Calendly is a very popular tool when it comes to meeting scheduling. But what are the best free alternatives when it comes to calendar booking software? In this video, Scott Friesen shows you 5 scheduling apps and highlights which ones are best for your appointment needs.
Calendly is certainly one of the most popular scheduling tools available, but it's certainly not the only option for you. So in today's video, we're taking a look at five Calendly alternatives, many of them offering a completely free version and determining which one is right for you. Hello, everyone, Scott Friesen here at Simpletivity, helping you to get more done and enjoy less stress. And as we go through this list, I'm going to be handing out some awards. So whether you're looking for the best website integration, user experience, or what integrates directly with your email provider, you'll have a better idea of which scheduling app is best for you. So let's dive in. Now, the first app on our list is Squarespace Scheduling, also known as Acuity Scheduling. Now there's some confusion over those two names. A few years ago, Acuity Scheduling was acquired by Squarespace. So if you're a Squarespace website user, you're going to have this functionality built right in. But if not, you'll be using Acuity Scheduling as a part of your interface, basically, still two different names but the exact same software. So here we are within our dashboard. And what I do like about Squarespace/Acuity, is that it keeps things relatively simple. It's very easy to navigate around. Here, you can see this is my booking screen. So not only can I see what's happening with my real calendar embedded, but I can quickly and easily add appointments directly here as well. But let's jump to what the client actually sees with our scheduling page link. And what's really nice about Acuity scheduling is that it keeps it very, very clean. Yes, you can add your own branding up here, but it really walks you through the process nice and easily. So let's say I want to book a coaching session, here's my available times. I'm going to say 1:00 p.m. next week. I'm going to say Continue. I can start filling out my information here and complete the appointment. Again, Acuity is going to give us the option to add it to our calendar, whether that's Google, or whether that's an iCal Outlook calendar, and we can even register for an account. So very simple and easy. Now when it comes to some of Acuity's greatest strengths, I would say its customization is great, especially if you want to make changes here, and then, see a preview of those changes right here on the right-hand side. Too many scheduling apps I find force you to make these changes without having to look or see, so you have to have another tab open, sort of waste a lot of time, and it may not look the way that you're wanting to. But when it comes to its greatest strength, I would have to go with its website integration. So you can embed your Acuity or Squarespace Scheduling page directly onto your website and give your clients a seamless experience. Next up on our list we're taking a look at SimplyBook, an ideal solution, especially if you're a service-based industry. So whether you're a personal trainer, maybe you run a beauty salon, are you a coach, a consultant, an accountant, maybe you're offering medical or health services, SimplyBook is especially designed for those who are wanting to book services. And one of the main reasons for that is because SimplyBook can replace your entire website, or maybe you don't even have a website yet, that's fine. You can create a very simple, but professional website right here within SimplyBook, with a focus on scheduling time with you. So here you can see I've got all of the relevant information for this sample business, but book now is front and center. And what I like about SimplyBook is that you can walk through a variety of different scenarios, but also add visuals to those scenarios, whether you've dealt with Calendly in the past, or maybe some other scheduling tool, often you don't get these types of visuals. So in this case, yeah, I want to select the San Diego location and I'm interested in the blogging for beginners option here. And I want to do the Lifestyle blog course, and I want to do it with Lawrence. So again, you can add a full bio here, you can add descriptions here. I'm going to add Select. And now that I'm on Lawrence's screen, I can either register for the wait list for today in case there's a cancellation, this is an especially nice feature, which you won't find in many other scheduling tools. But I'm going to say I'm available tomorrow at noon and I can complete my booking. The other nice benefit for service providers is that you can have your clients create an actual account so that they don't have to input their information in again and again and again. This really enhances the level of service and also how professional you look as a part of your clientele. And within the administrative side of SimplyBook, you get so much data that's going to help you make changes and make smart decisions for your business. So for example, here, I can see how many bookings I've had today. I can see how much revenue I've had this particular week, and I can even go down and filter by who is being booked more often than someone else. This is especially helpful if you're managing a team. So a lot of great data and reporting here within SimplyBook that you simply won't find anywhere else. Now, the next scheduling app on our list is called SavvyCal. And if you want a very simple user experience for both yourself, but also for those who are booking with you, SavvyCal may be the best choice for you. From a navigation standpoint here in the backend, things are very, very simple so it's easy to get around. We only have a few different menu headings here and it's also easy to edit. So for example, if I want to edit my coaching session details here, I can come into my calendar and immediately start to edit the different changes here. But let's dive into a user experience because that's really where SavvyCal shines. So here we are taking a look at a preview of what one of my invitees would see, and everything is nice and clear. A few things to highlight. Number one, the user can choose different minutes or different durations, which I have selected in advance, where many scheduling apps will force you to create multiple events depending on the duration, here I can offer one event, a coaching session, and then the user can determine what length they would like to choose from. The other thing I like about SavvyCal is it gives you both the immediate week in turn of the weekday here for them to choose and to click on, but also a nice mini calendar down below here, as well. So there are fewer clicks, maybe a little less intimidating for many users, but the last key benefit here is that users don't have to go back and forth between this SavvyCal page and their own calendar. Up here on the top right-hand corner, I can select Overlay my calendar, and now my calendar, my personal calendar, is overlaid over these available slots. So I don't have to be switching tabs, I don't have to be going back and forth to seeing when I'm available. SavvyCal helps make it that much easier for me. So I'm going to hand out the award for best user experience, best end user experience here to SavvyCal. If you need something very simple for your users, this might be the best choice for you. Now, the next scheduling app on our list is specifically designed for those who want to input or embed options directly within their email accounts, specifically for Gmail users. So here I am within my Gmail account and I'm crafting a message, and I'm wanting to set up a meeting with someone else. Now I could go and input my Calendly link, or some other scheduling app link here, so that they're taken to another page, but wouldn't it be easier if I could just embed the options directly here within the email and then they could click and make that selection without having to leave their inbox? Well, with the boomerang extension installed, you can use the new bookable schedule option. So here down below, you can see there's a Meet button. And I've got a few different options, 'cause I can either suggest sometimes, I can share my free or busy time, or I can set up my own bookable schedule which I can use and repurpose again and again. For this example, I'm going to choose the Share Free/Busy time. And I've already asked if we can meet next week. So here I've given a few different options, so I'm going to choose next week. I want to give them those options. I can include weekends if I want to, and of course, I can adjust my hours here. It's already going to pull in my availability from my synced Gmail calendar. So all I have to do is select Insert at this time. And now, that calendar is going to be embedded directly within the email. So they're going to see when I'm busy. Of course, it's not going to display what those events are or the names of anyone who's involved, but they can book directly from their email. You'll also notice in the upper right-hand corner that they can choose to overlay their own calendar. Something that we just saw a moment ago with SavvyCal. So this can be a fantastic option, if you are primarily booking meetings with individuals and you want to give them the choice or the availability directly from within your email account. Next up on our list, let's take a look at the scheduling app Appointy. Now Appointy does a lot of things differently, but in a good way. Let's get started right here in the backend. So first of all, if you are spending most of your day in meetings or managing your service calls, Appointy is a great option. Here, you can see that we're looking at my dashboard, or really my to-do list for today. So it's nice and clear that I've got two different sessions, one's a coaching session, one's a deep-dive session here, and I've got all the details at my fingertips. So if I need to, for example, check someone in, say if they arrive late, a no-show, if I want to issue gift certificates, for example, or coupon codes, I can do so right here. So I really like this sort of dashboard view, something that you won't often find with many other products. But the other thing about Appointy is that you have almost endless customization, whether that's from a reporting standpoint. Look at this, we have about seven different just high-level reporting. And then we can get into different filters and different details. But if you are looking at specific marketing options, such as discount coupons, gift certificates, and other special offers, you can do so here, as well. Now from an end user perspective, Appointy keeps things relatively simple, but also very easy for you and your users to walk through. So for example here, maybe I want to book a coaching session. I'm going to select Next. Here, I'm brought to the calendar. I want to book something for later this week, let's say 10:30 a.m. And it brings me to this confirmation page, which is very much like a checkout page. So if you are wanting people to pay upfront, or know exactly what is included in their package, here you can see some of these optional options, such as the gift certificate or coupon, well, then Appointy may be the best option for you. It's very much a walkthrough process, making it very easy for your users to participate in. Now I'd love to hear from you next. Is there a scheduling app that I forgot or left off of today's list? If so, be sure to let me know in the comments down below. And if you enjoyed this video, you'll enjoy the other videos right here on the Simpletivity channel. Remember, being productive does not need to be difficult. In fact, it's very simple.
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