Staying organized is one of the biggest challenges business owners face. With more and more online meetings, webinars, virtual client calls, and in-person events happening every year, are you sure that you won’t miss an important appointment? If you’re not already using one of the best appointment booking apps for small businesses, now’s the time to start.
What are online appointment booking apps?
Appointment schedulers are web-based tools that allow you to invite or collaborate with other users through a calendar interface. They also prevent double-booking when you use multiple online calendars as well as some of the unnecessary back-and-forth that happens when multiple parties coordinate meeting times.
Plus, they’re often accessible on both mobile devices and desktop, so you can book the appointment in your office, then check for directions or details in the car on your way.
What does an online appointment scheduling tool do?
These tools are primarily calendars with a scheduling function, but they often integrate with other apps, such as your email or video conferencing app. Some tools even work with payment processors, so you can charge and collect fees before the meeting takes place. The tools may also serve as a lead magnet on your website for people who want to know more about your services.
Who needs an appointment scheduling software?
All business professionals can benefit from these tools, but they’re particularly beneficial for sales and marketing teams, media and PR professionals, consultants, and anyone who makes more than a few calls per week (virtual and in-person). If you charge for your time, then you may lean toward platforms with booking fee and no-show cancellation fee options.
The 12 best appointment booking apps
There are numerous apps that claim to keep your calendar tidy, but here are the top business booking software picks for any industry.
If you want to combine all of the calendars on your desktop and phone – Google Calendar, Apple’s iCal, and Outlook, for starters – Calendar is a solid pick. It simplifies scheduling, easily syncs across all devices, and includes meeting transcriptions in the paid version.
The best part is its AI function, which monitors your schedule and can automate certain tasks without your input. Plus, you’ll receive valuable analytics that tell you how you spend your time. The paid version starts at $6 per month, and there’s also a free limited version.
For those who want to collaborate with multiple team members, check out the Calendly online booking system. It has many of the same features as other tools on our list, but it also comes with unique features, like round-robin, collective, and one-on-one meetings. Plus, the custom meeting link makes it easy to invite others to pick a date and time.
The free version offers basic booking and a single calendar view. Paid plans, which feature team solutions, cost $8 to $12 per month.
3. HubSpot Meetings
HubSpot is a powerful CRM platform that comes with an enterprise price tag, and their online scheduling for small business is one small part of their overall offerings. If you’re looking to buy only a calendar solution, this may be too robust.
However, if you want all of your contact tools, lists, sales funnels, and email trackers in one place, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better option. There is a free “lite” plan for you to check out, and the full-featured scheduler is free for paid HubSpot users. The templates alone make it an incredible solution.
Acuity is an appointment app that lets you block out the times that work for you, allowing your meeting attendees to pick from available slots. It’s sparsely designed but is loaded with options. For example, you can accept payments via Stripe, Square, or PayPal, vault credit cards for charging later, accept tips, offer coupons, schedule group workshops, and upsell with add-ons at checkout.
If you’re looking for a way to grow your business with more sales through appointment setting, Acuity scheduling may be your best bet. Plans start at $14 per month for one calendar.
Designed for salespeople but easy enough for anyone to use, Appointlet offers customized booking pages you can send to clients and prospects. It integrates easily into your existing online real estate, too, including websites and email subscriber lists. The free forever option may be enough for casual users, but the paid version offers unlimited bookings, coordination with Zoom, and field customization.
Plans for this online scheduling software start at $8 per month. You can integrate it with Google Calendar, Office 365, Unbounce, Leadpages, Wishpond, Zapier, and more.
Doodle makes it easy to get a group of three or more people on the same page, even across time zones. Simply send out a poll for meeting attendees to answer with their availability. Then, pick the time that works best, and communications will synchronize for all attendees.
Anyone who struggles to find a time that works for everyone will love the reduction in back-and-forths along with the user-friendly interface. Doodle offers a free trial for its plans, which start at $6.95 per month.
If you need your teams on one page, ScheduleOnce is worth considering. Features include group meetings, one-on-one calls, and video conferences. It syncs across your website, email, and payment processor, so you’ll always have the most up-to-date schedule view.
ScheduleOnce’s branding preferences are impressive, letting you put your own special touch on any of your customer-facing tools. Plans start at $10 per month, with a free plan that lets 25 users collaborate at no cost.
Bookafy offers similar perks to other entries on our list, including synchronized calendars, time zone recognition, and rules for how you want to set up your meetings.
However, business owners love the unique feature that lets you assign meeting requests to the most appropriate team member. This streamlined approach ensures that anyone scheduling a meeting gets facetime with the appropriate department or expert, such as a customer needing IT help versus a prospect looking for a marketing demonstration.
You also get custom forms and templates featuring your company colors and forms, so you can make Bookafy your own. The plans start at $7 per month for the Pro plan and $11 for the Pro+ plan.
SimplyBook.me is a favorite among those with a global client base because it lets your clients book online meeting times in 32 languages. It also seamlessly integrates with more than 20 payment processing apps, so you can make sure you get paid for your time.
You can pick your industry to see pre-loaded default fields, such as those for gym owners or consultants, among other roles. Then, be sure to check out all the reporting features, including a rundown of your appointment statistics and a log of SMS reminders. Prices range from free to $59 per month.
With YouCanBook.me, you create a booking grid that you can share anywhere, including on social media or your website. Pick your display preferences, including custom fields, and view your meetings as they’re requested by your staff or clients.
This tool works well with Google and Apple calendars, and it integrates with Zapier, Zoom, and other related platforms. Plus, you can reduce your monthly no-shows by sending out customized notifications and reminders. As for the cost, you’ll pay $10 per calendar per month.
As part of a larger small business platform that also handles invoicing, project management, and reporting, Dubsado’s scheduling tools are as beautiful as they are functional. With this platform, you can collect booking fees at the time of appointment setting, attach forms to meeting confirmations, and pad your meeting slots.
It also integrates with most major tools, and there are minimum notice settings to prevent overscheduling. Dubsado offers a free trial of their entire suite, and it costs $35 per month or $350 annually.
12. Square appointments
For businesses that already use the Square payment services suite of tools or their POS system, Square’s appointment booking tool is an easy choice. The service lets you charge no-show fees for cancellations and accept payments at the time of booking, among other features.
The automated text and email reminders are helpful as well, especially for those with the busiest calendars. Paid plans start at $50 per month. There is a free plan with a single calendar, but it comes with payment processing fees of 2.6% + 10¢, which applies to all paid plans, too.
What is the best booking app for your business?
The best scheduling tool is the one that best fits your unique needs. If you’re a heavy Square user, for instance, it only makes sense to use their booking tool. And if you have a global footprint, Simplybook.me will help you keep everything in check from one week to the next.
If you already use one of the more robust CRM tools, like HubSpot, you may have access to this scheduling feature included. And in that case, all you have to do is start using it today to take advantage of the perks you’re paying for.
When you pick from the tools on our list, keep in mind that too many bells and whistles could actually prevent you from consistently adding appointments and managing your time. This means that the overall price may not be the best indicator of quality or functionality, so instead sift through these options after you know exactly what you need.
About the Author: Linsey Knerl is a contributing writer for HP Tech@Work. Linsey is a Midwest-based author, public speaker, and member of the ASJA. She has a passion for helping consumers and small business owners do more with their resources via the latest tech solutions.
Prices, specifications, availability and terms of offers may change without notice. Price protection, price matching or price guarantees do not apply to Intra-day, Daily Deals or limited-time promotions. Quantity limits may apply to orders, including orders for discounted and promotional items. Despite our best efforts, a small number of items may contain pricing, typography, or photography errors. Correct prices and promotions are validated at the time your order is placed. These terms apply only to products sold by HP.com; reseller offers may vary. Items sold by HP.com are not for immediate resale. Orders that do not comply with HP.com terms, conditions, and limitations may be cancelled. Contract and volume customers not eligible.
HP’s MSRP is subject to discount. HP’s MSRP price is shown as either a stand-alone price or as a strike-through price with a discounted or promotional price also listed. Discounted or promotional pricing is indicated by the presence of an additional higher MSRP strike-through price
The following applies to HP systems with Intel 6th Gen and other future-generation processors on systems shipping with Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 Pro systems downgraded to Windows 7 Professional, Windows 8 Pro, or Windows 8.1: This version of Windows running with the processor or chipsets used in this system has limited support from Microsoft. For more information about Microsoft’s support, please see Microsoft’s Support Lifecycle FAQ at https://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle
Ultrabook, Celeron, Celeron Inside, Core Inside, Intel, Intel Logo, Intel Atom, Intel Atom Inside, Intel Core, Intel Inside, Intel Inside Logo, Intel vPro, Itanium, Itanium Inside, Pentium, Pentium Inside, vPro Inside, Xeon, Xeon Phi, Xeon Inside, and Intel Optane are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries.
In-home warranty is available only on select customizable HP desktop PCs. Need for in-home service is determined by HP support representative. Customer may be required to run system self-test programs or correct reported faults by following advice given over phone. On-site services provided only if issue can't be corrected remotely. Service not available holidays and weekends.
Microsoft Windows 10: Not all features are available in all editions or versions of Windows 10. Systems may require upgraded and/or separately purchased hardware, drivers, software or BIOS update to take full advantage of Windows 10 functionality. Windows 10 is automatically updated, which is always enabled. ISP fees may apply and additional requirements may apply over time for updates. See http://www.microsoft.com.
HP Rewards qualifying and eligible products/purchases are defined as those from the following categories: Printers, Business PCs (Elite, Pro and Workstation brands), select Business Accessories and select Ink, Toner & Paper.