14 best Calendly alternatives
- Acuity Scheduling
Calendly is the most popular appointment scheduling app. They have covered the essentials of a meeting scheduler in-depth and have one of the largest number of third party integrations among appointment scheduling apps.
What differentiates them from others is the
- minimalistic user interface.
- ability to set up complex availability.
- reasonable pricing.
We are not saying that Calendly is the best app for all appointment scheduling use cases. For example, there are apps which allow better personalization of emails and booking pages.
However, if you do not have the time to research for an appointment scheduling app suitable to your needs, you can start with Calendly. Or, find the app that suits you from this post. Here, we will discuss ten Calendly alternatives.
Not all Calendly alternatives are the same. We will group the alternatives into three categories
- Four apps that are good team scheduling
- Six apps that are good for service-based businesses
- Two meeting schedulers which have polls
Four Calendly alternatives that are good for teams
Appointlet: for a free and cheaper alternative.
Here is what Appointlet does, in a nutshell. Your customers can book a sales call or discussion with you. You can allow them to select a staff or ask Appointlet to allocate the appointments in round-robin. The staff and customers are notified.
That’s it. They do not claim to solve every appointment scheduling requirement. Appointlet is simple, easy, and has a flat learning curve. It is your fastest route to automated appointment scheduling for a sales team.
They have good help documentation and live chat support in PST. The team is knowledgeable and responds in 30 minutes.
The Free plan is rich in features and the paid plan starts at $8 per user per month when billed annually.
X-ai: experience AI in scheduling
X-ai makes scheduling appointments easier with their AI scheduling assistants, meeting templates, and instant scheduling.
Meeting templates are central to how x dot ai works. A meeting template is a service which has its title, duration, location, life, booking page, and mandatory and optional participants.
The AI is cool but may not become the decisive factor when comparing x-ai to Calendly.
X dot ai has two pricing plans: individual and team.
X dot ai is affordable for individuals. At $8, you will get unlimited calendar connections. You can add more users but you can’t pool their calendars.
The Team pricing plan allows pooled calendars and appointment allotment algorithms like round-robin.
YouCanBookMe: if you are in education
Youcanbookme is a simple tool for scheduling meetings and appointments.
The starting point of YouCanBookMe’s scheduling system is the booking page. You have to associate your calendar account with the booking page. This calendar account is the center of YouCanBookMe. This can be Google or Microsoft or Fruux Calendar or any CalDav calendar. This reliance on an external calendar is a pain when using YouCanBookMe. It will feel like working with two tools to get the availability right.
Customers can set up their availability in two ways: repeating availability and custom availability.
When there are no changes to your schedule, you have to use Repeating Availability.If your schedule is changing week-to-week, you can use Custom Availability. However, setting this up using the external calendar is cumbersome.
At $10 per calendar, YouCanBookMe is close to Calendly’s Premium plan. That could make a customer wonder if they should go with the segment leader, Calendly. However, they offer discounts for customers from the education industry.
ScheduleOnce: to enforce security, compliance, etc
ScheduleOnce focuses on compliance, security, customization, and control more than any app that we reviewed. The feature set of ScheduleOnce is not vast but each feature is like a mini product, with many options. The user interface is clean and is sprinkled with clear help documentation.
Appointment scheduling apps are generally straightforward. That is one reason for the success of Calendly. Usually, these apps grow larger when they try to cover more use cases: the needs of health and wellness industries.
ScheduleOnce is complex but they didn’t mean it that way. It appears like the outcome of their effort to give fine-grained control, flexibility, and a helpful user interface to the customers.
Yes, more options are good but they make the product UI so busy that the learning curve is steep.
Seven Calendly alternatives for service businesses
The needs of service-based businesses from an appointment scheduling apps is much more than those of a sales team or a hiring team. We have seen many service businesses who start using Calendly to realize later that Calendly is not made for service businesses.
Acuity Scheduling is the best Calendly alternative for all types of businesses and functions like sales or recruitment. However, for service based businesses, Acuity cannot be the only choice. Acuity can be costly for some, while for others Appointy or 10to8 cover certain rare use cases in their business.
Here are seven Calendly alternatives, including Acuity, for businesses who want to switch from Calendly or are looking for an app to automate their appointment scheduling.
- Acuity Scheduling
- 10to8 Scheduling
Acuity Scheduling is the most versatile scheduling tool in the market. They have the depth and breadth in features to address the needs of various functions and different industries.
While Acuity focuses on small businesses in the service industry, Calendly focuses on sales, recruitment teams, and consultants. Calendly has focused on making it easier for sales people to connect with their customers faster, and update the CRM. They provide plug-ins and integrations to work with the apps salespeople use daily.
Acuity has developed features that help businesses generate more revenue: gift certificates, memberships, coupons. Also, they allow vaulting credit cards which is important for businesses taking paid appointments. Calendly is better for free appointments even though they allow online payment.
Acuity is rich in features to cover any use case in scheduling while Calendly allows teams to go live with automated appointment scheduling in no time with their minimalistic UI.
10to8 is a well-rounded appointment, handy, and nifty scheduling app that can meet most scheduling use cases.The app has many features packed well into its UI. The UI looks aged but why change something if it meets the need.
What differentiates 10to8 is their attention to detail with respect to the features. An ex. You can see a history of emails with clients in which the blue tick marks denote a read message. Another example: For those who are not familiar with editing the html code for embedding the booking page, there is a small configuration window where you can add parameters to the booking page code.
Nothing is set in stone: the product will give you options to manually override an automated algorithm. Ex. You can permit double-booking, conflicts in availability, etc.
While the product is good, I found the help documentation and the support team a bit lagging. Help documentation does not always return relevant results. The support team is knowledgeable but they could be quicker in their responses.
Simplybookme is the one with the most features among the apps mentioned here. The depth and breadth of features allows them to cover the needs of the service industry. They have a competitive pricing too.
Not only are they feature-rich, they are also different from the rest of the pack in terms of their pricing structure. They follow usage based pricing when others follow user based pricing.
They offer live chat support and you will get replies from their support team even on the weekends: unheard-of, and unexpected in the industry.
Simplybookme can be confusing for a user because their ways are different. Also, because of the sheer number of features, their UI can be a challenge. The product pages are packed with features, help text, interlinking, and feature options.
Where SimplyBookMe lags behind Calendly and Acuity is in integrations with online meeting tools, CRM, marketing and other popular SaaS tools. It may be intentional on their part as their audience in the service industry do not need it.
The other area of improvement would be the product UI design. However, after seeing their mobile app and the designs they offer for booking website, we can be sure that a trendy product UI is just an update away.
Appointy is a bitter-sweet deal. It gives a feature set matching SimplyBookMe and Acuity Scheduling, however their user experience(UX) needs improvement.
Appointy covers a variety of scheduling needs which spans industries. One of the examples: restricting bookings to a domain of your choice. Another example: you can map your staff to designated area codes. This feature is very handy if you offer services at a customer’s place and want the staff nearest to the place to perform that service.
They have multi-location feature for businesses with multiple branches. Each location can have an admin, a login, a view, and staff.
These kind of unique features differentiate Appointy. However, you can offer too many features in a complex way or in a compact way. And, the choice you make defines the user experience you offer. Appointy is working towards improving that, we believe.
Genbook is a scheduling software for service-driven businesses. Genbook differentiates itself from other apps by including several modules that make it easy for their customers to market their services well to clients, get reviews and thereby acquire new leads.
Genbook’s thinking appears to be shaped by hitting the nail: help customers get more revenue and leads. To this regard, they have last minute discounts, waitlist, discounts, and gift certificates.
Another point that Genbook really shines on is the better user experience.
SuperSaaS is different, very different, from the usual appointment scheduling apps. The key differentiator of SuperSaaS is how flexible and affordable they are, however at the cost of user experience. They follow IKEA’s philosophy: affordable products that everyone can use, and “assembled” according to their needs.
When compared to the competing apps, you may not get pointers from the SuperSaaS UI about the creative ways of using the app. You have to read their help documentation or blogs, like reading the IKEA manual.
Whatever you want to get bookings for, whether it is a cycle or a staff member, it is a resource in SuperSaaS. Every resource has its/their schedule and customers can book it.
SuperSaaS has made the renting hours/service duration from a few minutes to a few days because they know that a service involving a staff is unlikely to go beyond a few hours where as a cycle can be rented for a few days.
In that unique SuperSaaS way, there is no differentiation between customers and staff: all are users. Users can see your schedule, book appointments. They can even see other appointments which are not theirs, even update them. Don’t worry though, SuperSaaS allows you to set up permission level for users for each schedule. You can even promote some users as SuperUsers who have special permissions equivalent to Staff in other appointment scheduling apps.
They have the highest number of pricing plans that we have seen so far in an appointment scheduling app, and offer the entire feature set in their free plan except for calendar sync.
According to their CEO, they want to be as flexible and affordable as possible. Maybe the way they do things is part of that philosophy.
The best thing about Setmore is its UI. It is easy to navigate, find features, and train yourself on. The UI is free from distractions. They carry the same UI quality to their mobile app also. It is modern, which is a stark contrast from the mobile apps of popular appointment schedulers.
Setmore has live chat support, aided by knowledgeble reps and well-written help documentation.
They are priced affordably, and incentivizes larger teams with lower per staff pricing. Each staff will get their log ins and a calendar view of their appointments.
Setmore’s free plan is rich with integrations including Square payments. They also have integrations with almost all website builders, Slack, Instagram and Facebook.
Setmore’s design is centered around the staff and is best for a business with relatively static schedules. The staff’s availability is checked and is accepted as the availability of the service the staff is assigned to. This is different from what Acuity Scheduling or a few other schedulers who treat Availability independently and not tied to staff or service. Setmore’s approach of tying availability to staff puts some constraints in setting up complex availabilities. For ex. It is not possible to set your availability on random dates that you pick from the calendar.
Two Calendly alternatives if you need meeting polls
Doodle is one of the earliest, most popular online meeting schedulers in the market. Being the earliest in the market, they had a monopoly. However, there are more than 80 players in the market now. When comparing Doodle with some of the newer products, we felt that they are falling behind.
Doodle has polls, surveys and bookable calendars. Polls are good when you have to find the best time to meet with a group.
Surveys are good when you want to discover the option that is best for a group of people.
Bookable calendar is useful for you to share your availability with anyone and let them book a time with you.
Doodle also syncs with your Google and Microsoft contacts
Doodle offers SSO, mobile apps, dedicated success manager, 99.9% uptime SLA, training and priority support if you need that. These features have helped them penetrate larger organizations like universities.
Vyte is a good meeting scheduler to collaboratively decide the best time to meet. You can do one-on-one and group meetings on Vyte. It has all the essential features of a meeting scheduler and some interesting features. The UI is modern, clean, and easy to navigate. The chat support is prompt and helpful.
You can organize a Vyte meeting in three ways
- invite a group of people to a meeting by email
- people book time with you from the booking page
- share event details as a link
The mandatory invitee feature is good for meetings involving a VIP. This gives priority to the VIP’s time. When the VIP picks a time, the same time slot is confirmed for the meeting.
Vyte’s strength, according to us, is group meetings. Group meetings allow participant to collaboratively decide a meeting times. Features like polls, suggestions, guest invitees, and chats will ensure that you meet with a proper agenda and preparation. Vyte’s paid plans start at $8 per user per month which is similar to Calendly but higher than Doodle. However, Doodle has minimum user requirements in paid plans which makes the five-user plan cost $30 per month. And, Doodle has only annual billing.
A Calendly alternative if you want to run your service-driven small business
Vcita is a niche product. Rather than paying monthly subscriptions for multiple products to run your appointment based business, you can buy Vcita. It has most modules that a small business that has grown from being a one-man show. The app has modules to manage your clients, their payments, marketing, appointment scheduling, and an inbox.
Instead of keeping all these in multiple apps and connecting them together with Zapier, webhooks, or APIs – where you spend additional money and effort – you can use Vcita. Vcita is niche because it is a product that is best for a certain stage of your business growth. Its usefulness is determined by how long you do not outgrow that stage.
The best Calendly alternative for you depends on your customer segment. A customer segment is a set of needs. If you are the in the service industry, maybe Calendly should not be your first choice. However, if you have a team who meets customers or candidates, you should try Calendly first and then the others.