An online scheduling app could revolutionize the way that you do business—but which one is best? Today, there are dozens, and probably hundreds even, of different alternatives for scheduling, appointment booking, and time management software. That can make it difficult to narrow down if you’re not sure what you need, let alone how these tools and apps work—worry not, because we’ve got you covered.
In this guide, we’ll break down two of the leading scheduling apps: Calendly and ScheduleOnce. A side-by-side comparison will help you better understand which one will be best for your scheduling needs. We will go through the ideal users, subscriptions, features, and other factors to consider in choosing a scheduling app to help you make the best decision.
Both Calendly and ScheduleOnce make the top 20 lists time and time again for their rich features and affordable pricing, so you will need to look into the details of each tool and see what they can do for you specifically. To do that, let’s discuss the factors that should be involved in your decision.
Of course, your first concern is going to be which features the scheduling apps provide. You will want to check whether widgets or embedding are offered, as well as see if the app offers things like automatic scheduling, rules-based scheduling, calendar integrations, and of course, the number of calendars and bookings that you need. There are several features available in modern scheduling apps, but make sure you prioritize what matters.
What’s your current tech stack like? You need to choose a scheduling app that integrates with your existing calendar(s), including Google Calendar, iCal, Outlook, or any other tools that you use. You’ll also want to make sure it integrates with the software used for things like CRM and sales so that you aren’t wasting valuable time transferring information manually.
The good news is that most calendar apps will integrate with just about all of the major calendars and software solutions that your business uses today.
The majority of these apps are based in the cloud, which offers several benefits. You'll enjoy being able to create a scalable solution that can be customized for your business. Plus, you’ll enjoy access from anywhere, unlimited storage, and the chance to scale your solutions whenever your needs change.
We put this lower on the list because it shouldn’t be your primary concern, but the budget does play a role here. Consider whether free apps or free versions can meet your needs, or whether you’ll want to upgrade to a paid plan. More good news here—even the best scheduling apps are impressively affordable.
Every good scheduling platform will have dedicated apps available for iOS and Android, as well as a mobile-friendly website to ensure cross-device compatibility. Plus, you’ll be able to access your schedules and calendars from anywhere, and some tools even let you create client-facing apps for appointment booking. This creates total business connectivity and convenience for your clients.
Several factors will go into your final decision, but these should be at the top of your list. Now, let’s start the comparison of Calendly and ScheduleOnce so that you can see what each can do for you.
The variety of scheduling apps available offer something for just about everyone. You will want to consider whether you want a scheduling app that’s just good at scheduling, or if you want one that’s got a dedicated industry focus or user group. Both apps offer a lot, including a specific audience or type of user.
Calendly is designed to provide easy, hassle-free scheduling for anyone who needs scheduling software. The app is as effective for single users as it is for those who have more than 1,000 users. It eliminates the back-and-forth of scheduling via email and other missed connections.
ScheduleOnce is a platform that works similarly to Calendly, but it also offers the added benefit of multiple schedules and complex scheduling routines for larger organizations that need to coordinate a lot of schedules, events, and people.
Calendly is best for simple, streamlined scheduling when you only need a single calendar or more basic scheduling solutions. It’s got everything you need without the bells and whistles, which is why it’s a favorite.
ScheduleOnce is best for organizations with multiple schedules, events, recurring appointments, and other complex scheduling needs. It offers a simple user interface and customizable tools to make coordinating any business simpler through automation and integration.
As we mentioned earlier, the features of an online scheduling app will be one of the most important factors in your decision. A scheduling tool is only as good as what it can do for you, after all. Usability and ease of use are definitely at the top of the list. Both platforms offer that, though, so there’s not a lot to compare there.
Calendly allows for up to six external calendars, while ScheduleOnce offers nearly unlimited calendaring and scheduling solutions with customizable plans and a variety of standard tiers to choose from.
Let’s take a closer look at the features of each of these tools, with a side-by-side comparison to help you decide what will suit your needs best.
Note that there may be additional features or premium elements that are available outside of what’s listed here, but to create an exhaustive list would be nearly impossible and take quite a few pages. These are the most sought-after features that people seek in modern scheduling apps, so they are the ones we focus on.
The terms of each subscription are also important to look into. Typically, there aren’t any real fees or contracts involved, but each app has its own considerations. The most common variable is the number of calendars or users based on the pricing or membership tier. Features may vary based on pricing, as well.
Calendly includes a free 14-day trial for all users, along with a Basic plan that is available at no cost. Trials can be used by all team members, not a limited pool, and the free platform includes one calendar per user. Additional calendars are available on premium plans, and payments can be made monthly or annually. Discounts are offered for annual memberships and there are never any cancellation fees.
ScheduleOnce also offers a free version, as well as a free trial for users who want to test the teams and enterprise plans. The free plan is available for a single user, premium plans are also available for teams and enterprise organizations. Users can again choose between monthly and annual payments, and enterprise plans are custom-built and priced. There are no contracts or cancellation fees, and users can cancel at any time.
Calendly provides a free trial for its premium plans and a free version for individual users who only need a single calendar. Multiple calendars and users can be added for a small fee. Paid plans also include additional features and tools, and there are three options to choose from:
ScheduleOnce offers a free trial, as well, along with a $0 Solo plan for single users. Teams plans are available for a nominal upcharge, which offers unlimited users and additional features. There is also an Enterprise version that can be custom-built and priced for large organizations. Each plan has its own features, as well. Users can choose from:
Both ScheduleOnce and Calendly integrate with G Suite, Google Calendar, iCal, Office365, Outlook, and others. No matter what calendars you are currently using, both apps provide a wide selection of integrations for easy calendar syncing no matter which calendars you’re currently using to run your business and manage your scheduling needs.
ScheduleOnce and Calendly also integrate with several different video conferencing tools, workflow apps, payment processors, and more. You can use their APIs to connect with hundreds of different tools, including those listed below.
ScheduleOnce integrates with:
Calendly integrates with:
You can also use the API in both of these apps to create custom integrations and scheduling solutions. Plus, although these lists are quite impressive, there are plenty of other integrations available with existing software and apps that you’re probably already using.
Plus! If you’re considering the assistance of Smith.ai and our dedicated appointment booking and scheduling solutions, we can integrate with both of these apps, as well as several other scheduling alternatives out there today.
So, what are you waiting for?
Part of choosing a tool comes in figuring out how you’re going to integrate it—on your website, social media, and more. Here’s what these two apps offer.
While Calendly doesn’t offer a dedicated “book now” solution, it has an embed code that can allow you to generate a pop-up or offer inline scheduling for clients and customers. You can even customize the embed link and use it on several different websites, platforms, and apps.
ScheduleOnce offers an embed code so that you can include the scheduling tool on your website, along with a dedicated booking widget for several integrations. Customization of the widgets and booking pages ensures that you get a fully immersive brand experience.
Both of these tools will integrate on your business website and can work with all major host providers, including:
There you have it—a side-by-side look at two of the leading scheduling apps on the market today. Now that you’ve seen what they can do, let’s talk about how they shake down. Ultimately, ScheduleOnce is designed for larger organizations that need custom scheduling solutions for a more dynamic scheduling environment, while Calendly provides simplicity in scheduling for everyone by taking the back-and-forth out of booking an appointment.
Both have free plans and trials, as well as similar integrations and other features. Thus, it can be difficult for some people to figure out which will be the better fit. Think about whether you need simplicity in a basic tool or if you need more complex scheduling resources because that’s the biggest difference here. And remember that no matter which you choose, you can take them to the next level with the professional team at Smith.ai.
Our virtual receptionists are familiar with all of the best scheduling apps and can even help you narrow down your options by discussing your needs. Then, we’ll see what else we can help you with, from appointment booking to lead intake, live chat, and so much more. Our team can help you streamline scheduling and take the work off your plate so you can focus on your business, not your calendar.
To find out what we can do for you, schedule a consultation today to discuss our scheduling solutions, software integrations, and more. Our 24/7 virtual receptionists can handle all kinds of communication needs, acting as the face of your brand to assist with whatever it is that you need from us. You can also reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (650) 727-6484.
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