What is the best scheduling program for me to use? This is the question I see asked more than any other on social media.
When someone wants to schedule a time to meet, it often looks something like this:
Email 1: Let’s meet to discuss that!
2: Great, what time works for you.
3: I have Tuesday at 1pm, does that work for you?
4: No, how about Wed at 10?
And so on…
Automation is an important step in making our lives easier and being more productive. Scheduling programs are one way in which we can automate things. These programs allow us to share our calendars with others so they can pick a time to meet that works best for them AND you. It eliminates much of the back and forth that would regularly occur if trying to schedule via email or text.
The new exchange looks something like this:
Email 1: Let’s meet to discuss that! Here’s a link to my online calendar…
2: Great, I’ve selected a time from your calendar. We are good to go.
After looking at this, it’s easy to understand how scheduling programs can simplify life! The only question is, with so many out there, what is the best scheduling program?
We have taking a look at several of the top scheduling programs available and given you an overview of each. Use this to help determine what is the best scheduling program for your business needs.
TimeTrade is an appointment-booking software allows you to schedule meetings through a scheduling portal. This is the one we personally use here. It is designed for more basic scheduling rather than as a full featured service.
- Integrates with Google, Outlook and Ical to avoid double bookings on your calendar.
- Optional integration with Salesforce.
- Contact can cancel or reschedule appointments.
- Includes customizable email reminders.
- Very affordable.
- Lacks built in invoicing.
- Does not have option for class scheduling.
- No recurring appointments.
Calendly is a simple yet powerful tool that offers a set of scheduling functions to help you automate tasks, accelerate sales and improve service support.
It works simply: all you have to do is set up your availability and share a link with clients, or whoever else you want, and grant them the ability to schedule an appointment at a time that works for both of you.
- Integrates with Google, Office 365 and Outlook to avoid double bookings on your calendar.
- Great for scheduling webinars, workshops and classes.
- Optional GoToMeeting Integration.
- One-on-one, team and event scheduling.
- No invoicing/payments
- Canceling or rescheduling of appointments is cumbersome.
- While it does allow for group scheduling, the rules are somewhat limited in flexibility.
vCita is a powerful app that has a range of features. These are specifically designed for scheduling, keeping your clients in check, interacting with them and saving precious time. It is more than just a scheduling program. It offers an all-in-one solution for small businesses.
In addition to the features offered by Time Trade and Calendly, Vcita offers the following features depending on the plan you select:
- Invoicing with Quickbooks Online integration.
- Integration with Paypal & Stripe.
- Integrated Client Relationship Manager.
- WordPress Plugin for scheduling.
- Receive mobile notifications.
- More expensive than many of the alternatives.
- Calendar integration is not ideal.
- Not as robust as separate applications for each feature.
Acuity Scheduling has an impressive set of features and it’s an excellent option for those wanting something more robust when looking for the best scheduling program.
- Payment collection and invoicing at time of scheduling.
- Client history.
- Optional multiple staff logins.
- Text message reminders.
- Recurring appointments.
- The administrative platform is not as easy to navigate as we had hoped.
- If you have more than one type of appointment to schedule, it can get expensive.
Choosing the best scheduling program is often a matter of personal preference and specific needs. We hope this article helps you to evaluate some of the differences that you may want to know about when choosing which one is right for you. If you have a favorite program you would like for us to include in this article, please contact us here.