Image credit: Photo appointment schedule
If you’re still sending back-and-forth emails to schedule meetings, you need to STOP immediately. Why? Because appointment scheduling apps for small businesses can automate this whole process.
They’re practically lifesavers for busy business owners!
The problem is…
There are a lot of excellent calendar appointment scheduling tools out there, and choosing one may be challenging.
Because we specialize in helping business owners get high-quality sales appointments each month without relying on referrals, networking events, door knocking, buying leads or anything like that, we have a lot of experience using appointment scheduling apps (watch this video to see how).
So, to help you, here are the top 10 best scheduling software apps for small businesses.
If you’re short on time, here’s an overview of the best calendar appointment scheduling apps:
Calendly (Best overall)
Acuity Scheduling (Best for client management)
Kartra Calendars (Best all-in-one marketing solution)
SimplyBook (Easiest scheduling app to use)
Picktime (Best budget plan)
Tip: Looking for ways to get more sales appointments with your ideal clients? Watch my free 5-Step Masterclass training with detailed strategies for attracting leads and sales appointments with prospects who actually WANT to speak with you.
What are the best calendar appointment scheduling apps?
Here is a detailed review of the top appointment-scheduling apps for small businesses:
Calendly is one of the most popular calendar appointment scheduling software out there, and it’s the best appointment scheduling app that I use for my own business and most of my clients.
Let’s face it…
Calendly has been one of the best scheduling apps for a long time.
Calendly helps you create a booking page, set up your rules, and share your page with leads and clients so they can schedule appointments with you. This way, you don’t have to bother explaining little details or trying to work around your client’s schedules.
I love that Calendly is incredibly easy to use and user-friendly.
When clients view your page, they only see the dates you’re available and the length and type of meeting they can schedule. So, after sharing your page, you can sit back and watch your schedule fill up with bookings without further stress.
Calendly also sends automatic appointment requests and reminders through email or text to increase the chances that leads show up for the sales call.
Pros of Calendly:
It has a free plan, so anyone can use it.
Easier to use compared to most other appointment scheduling apps.
Automatically adjusts to individual time zones to avoid confusion.
Works with external calendar applications including Google calendar and Outlook.
Collaborates with various external business applications.
Integrates well with teams if you need appointments booked for multiple schedules
Integrated payment systems.
Cons of Calendly:
Its free version doesn’t allow you to send text and email reminders
Requires a paid plan if you want to get the most from it
Try out Calendly for free today!
2. Acuity Scheduling
Best Calendly alternative
Acuity Scheduling (also known as square appointments) is a reliable and extensive appointment scheduling app that helps you manage your appointments and client information.
Square appointments have a user-friendly booking process similar to Calendly.
Your clients can get information concerning your availability on your page, book meetings, and make payments seamlessly. They can also reschedule appointments or cancel appointments without any help!
Acuity has two unique features that Calendly and other scheduling software on this list doesn’t have:
- Minimize Gaps
- Make Me Look Busy
The Minimize Gaps feature hides your available slots in between fixed appointments. This way, your clients can only view your availability before and after existing appointments and set up meetings by scheduling appointments accordingly.
The Make Me Look Busy feature enables you to hide a significant number of openings from your clients. This way, booked and available slots will be hidden from your client’s view. As the name implies, your business appears busy and in demand.
This is a unique and very powerful feature that only Acuity Scheduling software provides.
Pros of Acuity Scheduling:
Easy to use with well-documented features.
Works seamlessly on both iOS and Android devices.
Allows you to sell additional services and combination deals to your customers.
Make me look busy is a helpful feature for small businesses
Cons of Acuity Scheduling:
No built-in SMS reminder option.
Its pricing structure is rigid.
Its free plan is not very useful.
Take a peek at Acuity Scheduling today!
3. Kartra Calendars
Best for comprehensive scheduling
Kartra Calendars is one of the key features of the cloud-based marketing automation platform, Kartra.
Now, Kartra Calendars likens itself to a personal assistant, and it’s not far off the mark. The scheduling software is divided into four models: the consultant, the gym, the live event, and the recurring.
This largely depends on the appointments you and your client intend to schedule.
So, whether you want to schedule a one-time or weekly meeting or run a live event for a large audience, Katra Calendars has something for you!
With this software, you can create your booking page, customize it based on your availability, and share it with your clients so they can book accordingly or reschedule.
You can also charge clients before they book an appointment with you with Kartra Calendars’ integrated payment systems or let them schedule for free. In addition, you can configure its settings to send confirmation emails and reminders.
The best part about Kartra calendars is that it integrates well with Kartra’s all in one marketing software. This makes is a top-rated appointment scheduling app for business owners looking for an all-in-one marketing tool.
Pros of Katra Calendars:
Integration with other Kartra suites to help improve your business efficiency.
Easy to use and beginner-friendly.
It has diverse options suitable for different categories of professionals.
Allows you to take payments directly from one on one meetings
Cons of Katra Calendars:
Limited customization options.
It does not have a free version.
Microsoft outlook calendar sync doesn’t work that well
Click here to try out Kartra Calendars!
Best for client bookings
Also known as SimplyBook.me, SimplyBook is an online appointment scheduling software suitable for service-oriented businesses and entrepreneurs.
It is another excellent appointment scheduling app with beautiful graphs to help you visualize how many bookings you get each month.
It provides a wide range of easy-to-use features that will help small business owners retain clients. These features include customer check-in, 24/7 booking, and automated ‘book soon’ reminders.
SimplyBook helps you keep track of your appointments and manage various calendars and client information on the platform. Its features are divided into five categories that distinguish the types of appointments clients can book. It also allows you to display your various services on your booking page.
And that’s not all…
SimplyBook’s features allow you to customize your booking page to fit your brand and include features like mandatory deposits and gift cards for clients. You can also use forms to get client feedback to help you improve customer experience and your services.
Pros of SimplyBook:
14 language options to encourage diversity and aid international businesses.
Integrated global payment systems.
Allows you to link your booking page to your social media platforms.
Cons of SimplyBook:
The free version requires a monthly renewal for continued use.
It doesn’t work with the Zoom meeting application.
Click here to SimplyBook a meeting today!
Best scheduling app for calendar synchronization
Listen, if you’re a busy small business owner, you’ll love Bookafy!
Bookafy’s most distinctive feature is its calendar synchronization, which is why it is in our top 10 list of best appointment scheduling apps. You can choose the two-way calendar syncing feature, which lets you and your client view each other’s schedules.
You can also opt for one-way syncing if your client wants to view your calendar, but you don’t need to view theirs.
Don’t worry; you can still control how much of your calendar others can see when you grant them viewing access.
Bookafy also works well with different mobile devices and can be synced with external calendar applications like Exchange, iCalendar, Office 365, and Outlook. In addition, it provides detailed reporting metrics. This enables you to evaluate your activities, client management, payment, and overall business growth.
Pros of Bookafy:
Integrated payment system.
Automatically generates a Zoom or GoTo meeting conference link for every appointment.
Allows you to assign client meetings to team members if you’re unavailable.
Cons of Bookafy:
Some features are not easy to find.
Limited customization options.
Click here to check out Bookafy’s features!
Best for beauty, fitness, and wellness
Whether you run a fitness studio or a salon, Mindbody makes it easy for customers to book appointments with you online!
It also offers additional features that help you run client management smoothly, including inventory control, marketing tools, and payment and payroll systems.
If you’re in the health and wellness industry, this is definitely one of the best scheduling apps you’ll find.
Mindbody allows you to link your page to your social media platforms and publish it on business advertising websites for more exposure. It also has customizable features like birthday offers and other campaigns with which you can gift clients and build customer retention!
If you need more tips on how to turn prospects into regular customers, you can check out my free Masterclass training for efficient strategies.
Pros of Mindbody:
Live-streaming option that allows you to teach your classes remotely.
Offers features that can help you build your brand application and website.
Allows you to display your additional services on the booking page.
Cons of Mindbody:
Customer service can be unresponsive at times.
Not suitable for multiple users.
No mobile support.
Click here to view Mindbody’s services!
7. HubSpot Meeting
Best for enterprise clients
HubSpot Meeting software is a feature of the HubSpot CRM platform.
A standout feature is that it automatically generates a customer record when a new contact books an appointment. This helps to save time tracking and keep track of client information.
Hubspot is one of the best scheduling apps for both small and larger businesses looking for an enterprise solution.
It also allows you to schedule joint meetings with clients and other team members. If you’re unavailable, you can assign tasks or client appointments to your team members depending on the client’s needs or the most available team member.
Pros of HubSpot:
It has in-house suites that can be utilized for business growth.
Works well with external business tools.
Great for team collaboration and management.
Cons of HubSpot:
Limited external calendar integrations.
Not accessible outside the HubSpot software.
Click here to try out HubSpot Meeting today!
Best for quick and easy scheduling
Despite being relatively new, CalendarHero is making its mark as one of the leading appointment scheduling apps.
It’s great for easy bookings, automated reminders, calendar synchronization, and collaboration across various platforms.
In addition, CalendarHero has a feature called ‘Attendee Insights’ that provides meeting templates and summary details about your clients ahead of meetings.
It also enables you to keep an account of your client’s information. This will allow you to meet their needs better and improve business efficiency.
Additionally, it has various customization options which you can use to personalize your booking page, align it with your brand, and serve your customers better.
Pros of CalendarHero:
Suitable for individuals and teams.
Offers both automated and live scheduling options.
Extensive integration with video conferencing platforms.
Cons of CalendarHero:
No mobile support.
Take a peek at CalendarHero today!
9. Zoho Bookings
Best for flexible scheduling
Zoho Bookings is a robust, flexible appointment scheduling app that helps you book appointments with scheduled breaks and special event hours. It also includes buffer times and a custom cancellation policy.
In addition, you can create booking pages for your different businesses and workspaces. These pages can be viewed individually or with your activities across the different workspaces in one schedule.
It doesn’t stop there…
With Zoho, you can view your calendar from a client’s perspective to learn how the scheduling process is for them. This will help you customize your booking page to present your brand well and give your clients a seamless and hassle-free experience.
Pros of Zoho Bookings:
Features are easily accessible.
Integrations with a wide range of external applications.
Great for team collaborations.
Cons of Zoho Bookings:
Its wide array of features may prove overwhelming.
Not suitable for quick and basic appointment scheduling.
Click here to try out Zoho Bookings!
Best budget plan option
If you’re looking for an appointment scheduling application that’ll schedule appointments and perform other administrative tasks at no cost at all…
Then Picktime is the one for you.
This software’s free plan is the most generous in town.
Picktime allows you to schedule unlimited appointments and is accessible for up to three team members!
Also, if you have a business with different branches, Picktime detects your clients’ locations and suggests the branches closest to them for convenient physical meetings.
Additionally, you can automatically connect bookings you receive to your employees’ calendars without needing to notify them.
Picktime looks neat and professional, so it’s not just a free basic option.
Pros of Picktime:
Modern layout and appointment scheduling method.
Impressive setup speed.
Its free plan is accessible to more than one user per account.
Cons of Picktime:
Limited customization feature.
Its free plan has only one video conferencing application- Jitsi Meet.
Its free plan payment system is limited to PayPal.
Get started with Picktime today!
The Bottom Line
Effective calendar appointment scheduling software will undoubtedly take much-needed stress off you and your business. It will also help you improve your overall business development and client experience if you use it smartly.
Emphasis on using it smartly.
Before you select a scheduling software, though, there are things you should look out for to determine a suitable one for you and your business.
Firstly, examine its customization features, integrations with external applications, mainly calendars and video conferencing applications, flexibility, and unique administrative functions.
Reviewing the scheduling features isn’t the most important thing.
You could use the best scheduling app for small business owners, but if no one knows you exist, you will never get any newly scheduled appointments.
You need a way to get more sales appointments in the first place! With my free Masterclass training, you will learn how to generate leads and get 10, 15, 30 or more high quality sales appointments each month with your ideal clients!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the best calendar appointment scheduling apps to use?
There are many great scheduling apps out there, but overall, we would reocmmend Calendly as the best appointment scheduling app. However, Acuity Scheduling is also a good alternative to Calendly. Apart from the standard features available in most, each of these scheduling apps have their unique benefits. Hence, it’s advisable to check them out and determine which one suits your specific business needs best.
Do my customers or I need to download the calendar appointment scheduling software to use it?
No, you don’t have to download it before you can use it. Most of these scheduling software can be easily accessed online from your internet browsers.
Will calendar appointment scheduling software be beneficial to my customers?
Yes! Using appointment scheduling software is easy, fast, and time saving. It’ll help your leads and customers conveniently book meetings with you without exhausting back and forth. They can book appointments online from anywhere they are, and they get automatic reminders so they don’t miss their appointments.
Ashley Davis (or ‘Ash’ for short) is the CEO & Founder of Skyline Social. For over 15 years, he has been helping business owners with lead generation. Ash specializes in helping businesses get high-quality leads, appointments and clients each month in an automated, scalable and profitable way. You can watch his free Masterclass training to learn more.