Whether you’re dealing with booking clients for your spa service, or you’re scheduling meetings with your employees, you’re going to need a way to set that up. Of course, you can enter everything in manually – but, that method is bound to leave you with endless mistakes that lead to lapses in productivity and loss of sales. By utilizing a scheduling app or booking software to automate your processes and make them more convenient and accessible for both employees and clients, you’ll see a boost in sales and productivity in no time. But, there’s a lot of options to choose from, so we’re going to go through our 10 favorite picks for booking and scheduling software.

 

Why Should You Use Scheduling Software?

Save Valuable Time

Like the age old saying goes, time is money. If you’re stuck entering in all of your appointments, meetings, and bookings manually, then you’re spending a lot of time that you could be putting towards bettering your business. With scheduling software, notifications and reminders can be automatically sent out to clients or employees, so you don’t have to worry about hunting anyone down via extended email threads to plan out meetings and decrease no-shows.

Avoid Miscommunication

When everything is done manually, then naturally the chances for input errors increases. This can manifest in a wide variety of inconvenient situations: a client may have intended to cancel but wasn’t able to do it properly, a rescheduled appointment may have been labelled as the wrong date, clients can receive the wrong information and end up showing up at the wrong time. If you enable an automated scheduling software to take care of all of this, then issues like this will almost entirely disappear.

Make Scheduling Convenient

Convenient scheduling not only saves both employees and clients from unnecessary headaches, but it also can act as an incentive for clients to book with you over competitors. In some cases, a customer may actually choose you simply because it was easier to make an appointment with the software you’ve enabled. Difficult scheduling can put customers off immediately and lead them to turn elsewhere for your services.

Scheduling meetings within your business will be much more convenient with software as well. Maintaining a more productive work environment will be effortless because you won’t have to worry about scheduling, rescheduling, or trying to manually fit within everyone’s unique schedule. All of that hard work is done for you with scheduling software.

 

What Makes a Good Booking/Scheduling App?

Flexible & Easy to Use

The mark of an effective booking or scheduling app is its flexibility and ease of use. If an app is complicated to use, then it defeats the entire purpose of using it in the first place, which is to simplify and automated a complicated process. A good piece of scheduling software won’t force you to take valuable time out of your day to learn it – it should be ready to use right out of the box.

Not only should your chosen app be easy to use, but it should also be flexible and able to meet your specific business needs. Customization should be available for every aspect of scheduling, from meeting types to assigning service staff. Of course, if there is anything difficult or confusing that you run into, then support resources should be readily accessible and comprehensive enough to help you.

Connects Your Calendars

If a scheduling app isn’t able to integrate with your main calendar, whether it be Google Calendar, Outlook or iCal, then you’ll inevitably run into scheduling issues. Keeping your entire schedule in one place through 2-way syncing of your booking/scheduling software’s events and your main calendars events will help you to get a full picture of what every day will be like and help keep you from scheduling conflicting events accidentally.

Integrated Payment Processing

This type of feature is vital if you’re using booking software for external use with clients. If you’re just looking for scheduling software for internal meetings with employees, then this feature isn’t necessary.

By integrating a variety of payment processing methods into your booking app, then you can take payment directly from customers at the time of booking.

 

Best Scheduling & Booking Apps for Your Business

Now that you know what makes a good scheduling or booking app, let’s go through some of the most popular choices and outline exactly how much they cost, what you get with their software, and what type of business it’s best fit for.

1) Setmore

Setmore

Pricing:

  • Free Plan: 1-4 staff logins and calendars, automated emails, Square payment processing.
  • Premium Plan: $25/month, up to 20 staff logins and calendars, text reminders, Stripe payment processing.
  • Live Booking Plan: $89/month, 24/7/365 phone booking by Setmore employees.

Note: There is a 30-day free trial available for the Premium plan.

Features:

With Setmore, you’ll find all the necessary features you might need from a scheduling app. You can set and send appointment reminders, alerts and notifications to clients via text and email to avoid dreaded no-shows. Scheduling features themselves are also comprehensive, including group scheduling, automated scheduling, recurring appointments, class scheduling, real-time scheduling, resource scheduling and more. Clients are able to book and pay for their appointments online, as well as leave reviews

Business Type:

Setmore is best suited for small and medium-sized businesses that need to make external appointments with customers.

Supported Platforms & Integrations:

You can access Setmore from both desktop (Windows and Mac) and mobile (Android and iOS). Regarding calendar syncing, Setmore supports Google Calendar and Office 365. You can also accept payments with Setmore using Square and Stripe.

Setmore supports integrations with a long list of applications and services; the most popular of which are:

  • Zendesk
  • Mailchimp
  • Salesforce
  • Zapier
  • HubSpot
  • Reserve with Google
  • QuickBooks
  • Xero
  • Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, Slack)

To add your booking application to your website, Setmore supports native integration with a number of website builders, including WordPress, Weebly, Wix, Joomla, Drupal and Adobe Muse. If your site is built on any other software, such as 3dcart, a booking widget is available to add to any site via a line of code.

 

2) Square Appointments (Squareup)

Square Appointments

Pricing:

  • Individual Plan: Free of charge, 2.6% + 10 cent transaction fee.
  • 2-5 Employees Plan: $50/month, 2.5% + 10 cent transaction fee.
  • 6-10 Employees Plan: $90/month, 2.5% + 10 cent transaction fee.

If your business has more than 10 employees and you’re interested in an enterprise plan, then you can contact sales to find out how much that will cost.

Note: There is a 30-day free trial for all plans with multiple employees, i.e. all paid plans.

Features:

Square Appointments is a booking and scheduling service that’s built by Square, which typically handles point of sale software and credit card processing for both online and in-person transactions. Because of this, their Square Appointments software comes built in with a POS system and inventory management through Square POS integration. In addition to these features, Square Appointments offers a comprehensive list of scheduling and booking features, including automated text and email reminders, no-show protection, automated responses via Square Assistant, and employee management. They also offer users of their service a free online booking site if you haven’t already built your own online store.

Business Type:

Square Appointments is best suited for small businesses that need to make appointments outside the organization with clients.

Supported Platforms & Integrations:

Square Appointments can be accessed both on desktop and via an iOS mobile app, so you can view your schedule on the go (unless you have an Android phone). Currently, Square Appointments only supports calendar sync with Google Calendar. Additionally, since Square Appointments is a Square service, you can easily accept payments with Square natively through your booking service.

You can integrate Square Appointments with a number of your favorite applications, including (but not limited to):

  • QuickBooks
  • Xero
  • TaxJar
  • ShipStation
  • Commerce Synch
  • IFTT
  • InvoiceASAP
  • When I Work
  • Social Media (Google & Instagram)

If you’d like to add a “Booking Button” to your site to enable online booking for customers, then you can do so by customizing your button and adding the HTML code to your page.

 

3) Doodle

Doodle

Pricing:

  • Free Plan: polls and meetings, connect personal calendar, non-removable ads.
  • Starter Plan: $4/month paid annually ($48/year), 1 user, no ads, sync meetings to calendars, deadlines and reminders.
  • Pro Plan: $6/month paid annually ($72/year), custom logo and branding, personalized scheduling URL, 1:1 meetings.
  • Team Plan: $15/month for 5 users ($180/year), $30/month for 10 users ($360/year), $60/month for 20 users ($720/year); priority support; multiple user management; Doodle bot for Slack.

Note: There is also a 14-day free trial for any of the paid plans, including Starter, Pro and Team.

Features:

As a scheduling software that’s exclusively designed for use within an organization, Doodle comes built with all of the features you need for setting up meetings and other internal appointments. Some of the more useful and unique features include a shareable URL, 1:1 meetings, collaborative scheduling, update broadcasts, proposed time invites, auto-identified time zones, automatic reminders, custom branding, and syncing with Slack.

Business Type:

Doodle is best fit for small, medium and large-sized businesses, as well as freelancers. Doodle can be used both for booking appointments with clients and for scheduling meetings with employees/coworkers. However, it should be noted that you cannot accept payments directly from Doodle – you’ll have to have some form of an eCommerce shopping cart (like 3dcart) to do that.

Supported Platforms & Integrations:

You can access Doodle via desktop or their mobile app, available on iOS and Android. Doodle supports calendar sync with popular calendar apps like Google Calendar, Microsoft Office 365, Outlook Calendar and iCal so you can see your availability while selecting time options or directly add meetings with calendar invites sent to participants.

When it comes to app integrations, Doodle only supports connection with Zapier. In order to integrate apps that you’d like to connect to Doodle, such as Slack, Trello, or Mailchimp, then you’ll need to do that through Zapier. If you’d like to make more advanced integrations, then you can utilize the Doodle API.

 

4) Calendly

Calendly

Pricing:

  • Basic Plan: Free of charge, 1 calendar per user, 1 event type, Calendly branding, standard email support.
  • Premium Plan: $10/month per user, 2 calendars per user, unlimited event types, remove Calendly branding, custom email notifications and reminders, 3-hour email support, 10+ user live chat.
  • Pro Plan: $15/month per user, 6 calendars per user, custom coloring for website widgets, SMS notifications, payment processing.

Note: There is a 14-day free trial for paid plans, after which you will be downgraded to the Basic plan unless you pay to upgrade.

Features:

If you’re looking for scheduling software that works for internal and external use that also comes with a ton of features for a good price, then Calendly may be the choice for you. With Calendly, you’ll be able to set up a wide variety of meeting types, including:

  • One on One meetings
  • Round Robin meetings
  • Collective meetings
  • Group meetings

You’ll also be able to use a personalized Calendly link, send out email and text notifications, set time buffers for appointments, automatically detect time zones, choose daily meeting limits and minimum scheduling notices, and much more. Calendly is also highly customizable and allows you to track all of your metrics relating to appointments and meetings.

Business Type:

Calendly is best fit for small to medium-sized business and freelancers/individual professionals. Their scheduling software can be used for both external use with customers (bookings, classes, appointments) and internal use with employees (meetings, training).

Supported Platforms & Integrations:

Scheduling with Calendly can happen anywhere, either via their desktop site or their mobile app (available on iOS and Android). Calendar sync is also supported with several third-party calendar apps, including Google Calendar, Outlook, iCal and Office 365. You can also accept payments with Calendly through their Stripe and PayPal integration.

Calendly supports a short list of native integrations, including:

  • Calendly for Chrome
  • Zoom
  • Salesforce
  • Zapier
  • Intercom
  • Google Analytics
  • GoToMeeting

If you’d like to add Calendly to your website or create a custom integration, Calendly gives you access to a code embed, API and webhooks.

 

5) Acuity Scheduling

Acuity Scheduling

Pricing:

  • Freebie Plan: Free of charge, client self-scheduling, unlimited services and appointments.
  • Emerging Entrepreneur Plan: $15/month, 1 calendar, reminder emails, automatic time zone conversion, custom branding.
  • Growing Business Plan: $25/month, 6 calendars, text reminders, subscriptions and memberships, appointment packages and gift certificates, memberships and payment plans.
  • Powerhouse Player Plan: $50/month, 36 calendars, custom API and CSS, remove Acuity branding, BAA & HIPAA compliance, multiple time zones.

Note: There is a 7-day free trial that gives you access to any of Acuity’s paid plans.

Features:

If your business needs a full-featured and relatively affordable solution to online booking and scheduling, then Acuity Scheduling should be something you look into using. Designed with businesses of all types in mind, there’s a ton of features that come with Acuity’s service that will make scheduling appointments with clients much easier. With Acuity, you can set up group scheduling, manage multiple locations and room bookings, automate scheduling, send out appointment reminders via text and email, allow for recurring appointments and rescheduling, and much more. Different types of business types are welcome with Acuity as well, including features built for club management, coaching, and treatments.

Business Type:

Acuity Scheduling is best fit for small to medium-sized businesses, as well as individual entrepreneurs who have no other employees.

Supported Platforms & Integrations:

Since Acuity is web-based, you can access it from their site on desktop; there is also a mobile app available for iOS and Android. Acuity also supports calendar sync with most third-party calendar services, including Outlook, Exchange, Office 356, iCloud and Google Calendar. You can accept payments through Acuity using their Stripe, Square and PayPal integrations as well.

Acuity supports integration with a long list of third-party apps and software; here’s a few of the most popular ones:

  • QuickBooks
  • Xero
  • Mailchimp
  • AWeber
  • Google Analytics
  • ReferralCandy
  • GoToMeeting
  • Zapier
  • Facebook

If an integration you want isn’t supported natively, then there’s a good chance you’ll be able to integrate either using Zapier or the Acuity API. You can also add a custom Scheduling Button to any website (that supports HTML editing) using a bit of HTML embed code.

 

6) TimeTap

TimeTap

Pricing:

  • Starter Plan: Free of charge, 1 staff user and location, unlimited appointments, unlimited clients.
  • Professional Plan: $24.95/month for Solo (1 staff users and location) or $39.95/month for Team (5 staff users and locations), unlimited classes, payment processing, up to 2GB file uploads.
  • Business Plan: $44.95/month for Solo (1 staff user and location) or $74.95/month for Team (5 staff users and locations), up to 10GB file uploads.

If you’re interested in an Enterprise plan, then you can either contact sales or schedule a demo to get a plan tailored to your specific business needs.

Note: All paid plans offer a 30-day free trial.

Features:

As a scheduling and online booking app, TimeTap comes built in with a wide variety of features that are sure to make your business processes much easier. With TimeTap, you can manage clients, set up automated appointment waitlists, create repeating appointments, establish flexible availability, enable intelligent travel time for multiple locations, schedule classes, send out email and text notifications, customize booking forms, create multi-day courses or seminars, and even use disclaimer forms and waivers.

Business Type:

TimeTap is best suited for small to medium-sized businesses, or individual professionals, that need booking software for making external appointments with clients. If your business has a large amount of appointments and bookings each month, then TimeTap may be the scheduling solution for you.

Supported Platforms & Integrations:

TimeTap can be accessed via both web app and mobile app, available on iOS and Android. You’ll be able to calendar sync your TimeTap schedule with several third-party calendars, including Google Calendar, iCal and Outlook. Accepting payments can also be done within TimeTap through their Square, PayPal, Stripe and Authorize.net integrations.

However, it should be noted that TimeTap is somewhat lacking in supported integrations when compared to other schedulers. The only third-party integration that they natively support, aside from calendars and payment processors, is Salesforce. So, if you’re looking for a scheduling app that supports Authorize.Net and you don’t need any extra integrations, then you may want to look into TimeTap.

 

7) SimplyBook.me

Simplybook.me

Pricing:

  • Free Plan: 50 bookings, 1 custom feature.
  • Basic Plan: $9.90/month, 100 bookings, 3 custom features.
  • Standard Plan: $29.90/month, 500 bookings, 8 custom features.
  • Premium Plan: $59.90/month, 2,000 bookings, unlimited custom features.

If you’d like to make more than 2,000 bookings, or you need more SMS credits for text notifications, then there are packages available at an extra cost.

Note: There is a 14-day free trial for all paid plans.

Features:

As a basic, yet flexible, scheduling app, SimplyBook.me gives you access to basic features while allowing you to pick and choose your own custom advanced features based on your specific business needs. At the basic level, you’ll have access to a certain number of monthly bookings, a booking website, coupons and gift cards, HIPAA compliance, recurring appointments event bookings, and automatic email notifications just to name a few. Custom features available include promotions to boost sales, group/multiple bookings, classes, memberships, booking website customizations, metrics & statistics, text notifications, payment processing, a POS system, multiple locations, API access and much more.

Business Type:

Simplybook.me is best suited for small to medium-sized businesses that need to accept client bookings for service-based jobs, such as hair salons, classes, private trainers, massage therapists, consultants, etc. However, you can also sell products through SimplyBook.me, but this is mostly meant to be an add-on to the service you provide.

Supported Platforms & Integrations:

You can access SimplyBook.me either on desktop or mobile because their site is fully responsive. When it comes to calendar sync, their software integrates with a few third-party apps, including Google Calendar and Outlook. But, where SimplyBook.me really stands out is its ability to accept payments; at least 35 payment processors are supported, including PayPal, Authorize.Net, Square and Stripe.

SimplyBook.me supports a handful of third-party integrations, including:

  • Google AdWords
  • Google Analytics
  • Gruveo
  • Zapier

If you’d like to integrate SimplyBook.me into your website or add a Booking Button, you can do so with Joomla, WordPress, Site123, or any site that supports HTML editing through iFrames.

 

8) Booker

Booker

Pricing:

  • Essential Plan: $129/month, unlimited logins, email and text appointment reminders and notifications, 20 reports.
  • Accelerate Plan: $239/month, text appointment confirmations, email campaigns, login protection, custom customer fields.
  • Ultimate Plan: $349/month, automated email and text campaigns, customer feedback/ratings/reviews, customer referral program, advanced marketing reports.

Features:

With a major focus on spa and salon businesses and ownership by MINDBODY (wellness service business management software), most of Booker’s features are centered around meeting those specific business needs. In addition to advanced scheduling features like custom booking pages, Book Now buttons, multiple service scheduling with additional guests, daily appointments viewed by time or by stylist, and notifications sent via email and text, you’ll also have access to business management features. Manage staff, resources, equipment, facilities, inventory, and employee schedules – all from Booker’s dashboard. If that’s not enough, you’ll have access to CRM tools, reporting and email campaigns as well.

Business Type:

Booker is meant specifically for medium to large-sized spa and salon businesses who need advanced software. This booking app is the most expensive on this list, so it’s not hard to say that it’s not directed towards small businesses. If you’re a larger spa and salon business that needs booking software with lots of extra functionality, then Booker may be right for you.

Supported Platforms & Integrations:

Users of Booker can access the software on both desktop and mobile thanks to the Booker mobile app, available on iOS and Android. Calendar sync is supported for Google Calendar, Outlook and iCloud. With Booker’s payment processing solution, you’ll get integrated credit card processing and support for PayPal mobile payments.

Booker integrates with a selection of third-party apps and software, including:

  • Mailchimp
  • Google Analytics
  • Marketing 360
  • Infusionsoft
  • Birdeye
  • com
  • FrontDeskAI
  • Clover
  • Social Media (Facebook, Twitter)

 

9) Appointlet

Appointlet

Pricing:

  • Free Plan: Appointlet branding, unlimited bookings, meeting types and form fields.
  • Premium Plan: $10/month per member, disable branding, custom automated booking reminders and confirmations, conversion tracking, integrations, priority support, on-boarding for 5+ members.

Note: There is a 15-day free trial for the Premium plan.

Features:

Designed for meetings and appointments both within and outside of a business, Appointlet is an effective piece of scheduling software with a focus on sales and leads. It not only comes with basic features like automatic custom email confirmations and reminders, but you’ll also get advanced ones like time zone support, team availability, custom schedule breaks and time limits, multiple language support, custom branding and personalized links. You’ll also be able to integrate your schedule into a sales funnel and collect payments from customers, meaning you’ll be maintaining your leads the whole way through.

Business Type:

Appointlet is best suited for small businesses that need software to both manage employee appointments internally and set up appointments with customers and leads externally.

Supported Platforms & Integrations:

Because Appointlet is cloud-based web software, you can access it from your desktop browser. (However, there is no mobile app.) You’re able to calendar sync your Appointlet schedule with both Google Calendar and Office 365 as well. Payment processing is supported through a Stripe integration.

Appointlet integrates with a select few third-party apps and software with a focus on sales, including:

  • Unbounce
  • Leadpages
  • Wishpond
  • Zapier

 

10) Bookeo

Bookeo

Pricing:

  • Solo Plan: $14.94/month, 1 consultant, 1 staff login, 200 bookings per month.
  • Small Plan: $29.95/month, 3 consultants, 3 staff logins, 1,000 bookings per month.
  • Standard Plan: $39.95/month, 20 consultants, 20 staff logins, 1,000 bookings per month.
  • Large Plan: $79.95/month, 40 consultants, 40 staff logins, 2,000 bookings per month.

Note: There is a 30-day free trial available for

Features:

Packed with features, Bookeo is well-equipped to fit your specific booking and scheduling needs. Included are basic features, such as automatic email and text notifications, a custom appointment calendar widget, recurring bookings, and the ability to accept/deny booking request. But you also get access to a wide range of advanced features, including custom staff schedules & appointment lengths, appointment tracking, pictures and videos, support for over 30 languages, custom booking rules, real time price calculation, staff assignments, flexible availability, automatic waiting lists and much more.

Business Type:

Bookeo is best suited for small to medium-sized businesses that need to deal with external clients for booking appointments. Their site explains that their software is “perfect for therapists, photographers, kids’ parties, car washing and more.”

Supported Platforms & Integrations:

Since Bookeo is a cloud-based SaaS product, you can access it via the web on desktop computers. However, there isn’t a mobile app available at this time. Calendar sync can be done with Google Calendar, iCal, Outlook, and Office 365. You’ll also be able to accept payments with various gateways, including Stripe, Square, and PayPal.

With Bookeo, you’ll have access to a list of third-party integrations, including:

  • Google Analytics
  • Xero
  • QuickBooks
  • Mailchimp
  • Piesync
  • Social Media (Facebook, Twitter)

Integrating Bookeo into your own website is also possible, as their software supports native integration with 19 sites including WordPress, Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace. If your site is built with a platform like 3dcart, you can easily integrate the Bookeo HTML widget into your site.

 

Wrapping Up

Obviously, no two scheduling apps are alike. There’s a wide range of prices, feature sets, and supported integrations that you can get with each one, so it’s important to do your research and pick the one that best suits your specific business needs. Do you need software that’s better at appointments with clients or meetings with employees? Are you looking for something with lots of payment methods or third-party integrations? There’s a lot of factors to consider when it comes to choosing the right booking software for you, so hopefully this guide has provided some insight into your ultimate decision.