment scheduling and booking app for your business:

Ease of Use

Scheduling apps are designed to help you run your business more efficiently, so ease of use is key. The app setup should be quick and straightforward. From there, the calendar management process should be easy and intuitive to use. Each user should be able to review their entire calendar from their phone or computer and adjust their availability accordingly. The ideal app should also provide customizable templates for appointment reminders and include other helpful settings (like recurring appointments) built in, without requiring users to configure them first.

Custom Text and Email Reminders

Sending appointment reminders to clients is one of the best ways to prevent no-shows. When searching for a scheduling app, look for a platform that will let you schedule text and email reminders well ahead of the appointment.

You should also be able to customize and personalize your reminders to fit your businesses’ needs. In many cases, you may want to set up custom message sequences that deploy reminders and follow-up messages at certain intervals. For instance, you might want to send multiple text or email reminders before the appointment, one follow-up message to request reviews and another follow-up reminding them to book their next appointment. If this is something you think would benefit your client base, this is an important feature to look for in your scheduling and booking app.

Custom Booking Page

Because so many people prefer to book appointments online, it’s important to create a direct booking page for your business website and mobile app. Ideally, you should be able to share this booking page on your website, social media, or via direct messages with customers. This will allow customers to make an appointment in just a few clicks, without a high barrier to entry.

You’ll also want to make sure the app you choose has flexible booking options to accommodate your preferences. For instance, you may want to let customers book appointments instantly without your approval. Or, you may want them to send a booking request first (for you to approve). A good booking app should allow you to choose which setting works best for you.

Integration With Calendar Tools

If you already use a calendar tool (like Google or Office 365) to manage your business internally, look for a scheduling app that can sync with those calendars. This way, you can view your schedule from any device or program you already use.

If you keep your personal calendar separate, finding a scheduling app that syncs to an external calendar can allow you to see all your appointments (personal or otherwise) in one place. This can also allow staff members to see their appointments in one place by syncing the app to their personal calendars as well.

Flexible Pricing

It’s important to make sure that the scheduling app you’re using offers great value while working within your budget. Look for flexible payment options that allow you to pay monthly or yearly — whichever works best with your billing cycle. Many providers will provide a discount for upfront yearly payments.

Additionally, some apps provide a free trial or money back guarantee for the first month of service. This allows you to test out the app for a designated period of time (and see if it works with your existing tools and workflows) before making a final commitment.

Great Customer Support

Adopting a new scheduling app comes with a learning curve. You’ll want to make sure that the app you choose has excellent customer service to guide you through it. When selecting a scheduling app, be sure to talk with the customer support team about the options they provide for education and training. They should have the resources to guide your team through the implementation process and beyond.

The 8 Best Appointment Scheduling and Booking Apps

Now that you know what to look for in the ideal software, let’s take an in-depth look at real programs that can help you manage your scheduling and booking workflow. Here are our top eight picks for appointment scheduling and booking apps on the market:

GoReminders Home

1. GoReminders

GoReminders is your complete solution for appointment reminders, scheduling, and booking. The platform was designed by small business owners who needed a reliable tool to prevent missed appointments. Setup only takes 30 seconds, and it’s easy to start managing appointments and sending automatic reminders right away from the desktop or mobile app.

GoReminders is excellent for small-to-medium sized businesses who need help maintaining a busy calendar. It works well for insurance agents, auto repair shops, financial advisors, tattoo artists, salons, dentists, doctors, or any other business that juggles multiple appointments each day. However, it also works well for larger teams — companies like Aflac, Guitar Center, and Lowe’s have all used GoReminders to manage their daily schedules.

Features

With GoReminders, you can view and manage all of your appointments from a single built-in calendar. However, the app also integrates with Google Calendar, Outlook, and more, so you can view your appointments with other personal events from any calendar you already use. Once a client makes their first appointment, GoReminders saves their information for easy future booking.

GoReminders’ strongest feature is its fully customizable SMS and email reminders designed to decrease no-shows. Appointment reminders are sent out automatically for each new appointment according to your preferences. For example, users can create message sequences to send multiple reminders prior to the appointment, then request reviews and feedback after the appointment has passed. You’ll also be able to create unlimited message templates, using template tags to auto-fill key customer and appointment information.

When customers confirm their appointments by responding to reminders, they will also receive a link to add the event to their own personal calendar. This is just one more way that GoReminders helps keep you and your customers’ schedules in sync.

GoReminders also offers a two-way messaging interface. While you can set up automatic confirmation, cancellation, or rescheduling replies if you choose, two-way messaging allows your customers to confirm appointments or ask you questions directly. You can also send them a custom message at any time in the same thread as your appointment reminders.

While you can always add appointments manually with GoReminders, you can also create a custom booking page with your logo for customers to book appointments themselves. You can then share this link on your website, social media, or anywhere else customers might need to access it. With the optional instant booking feature, you can also allow clients to book appointments without your approval. Just set your own availability options, and customers will be able to book appointments with you even while you’re sleeping. You also have the option of using “request mode” for your booking form. With this, customers will be asked to select three preferred appointment time slots, which you can approve based on which one works best for you.

If you need to send updates or promotion information to multiple clients at once, GoReminders offers a helpful message blast feature. With a message blast, you can automatically promote your business and send your booking form (if you choose) directly to your customers’ phones. In addition, the built-in analytics will analyze your scheduling and reminder trends to help you gain insight into your operation and improve your scheduling workflow overall.

Beyond that, GoReminders also offers API and Zapier integrations for additional customization and automation.

Pricing

GoReminders currently offers a 14-day trial with no credit card information required, which gives users the option to try all features before making a final commitment. Additionally, there’s a 30-day moneyback guarantee if you sign up after your trial ends.

GoReminders has a three-tier pricing model with the option to pay monthly or annually. The three tiers are:

  • Starter ($30 per month, $300 per year): The Starter tier is best for individual entrepreneurs just starting out, offering 15 appointments per month and one calendar.
  • Business ($60 per month, $600 per year): Upgrading to Business tier provides unlimited calendars and staff access, 75 appointments per month, and several other helpful features.
  • Premium ($240 per month, $2,400 per year): The Premium tier is geared toward special enterprise customers who require a white-glove onboarding experience. While most small businesses don’t require this, it offers dedicated support and training with a few advanced integrations for businesses that will need to educate a larger workforce.

calendly home

2. Calendly

Calendly is a scheduling software platform geared towards corporate professionals and teams, particularly those in sales, customer support, or marketing. There are many features available on the platform to specifically serve large teams who need to manage a high volume of internal meetings. While a free version of the platform is available, you’ll need to upgrade to one of the paid tiers to access many key features.

Features

Calendly offers unique features specifically to help corporate teams. For instance, team appointment scheduling allows you to create group meetings, and managers can use Calendly to stay on top of their team’s schedule. You can also send out polls and forms to select meeting times that work with everyones’ schedules.

Each Calendly user can set their own personal availability. Users will also receive a scheduling link that they can put on their website or send via email or social media. However, users won’t have the option for two-way text messaging.

While Calendly has a wide range of settings to choose from, these settings can quickly become confusing. The setup process can feel time-consuming to many small business owners, making it difficult to get started.

Pricing

Calendly has five pricing tiers to choose from.

  • Basic: Completely free, but provides limited features (one active event type and no access to text reminders).
  • Essentials: $8 per user per month. This tier offers two calendar connections per person and unlimited active event types.
  • Professional: $12 per user per month. This tier gives users 6 calendar connections per person, customizable reminder notifications, and access to text notifications. While text and email reminders are available here, customization options are somewhat limited.
  • Teams: $16 per user per month. This tier allows for 6 calendar connections per person (the maximum for Calendly users), plus options for round-robin event types and synced events.
  • Enterprise: Pricing varies, and users will need to contact the sales team to negotiate payments and discuss what features are available.

acuity home

3. Acuity Scheduling

Acuity Scheduling is a booking app built by Squarespace. For those who already have a Squarespace website, this platform may be a convenient option. However, for anyone looking to manage booking without a Squarespace website, Acuity Scheduling may be difficult to use.

Features

Acuity Scheduling puts a detailed calendar plugin on your website where clients can book appointments themselves at any time (according to your availability). The platform also saves customer information for future appointments, making it easy to set up new calendar events. But clients can only book one slot at a time, which doesn’t allow much flexibility for you or your customers.

Acuity has many Squarespace-powered integrations. It integrates with live streaming and video conferencing platforms for virtual meetings. It also integrates with payment processors such as Stripe, Square, and PayPal, you can invoice through the platform. Acuity also has a mobile app, which some users have found to be more effective than the desktop app.

To use Acuity’s text reminder feature, your customers will need to formally opt into the messaging service. After that, Acuity automatically sends email and text message reminders for appointments. You can customize these messages with template tags up to 140 characters.

While you can set up your scheduling system to account for group classes, memberships, all appointment reminders are tied to a specific service. You’ll need to specify which service you’re offering for each appointment before sending a reminder, even if you only offer one service.

Acuity’s strongest feature is supposed to be its simplicity. However, the platform is actually more complex to set up and use than it may appear. Because of this, it may not be effective for small business owners looking for a straightforward scheduling platform.

Pricing

Acuity offers three pricing tiers (in addition to a Squarespace membership), with no free option available. However, they do offer a seven-day free trial to allow users to test out some of the features.

  • Emerging: $15 monthly ($168/yearly) for one user/location. While this plan does include unlimited appointments, you won’t have access to text reminders or appointment packages/subscriptions.
  • Growing: $25/month ($276/yearly) for six users/locations. While this may seem like plenty, it may become problematic if you have a high staff turnover rate. You may need to clean up your account or upgrade to gain access to new calendars. This plan also gives you access to text reminders, but you won’t be able to receive confirmations or replies back from your customers until you upgrade.
  • Powerhouse: $50/month ($540/yearly) for 36 users/locations. This plan is optimized for large teams and includes all available features. However there is no way to upgrade past the Powerhouse plan if you need more users, and you’ll need to contact their sales team to learn about pricing.

apptoto home

4. Apptoto

Apptoto is an appointment scheduling and reminder app designed to integrate with several existing calendars and business programs (SQL databases, Salesforce, Google Calendar, Outlook, Office 365, and more). It’s good for small businesses and B2B organizations that need to stay on top of busy meeting schedules and connect their workflow to a wide set of software. All membership tiers offer calendar management features to support teams.

Features

If you need a platform that will integrate with systems you are already using, Apptoto is a good option. It integrates with a variety of popular calendars, CMS systems, payment processors, video call services, analytics, and more. Users can also share their Apptoto calendar links across these software integrations for easy booking.

What’s more, Apptoto automatically sends reminders to clients prior to your meetings, and you can communicate with them via two-way business text messaging. You can also schedule follow-up messages after each appointment.

While you can customize your Apptoto reminders for specific clients, the platform’s credit-based system can be somewhat limiting. For instance, the Starter plan has a limit of 400 auto-message credits. This may seem like a lot, but if you send several reminders before the appointment start time, you may quickly reach your limit. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Standard text reminders – 1 credit
  • Text Reminders over 300 characters – 2 credits
  • Text confirmations from customers – 1 credit
  • Follow-Up Messages – 1 credit

By this math, some users may exceed the 400 credit limit in as few as 33 appointments. Beyond this limit, any additional auto-message credits you use will cost you 12 cents each.

Aside from the limiting point system, Apptoto has plenty of good features and integrations that may benefit your business. However, the interface can be fairly complex and difficult to scale as your business grows, and customer support is limited compared to the competition.

Pricing

Apptoto has four pricing tiers. While there is no free tier, Apptoto does offer a 14-day free trial.

  • Starter: $39/month for 3 calendars and 400 auto-message credits
  • Plus: $79/month for 6 calendars and 800 auto-message credits
  • Professional: $129/month for 10 calendars and 1,600 auto-message credits
  • Group: $199/month for 16 calendars and 2,600 auto-message credits

setmore home

5. Setmore

Setmore is a simple free scheduling app designed for small businesses. Setmore mainly caters to customer-facing businesses such as doctor’s offices, salons, or auto shops. It’s designed to be straightforward and simple to use with several helpful integrations. However, the platform has some limitations that might be frustrating for growing businesses.

Features

Setmore offers booking pages and website booking widgets that you can customize with your business’s branding. If your business hosts group events or classes, you can schedule them using Setmore. You can view your entire calendar using the Setmore desktop app, which can integrate with Google, Apple, and Office 365 calendars.

Setmore offers several other convenient integrations. The app connects directly with Zoom for video appointments. It also integrates with Stripe and Square for payment processing, so you can track the invoices and revenue related to each appointment.

Although Setmore markets itself as a “free” scheduling app, you can only send appointment reminders if you have a premium subscription. But even with a premium subscription, there are unclear limits on how many reminders you can send. These limits vary between customers, and you won’t know if you’ve reached your limit until Setmore’s customer service team reaches out to you.

Pricing

Some Setmore features are available with a free account, which allows up to four users. However, there are several valuable features that are only available with the other two paid tiers. For instance, SMS reminders and other advanced features are only available with a Premium or Pro account.

The Premium plan costs $12/month ($60/yearly) per user. With this tier, users gain access to 1 text reminder per appointment (with limitations) with only have 2 users on the plan. The Pro plan costs $9/month (still $60/yearly) per user, with a minimum of 3 users. This means you’ll need to pay at least $27/month ($180/yearly) for these features.

doodle home

6. Doodle

Doodle is a simple scheduling app that offers its basic package of features for free. While it might be limiting for large teams, Doodle works well if you’re on a limited budget and need straightforward scheduling features. It’s catered towards solopreneurs, but there are plans available for larger businesses as well. While they do have standard booking features now, Doodle’s main advantage has always been it’s polling functionality. Because of this, it may be a good fit for users who want to use group polling to clarify the availability of teams and customers.

Features

Doodle’s group polling feature allows you to collaborate with other team members and appointment attendees to see when people are available. You can invite anyone you like to participate in the poll and track responses to choose the most effective meeting time for everyone. Alternatively, users can create a custom booking page and send it to customers via a link.

Doodle also works for both one-on-one and group meetings. If you’re meeting virtually, Doodle integrates with video conferencing software such as Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and more. You can view and update your calendar or host meetings from the mobile app as well. However, some users have reported that the mobile app has limited functionality compared with the desktop version.

While Doodle has added standard business scheduling features more recently, they haven’t fully developed the related functionality. For instance, Doodle offers appointment reminders, but users can only send one reminder per appointment 24 hours beforehand. Plus, there are no options for sending multiple reminders at different intervals.

Pricing

Most Doodle features are available with the free plan. However the app is only free because it’s full of advertisements (both on your end and you customer’s). In order to get rid of the ads, you’ll need to upgrade to the next tier at least. Individuals who want unlimited meetings and bookings can upgrade to Pro for $6.95 per user per month.

Team plans are also available for $8.95 per user per month, up to five users. If you want access to custom user permissions or customer support via chat, you’ll need to upgrade to this tier. Larger teams will need to contact Doodle’s sales team directly for custom enterprise solutions.

simplybookme home

7. Simplybook.me

Simplybook.me is a HIPAA-compliant scheduling app that works well for medical practices and other service-based businesses. This platform is complex and takes time to set up, but offers a variety of customization options that include branded scheduling pages and even branded booking apps. It’s a good choice for large businesses that need advanced branding and customization features.

Features

Simplybook.me has many features that combine marketing and scheduling. You can create your own scheduling page with your logo, colors, and branding to share on your website or social media. While it is only a beta feature as of 2022, you can create your own mobile app for clients with your logo and a custom app name. You can then put a link on your website for customers to download the app.

All client information is saved for future appointments to save time. Additionally, users have the option to create a loyalty or membership program for their customers. The platform integrates with payment processing services like Stripe, Square, and PayPal to make invoicing easier.

Simplybook.me also features a calendar app where you can browse all appointments and see analytics regarding booking and usage statistics. While this app has a lot to offer, it can take time to set up and master. Simplybook.me has appointment reminder options, but they need to be sent manually in many cases rather than sending automatically every time.

Pricing

Simplybook.me has a free option offering 50 monthly bookings and basic features for up to 5 users. There are also three paid tiers.

  • Basic: $9.90/month (or $99.00 annually) for up to 15 users. This includes 100 bookings per month and access to the client app feature, however custom branding for the app is only available with the Premium tier.
  • Standard: $29.90/month (or $298.80 annually) for up to 25 users. This tier includes 500 bookings per month. If you need your software to be HIPAA compliant, you’ll need to upgrade to this tier.
  • Premium: $59.90/month (or $598.80 annually) for up to 50 users. This tier allows for 2000 bookings per month, and access to advanced marketing and customization features.

appointlet home

8. Appointlet

Appointlet is an appointment manager and scheduler with a minimalistic design that offers many features for teams. It’s designed for corporate teams who need to organize both internal and external meetings. Large teams in sales, marketing, education, or HR may benefit from the platform’s internal scheduling features. While Appointlet is free to use, you’ll need to upgrade to the premium version to access many of the essential features.

Features

Each Appointlet user on your account can manage their own schedule and set their availability to avoid conflicts. Managers can also schedule meetings involving multiple employees at once. Beyond that, everyone in the meeting can add internal notes to stay organized.

Users can set up a custom booking widget with their brand name, logo, and colors. You can share this widget via link or add it directly to your website.

Appointlet also integrates with a variety of other platforms that your team might already use, such as Slack, Zoom, Mailchimp, Zapier, PayPal, Hubspot, and more. However, they do not offer a dedicated mobile app, which can be challenging if you run your business from your smartphone.

Pricing

Appointlet has a free version that offers unlimited users and meetings. However, you won’t be able to manually approve meeting participants or send meeting reminders until you upgrade to a paid tier.

For $8.00 per user per month, you can upgrade to Premium. You will need the premium version to send appointment reminders, collect payments, gain access to some integrations, and more. There’s also an Enterprise tier available for organizations that need advanced customer support and security.

Final Thoughts

Running a business often comes with hectic days filled with in-person and virtual meetings. A reliable appointment scheduling and booking app can help you stay on top of everything that needs to be managed to keep your business running.

With so many options on the market, it can be difficult to determine which scheduling app will be best for your business. When making your selection, carefully consider which features are most important to your business and how your chosen software could help you work more efficiently.

If you’re looking for an easy way to manage your appointments and prevent no-show clients, GoReminders is a great solution. Automated scheduling and reminder messages mean you can spend more time on your business and less time stressing over your schedule. The GoReminders customer service team is happy to help you get the most out of all available features.

Get started with a free 14-day trial of GoReminders today!

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After trying out several different options, I landed on GoReminders for the office’s appointment scheduling software. Right away we noticed the timeandmoneythatGoReminderssaved me. Clients also loved getting reminders ahead of their appointments! Now we’re down to just1noshow per week.

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