Requirements for Online Scheduling Tool Selection
Here were my requirements when evaluating these online scheduling tools:
- must be able to integrate and sync with Google Calendar and/or iCloud Calendar
- must be able to accept online payments, preferably with Stripe
- must be able to integrate with Zapier to allow sharing information with other apps in the cloud
- must be able to block time before and after meetings to set buffer time
- must be able to collect additional information in a customizable form
- must be able to send reminder messages to clients
I looked at 10 tools: 10to8, Acuity Scheduling, Book Like a Boss, Calendly, Schedule Once, Simply Book Me, Wix Bookings, You Can Book Me, Time Trade and Omnify.
Free Options for Online Scheduling Tool
Need a free option for scheduling? Four of the tools had free subscriptions. My recommendation would be 10to8 or Calendly as they have the most features for free.
- 10to8 – Free for 100 appointments per month and includes synching your calendar
- Acuity Scheduling – Free for appointment scheduling only, but no payments or calendar sync
- Calendly – Free for unlimited appointments and synching to your calendar, just not accepting payments
- Wix Bookings – Free with calendar sync, but no payments
Paid Options for Online Scheduling Tool
Of course, you can pay for any of the tools! They range from $8/month to $15/month for the basic plans, which ends up being $96-$150/year. If you see clients on a regular basis and are tired of coordinating emails, then the cost for all the features will be worth it!
Requirements for Online Scheduling Tool
- Calendar Sync – All of the tools allow synching with Google calendar and most allow synching with Outlook and iCloud as well. Simply Book Me didn’t allow synching with iCloud and Wix only allows google calendar.
- Payments – All of them allow accepting payments. Schedule Once doesn’t allow Stripe and You Can Book me doesn’t allow PayPal.
- Zapier – All of them have features to sync with Zapier except for Wix Bookings.
- Buffer Time – All of them allowed Buffer time around appointments.
- Forms – Schedule Once and Wix were the only two that do NOT have a custom form option to collect additional information.
- Reminder Messages – All of the tools send reminder messages and most of them have the option to send SMS text messages as well.
Video Overview of the Online Scheduling Tools
I created accounts in all the tools so that I could experience the look and feel and interface of the tools. Enjoy my meandering around in each of them and see which resonates with you!
Recommendation for Online Scheduling Tool
Acuity Scheduling by far has the most features and probably the largest following of users. Based on pure requirements and functionality, Acuity would be the winner. Yet, I found that configuring Acuity was not as intuitive as I would like. I know for many non-technical people, they would be turned off by Acuity and struggle to figure out what was what.