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The Top 5 Best Scheduling Apps to Use in 2022

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Let’s face it: you didn’t start a business or side hustle because you wanted to spend all your time scheduling appointments and sending out text and email reminders.

It definitely wasn’t in your vision statement to wait around for clients to cancel or reschedule at the last minute, costing you both time and revenue.

You don’t really have time for that. Instead, you would probably rather be spending time doing what you do best — taking care of your customers.

The good news is that convenient, intuitive booking and client management are possible with the right scheduling tools. We’ve scoured the internet to identify the top 5 scheduling apps that businesses are using to automate their bookings, allowing them to focus on taking care of clients and increasing revenue.

What Makes a Good Scheduling App?

Selecting the best scheduling app for your business will be a unique challenge. That said, there are several common traits shared by many of the best scheduling apps on the market. When looking at your options, it’s important to look past the marketing hype and focus on the fundamentals of each platform and its approach to scheduling.

To come up with this comprehensive ranking, our team judged dozens of scheduling apps against the following criteria:

Ease of Use

You shouldn’t need to get a software engineering degree to figure out how to use a scheduling platform. The best scheduling apps will only require a small learning curve to get started, especially when they’re built for small teams or solo operators. Intuitive UI design enhances the user experience and will help you get to work booking appointments right away. We eliminated several apps from our list based on this premise. While they had powerful features, their layouts and overall user experience designs were clunky and inefficient. You don’t want to get lost in too many settings you don’t need.

Integrations & Customization

If you’re a small to medium-sized business, having a scheduling application that runs as a standalone product may be the best choice for you. For those just starting out, it may be ideal to have your client management, payment processing, and scheduling all housed within the same ecosystem.

However, if you’ve already gone all-in with a Client Management System (CMS) or payment processor, you may not want the headache of starting from scratch with a new system. You may also need more robust tools to build your ultimate setup. That’s where integrations are vitally important — they provide users the flexibility to bridge data between their scheduling app and other third-party applications like MailChimp, Salesforce, Stripe, Hootsuite, etc.

Customization is another factor in this decision. Although workflow concessions are required even when using the best apps, users should never feel the need to bend over backwards to accommodate a platform. It should be the other way around. With this list, we picked well-designed solutions that provide robust customization without overcomplicating the overall user experience.

Automations

Scheduling apps with a strong set of automation features can feel like the equivalent of having an army of personal assistants. When done elegantly, automation can produce an efficient client experience that is also warm and inviting.

The best scheduling apps will have plenty of message templates and setup tutorials so users don’t have to struggle to set up common automation workflows. The best scheduling apps do a great job of integrating automation across multiple communication channels (i.e. email, text, and social) to save you time across your entire scheduling and messaging workflow.

Value & Pricing

It’s important to make sure you’re paying for value, not unnecessary bells and whistles. A simple way to quantify the value of a scheduling tool is by defining what is most vital or stressful to perform in your current workflow. From there, you can sift through the different options and create a short list of scheduling apps that will address those needs (or at least lighten your workload).

With pricing, look for scheduling apps that can give you at least 5x return on investment with its tools and features. As an example, let’s say your scheduling app costs two hundred dollars a month. Its product should be able to yield at least an additional thousand dollars in increased bookings, decreased no-show appointments, and/or wasted labor hours per month. If it’s not providing that value to your business, consider a different tool.

Scalability

The best scheduling apps will be able to accommodate your needs as your business grows. While it’s a good idea to find a solution that is easy to use and has an understandable interface, make sure it’s because of great design and not a limited feature set. Finding the right scheduling app for your needs can mean less wasted hours and increased revenue. It’s vital to take your business’s needs into account when selecting one to use.

The factors above are a great start toward making the right scheduling app decision for your company. Let’s look at the top 5 best scheduling apps on the market that meet these criteria:

GoReminders Home

1. GoReminders

The problems facing client and service-based businesses are vast. Left unaddressed, issues like no-shows, chasing down customers, forgotten reminders and wasted time can soon leave you feeling out of control. At GoReminders, we understand the struggle. We developed our software to solve these problems in our own businesses.

GoReminders tops this list because of its intuitive, effective approach to addressing these problems. It’s great for small businesses while also accommodating large companies like Aflac and Equinox with ease.

One thing you’ll notice immediately is our organic approach to automation and client care. A lot of scheduling solutions are too formulaic and lack many customization features. With GoReminders, we aim to provide the easiest way for businesses to build personalized client experiences that nurture and guide them through the appointment process. Our customers agree, and they use GoReminders to foster significant gains in revenue and productivity regardless of industry.

The best scheduling apps handle the mundane and the uncomfortable tasks on your behalf. With GoReminders, owners can focus on servicing their customers while leaving tedious tasks like scheduling and sending appointment reminders, up to us. In the area of growth, GoReminders’ actionable, data-driven insights about scheduling patterns can be a game changer for many businesses. These reports track a variety of statistics to show you what’s happening in your business and reveal new opportunities to optimize your scheduling workflow.

GoReminders also has great customer service. Our team is readily available to help you and your team make the best use of all the features GoReminders has to offer.

GoReminders Key Features

  • Intuitive Appointment Calendar Management: GoReminders has an easy-to-use calendar that keeps track of all your appointments and their confirmation status, whether or not customers have formally confirmed their attendance. You can sync this calendar with your own Google calendar, iCalendar, or Outlook calendar so you can view schedules from any device. GoReminders lets you manage calendars for an unlimited number of staff, locations, and services.
  • Easy Appointment Creation Tools: GoReminders remembers client details after the first appointment and auto-fills key information once you start creating the next one. Repeat customers can also schedule recurring appointments.
  • Customizable Booking Form: You can create a fully branded booking form with a link or optional QR code you can share anywhere. Flexible scheduling allows for instant booking, or you can manually approve appointments from a customer’s top three choices. These powerful tools let clients book appointments anytime.
  • Text and Email Reminders: Create unlimited message templates for various appointment reminders and follow-up messages. These templates use tags to fill in relevant information about the appointment automatically, letting you personalize each reminder with almost no effort.
  • Two-Way Messaging Interface: Communicate back and forth with clients with a two-way messaging interface. This centralized approach eliminates the hassle of checking multiple communication channels and reduces the risk of clients falling through the cracks.
  • Message Blasts: Email and text blasts give you the ability to inform multiple customers at once. You can target specific segments of customers that booked different services or appointments with tailored messages and promotions.

What We Love About GoReminders

  • Quick to set up (only takes 30 seconds)
  • Easy to use
  • Solid automations and message templates that can increase bookings and reduce no-shows
  • Two-way messaging provides centralized client interaction
  • Best price-to-value ratio on the market
  • Intuitive user interface and tool layout

Who Isn’t A Good Fit for GoReminders?

GoReminders is a superb option for a wide range of businesses. It shines in environments where client-facing operations are crucial. That said, it is not ideal for large corporate teams looking to manage shifts for their employees (e.g. factories with large workforces).

Pricing

GoReminders packs an impressive array of features into an accessible pricing model. You choose to pay monthly or get two months free with a yearly subscription. There are three tiers based on what features your business needs:

  • Starter: $30/month ($300/yearly) – 15 appointments per month, 1 calendar, 1 staff member, and 1 text/email reminder per appointment. The Starter tier allows you to customize your messages and schedules and send message blasts.
  • Business (Most Popular): $60/month ($600/yearly) – Starts at 75 appointments per month with unlimited calendars and staff, and 3 text/email reminders per appointment (plus 2 automatic follow-up messages). The Business tier allows for calendar integrations, appointment confirmations, two-way messaging, and many other powerful features that are useful for growing businesses.
  • Premium: $240/month ($2,400/yearly) – Starts at 75 appointments per month with unlimited calendars and staff, plus a dedicated account manager and regular training sessions. While a Premium plan will provide you with a tailored experience, it’s only necessary if you need white-glove onboarding with extra support or access to GoReminders’ API.

calendly home

2. Calendly

Calendly is a simple scheduling app that’s been utilized by over ten million users worldwide. It’s a good solution for newbies and entry-level users that also boasts an impressive roster of large clients that include Dropbox and eBay. Calendly tries to simplify meeting scheduling with colleagues and clients, with a strong emphasis on driving sales and revenue.

Although users in service-based industries can use Calendly, its feature set shines in nurturing client relationships and closing sales. It sees scheduling as a competitive advantage that businesses can use to snag high value meetings and close more deals.

The key to success on this platform is understanding how to use their automation to reduce scheduling friction. While it does admirably with basic features like meeting reminders and follow-up workflows, it’s definitely optimized for long sales pipelines that involve follow-up meetings and ongoing communication across several teams. For this reason, it’s best suited for large corporations looking to manage internal meetings or sales workflows.

One thing we noticed about Calendly is its strong basic features that people new to scheduling apps can easily use. However, it has a steep learning curve when users transition to the more robust tools on offer. Integrating this into a sales pipeline will require a significant time and learning investment with constant refinement over a longer period.

We also noticed a lot of bold claims in their marketing. Keep in mind that while many of these outcomes are possible with the software, this relies heavily on the expertise of the user and the execution of their automation workflows.

Key Features of Calendly

  • Personalized Booking Links: Calendly provides embeddable booking forms for your websites with a decent amount of customization. Booking links are shareable over email, text and social media.
  • Stripe and PayPal Payment: Clients can submit payment at the time of booking and have the option to save their details for future use. Payment integration lets you automate billing procedures, even in the event of no-shows or last-minute cancellations.
  • Solid Integration Capabilities: Calendly integrates with Zoom and other popular video conferencing solutions to help keep everything streamlined and efficient. The platform can work with many sales and CRM platforms, and integrates with calendars like iCalendar, Google Calendar, and Microsoft Outlook.
  • Smarter Scheduling for Teams: It’s easy to qualify incoming clients and automatically route them to the appropriate calendar interface with Calendly. Tools are on hand to automate meeting reminders and send reschedule notifications. Client communications take place in a central information hub that’s accessible to the entire team.

What We Like About Calendly

  • Free plan that provides basic features to new users
  • Competitive pricing tiers
  • Vast automation tools and workflows
  • Robust integration with payment gateways, Salesforce, and other CRM softwares
  • Built for inter-team and client use

Who Isn’t a Good Fit For Calendly?

This scheduling platform has a vast features list that rivals the best in the industry. With that said, it’s a bit of an overkill for businesses that simply want to nurture clients and simplify their scheduling. Calendly is more suited for large businesses with complex sales pipelines that require collaboration from multiple people across different teams.

Pricing

Calendly has multiple pricing levels to fit a wide range of users. The Basic plan is free and provides core features that, while limited, cover many standard scheduling needs. Paid plans are priced out according to the number of invitations your team will need to send out:

  • Essentials: $8 per user/month. This includes all the features of the free plan with unlimited active event types and two calendar connections per person.
  • Professional: $12 per user/month. This is the most popular tier. Here, users have access to all features of the Essentials tier, along with six calendar connections per person.
  • Teams: $16 per user / month. The Teams tier provides all the features of the Professional tier, maxing out at six calendar connections per person.
  • Enterprise: Enterprise pricing for Calendly varies, and depends on the customization needs of your team. You’ll need to contact Calendly’s sales department to discuss pricing and available features for this tier.

acuity home

3. Acuity Scheduling

The goal of Acuity Scheduling is to give users everything they need to make scheduling easier. In most areas, they fulfill this promise. This scheduling app has essential features like online booking, self-service cancellations and rescheduling as well as payment processing integrations. It’s also owned by Squarespace, which makes it easy for those already using Squarespace to integrate their website with Acuity’s scheduling platform.

Acuity takes a minimalistic approach to online scheduling. From the design of their forms to the backend dashboard, it’s designed to be a reliable solution for several customer types. Although this approach is great for users new to using scheduling apps, its simplicity and lack of integrations make it less than ideal for power users with more multifaceted needs.

Key Features of Acuity

  • Customizable and Embeddable Booking Forms: Acuity’s automated booking platform eliminates the need to play phone tag and reduces the risk of clients falling through the cracks. You can set your availability and Acuity will do the rest, allowing your clients to book 24/7 (based on your parameters). It’s designed to integrate seamlessly with Squarespace websites, and a booking form can be embedded directly from the website builders’ dashboard.
  • Handles Multiple Locations and Employees Across Time Zones: Employees can set their own availability within Calendly, which auto-adjusts to account for time differences between fellow team members and client time zones. This makes it a good option for businesses with multiple locations.
  • Basic Client Information Gathering: Calendly’s intake forms let you collect pertinent client information from one central location. For some businesses, it can serve as a limited client database. But keep in mind that exporting this data into a proper CRM may take some work down the road.
  • Accepts Online Payments: Integrating with Paypal, Square and Stripe, you can collect payment when customers book their appointments. The payment feature is limited, so you won’t be able to do things like charge cancellation fees or no-show fees automatically after the fact.
  • Third-party integrations include Zapier and Google Analytics: Zapier is a powerful tool that builds automated bridges between one platform and others. If you need to connect other apps to automate tasks for custom workflows, a platform that offers Zapier integration is a must. Google Analytics gives insight into where customer traffic is coming from and what potential customers do once they hit your website. It’s a good tool to learn more about your visitors, optimize your site for higher booking rates and measure the efficacy of your promotions.

What We Like About Acuity Scheduling

  • Minimalist user interface and form design
  • Simple dashboard and tools
  • Integrates with multiple payment processors
  • Multiple location management capabilities
  • Ideal for service-based businesses

Who Isn’t a Good Fit For Acuity Scheduling?

Acuity is a solid scheduling app that does the basics exceptionally well. But since it’s essentially a feature of Squarespace, people who don’t already use the website platform may find it difficult to set up. While it has several integrations, it’s not robust enough for large corporations or sales teams.

Acuity may not be a great fit for businesses scaling at a fast pace that will eventually require CRMs (like Salesforce). The software shows its limitations once you grow beyond five employees and a couple of locations.

Pricing

The cost of Acuity Scheduling is on the higher side, which may be surprising given its limited features. However, they do offer a 7-day free trial.

  • Emerging: $15/monthly ($168/yearly). The Emerging plan includes one staff/location, unlimited appointments, payment integrations, and virtual meeting integrations.
  • Growing: $25/month ($276/yearly). The Growing plan is the most popular tier and averages to about $23/month when opting for an annual plan. This second tier allows for six staff/locations, unlimited appointments, text reminders (with limitations) and appointment packages. That said, you won’t be able to receive replies from customers or send message sequences for following up.
  • Powerhouse: $50/month ($540/yearly) – The Powerhouse tier provides 36 staff/locations, unlimited appointments, limited text reminders, appointment packages, and the ability to remove Acuity branding from your booking form.

TimeTap home

4. TimeTap

TimeTap prides itself on its ability to make complicated appointment scheduling (and all its headaches) simple and streamlined. Neat features like the Automated Waitlist, Travel Time Calculator, and basic CRM make TimeTap a unique proposition for startups and small businesses. Its philosophy of effortless scheduling shines through in their thoughtful approach to scheduling automation.

Many scheduling apps will cap usage or charge extra once you exceed a certain threshold of clients or appointments. TimeTap’s plans include unlimited appointment booking, clients, and services with no upsell. It’s one of the few scheduling apps at this price point that manages employee schedules exceptionally well.

Keep in mind that TimeTap’s strengths can also be a weakness. Initial setup for this platform is not for the faint of heart. The build-out of the automation workflow can take an incredible amount of time due to its robust customization abilities.

Key Features

  • 24/7 Online Booking: TimeTap organizes day-to-day appointments based on your availability parameters. Once you’ve set your schedule, automation handles the rest and customers can book 24/7. It will update connected calendars so you don’t have to worry about any appointments falling through the cracks.
  • Scheduling Flexibility: TimeTap provides you with granular control over scheduling for customers and employees. The platform allows you to combine multiple employee booking pages into one centralized booking site.
  • Unlimited Appointments, Clients and Services: The platform manages multiple locations and schedules in a way that maximizes customer experience and allows employees maximum flexibility. All plans include unlimited appointments, clients, and services. No additional fees apply.
  • Smart Features: The rich feature set is where TimeTap really shines. Multiple staff calendars can be turned into customizable booking pages with text messages and email notifications baked in. An automated waitlist fills empty seats and cancellations with the next clients on the list. It’s got a built-in client management system, which can be a major savings for some businesses. Working between several locations? The travel time calculator syncs with Google Maps to calculate the commute between appointments when taking place at different locations. It automatically adjusts your availability to accommodate travel time.

What We Love About TimeTap

  • Robust integrations and customization
  • Can handle multiple locations and staff calendars
  • Automated waitlist feature suited for service-based businesses
  • Two-way calendar sync takes note of appointments on the calendar and adjusts booking availability to include them
  • No extra charge for unlimited clients or appointments

Who Isn’t a Good Fit for TimeTap?

While testing, we were impressed by the vast amount of integrations. Being able to loop in third party apps like Salesforce makes it very scalable over time. While this can be a good thing, it may not be a good fit for users new to client scheduling apps. It’s also overkill for solo operators that only have one location.

Pricing

We appreciate TimeTap’s commitment to providing access to unlimited appointments and clients in all of its paid plans. However, the pricing can be a bit complex. Here’s a closer look at TimeTap’s pricing structure:

  • Starter: The starter plan is free, but limits users to only one location and one staff member. Aside from that, there are virtually no other available features with this plan.

The Professional tier has a split pricing structure determined by whether or not you are a solo provider or need the software for your team. While you can unlock several useful features with this tier, you won’t be able to have a dedicated text number for appointment reminders (which may cause problems when messaging customers).

  • Professional (Solo): $24.95/monthly ($269.40/yearly). Extra staff/locations not available.
  • Professional (Team): $39.95/monthly ($431.40/yearly). To add an extra five staff members costs an additional $13.50-$15.00 per month.

The Business tier also has split pricing based on solo or team usage. With this tier, users can basically unlock everything TimeTap has to offer.

  • Business (Solo): $44.95/monthly ($485.40/yearly). Extra staff/locations not available.
  • Business (Team): $74.95/monthly ($809.40/yearly). Adding an extra five staff members/locations requires an extra $22.50-$25.00 per month.

zoho bookings

5. Zoho Bookings

In some situations, you just need a free solution that can help organize your client meetings more effectively. Zoho Bookings’ free plan is quite limited, but gives users the essentials like scheduling, reminders and calendar syncing. They aren’t the only free plan on the market. But we like Zoho because they feature the fewest limitations of basic functions in this tier.

Zoho does a lot of things right, but users may report challenges because many of their paid tools are highly industry-specific and not easily customized.

Key Features

  • Calendar Sync: In addition to its own calendar system, Zoho Bookings integrates with Google Calendar and O365. Once booked, time slots are marked unavailable and reflected in your connected calendar.
  • Buffer times and scheduling windows: Add buffer time slots to your schedule to accommodate things like prep and transportation. Avoid surprise last-minute bookings by setting a scheduling window of your choice.
  • Set parameters for rescheduling and cancellations: You can charge your customer the full or partial payment at the time of booking, as well as reduce things like last-minute rescheduling and cancellations by setting specific time windows. If a no-show happens anyway, follow-up and penalty fees can be set to deploy automatically.

What We Love About Zoho Bookings

  • Easy-to-use
  • Rock solid calendar syncing
  • Robust free plan
  • Easy payment processing

Who Isn’t a Good Fit for Zoho Bookings?

While Zoho’s free plan is one of the best in the industry, its paid plans lack the impressive tools and customization of its competitors (especially GoReminders and Calendly). Zoho may not be ideal for businesses that require a lot of integrations or comprehensive automation workflows to complete their daily work.

Pricing:

While many users opt for the free plan, Zoho’s premium plan is the most popular at eight dollars per staff member per month. Here’s a closer look:

  • Free Forever Plan: The free plan may not cost anything, but it only allows for one employee to schedule appointments. With this package, users get access to online meetings, notification emails, and two-way calendar sync.
  • Basic Plan: $8 per staff member/month ($72 per staff member/yearly). The basic plan allows for 1:1 service booking, customizable confirmation/reminder/cancelation emails, and a few other helpful features.
  • Premium Plan: $12 per staff member/month ($108 per staff member/yearly). This includes everything in the Basic plan with syncing to Zoho’s CRM, three extra workspaces, online payment processing, and more.

How to Choose the Best Scheduling App For Your Business

As you can see from this roundup, there is no shortage of scheduling options on the market. If you’re still unsure how to select the best scheduling app for your needs, let’s go over some things to keep in mind while shopping around.

Know Your Skills and Limitations

This is very important for solo operators and small businesses. It’s essential to determine the extent of your skills and capacity to set up and manage an online scheduling system. Booking a service purely because it has the most features isn’t always wise. Go with a scheduling app that hits the perfect balance between features and manageability.

Define Your Current and Future Goals

Scheduling apps can solve a world of headaches. However, be sure to opt for a scheduling solution that can continue to help as you grow. To help with this, define your short- and long-term goals and compare them with the ideal use case for each software product you consider.

Prioritize Features Important To You

Not all features are important to your business’s structure or products. You’ll want to make a list of the most important features you need from the system and use that as the initial criteria to build your shortlist of options.

Integration Capabilities

Will you need integrations with programs like Salesforce and Zoom? Are you currently using other software that will need to be integrated with your future scheduling platform? Be sure that you’ll be able to connect your existing services with the scheduling app of your choice (or search for a program that can take over the current system’s capabilities).

Final Thoughts

All the apps featured in this top five list have their own strengths and weaknesses. With enough research, you’ll find a great option that meets the needs of your growing business. If you’re still on the fence, a great way to decide which scheduling app is right for you is to just try one out. It’s sometimes hard to know what will work for you and your team until you run with one solution and see how well it meets your needs.

If you want to try a phenomenal scheduling app risk-free, check out GoReminders. It’s ideal for small to medium-sized businesses who want an easy-to-use scheduling and appointment reminder platform. If you try the software and discover it isn’t right for you, we offer a 30-day money back guarantee.

 

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Fewer clients saying they forgot their appointment! Which means that we don’t have holes in our schedule that we could have used for another client, had we known ahead of time that they would need to cancel or simply not show.

Mary Carrara-Hay, Crossroads Counseling Solutions

We purchased GoReminders in order to have the ability to contact our clients for reminders of appointments. We have seen a decrease in missed appointments. In today's world most clients use their cell phones for scheduling. This program allows us to notify and remind without having to use employee hours to personally phone them. The system is easy to use and is constantly upgrading to make the process more streamlined. Iwouldrecommendthisprogramforanybusinesthatusesappointments.

Debra Daly-Maddox, Cooksey & Cooksey Law Office

My clients absolutely love it! They love getting their reminder 24 hours before their appointment and they're reassured that I'm coming the next day. It saves me time driving to people's houses and not having them there and it saves me money. I can change appointments if I have to and I'm always booked! I really appreciate GoReminders. It's a great service!

Jessica, Jessica’s Beauty Service

Hands down it has made a 100% difference in business and show ratios. The best feature that has helped is having it linked straight to my Google calendar and giving my clients the option to confirm (their appointments). Integrating my Zoom link has been a tremendous asset. I'm super grateful that we have this app!

Jennifer Baines, Baines Insurance Agency