Last updated on March 26th, 2019 at 06:42 pm
If you’re ready to choose a scheduling software program, we’re here to guide you to a perfect fit for your company.
You’ll quickly discover a lot of systems geared toward large businesses, but we found four we think are great for the smaller business needs.
In reviewing scheduling software packages, we wanted our top picks to manage your appointments efficiently, even with multiple locations and schedules.
The software also needs easy scheduling configuration for allowing online appointment booking. These software packages go beyond appointment scheduling and adding extra features you’ll find helpful in managing your customer base.
Acuity Scheduling: Our Pick for Best Scheduling Software
With their regular small and significant improvements, Acuity Scheduling keeps abreast of its customer’s needs and offers top value for the money.
Acuity doesn’t have the ease of use or a fancy desktop like other programs in its market, but it’s still an easy and intuitive program good for the simple needs of small businesses.
Our Scheduling Software Comparison: Acuity Scheduling Vs. Appointy Vs. Timely Vs. vCita[table “100” not found /]
Acuity Scheduling: Our Pick for Best Scheduling Software
Acuity Scheduling comes with strong features making appointment scheduling easy and convenient for clients and staff.
Its ease of use and intuitiveness includes most features desired in a scheduling software package, making it our top pick.
The group calendar feature is available to all personnel for logging in and using to find who is open and allowing for working around other schedules.
Acuity Scheduling offers all the client booking features we wanted, including recurring appointments, appointment price quotes when scheduling, and the ability to cancel appointments.
Acuity Scheduling offers four monthly subscription plans with a free 14-day trial and a no charge solo plan, limited to client self-scheduling.
Appointy: Functional and Powerful Yet Easy to Use
Appointy has powerful features servicing almost any business segment from health and wellness to the government.
The scheduling software boasts customer scheduling access 24/7, management for multiple staff and locations, email, Facebook, and Twitter marketing, and customer loyalty programs.
This functional scheduling software comes with a 14-day trial period plus four monthly pricing plans starting with a free plan that includes one staff, five services, and unlimited bookings through website integration.
Timely: Business Organization with Scheduling, Clients, Staff Reports and More
Timely with its proprietary CMS lets companies send automated reminders, bulk emails.
Calculate and track payments for staff and clients so managers can focus on building business and less on administrative tasks.
With Timely’s click to call function, businesses can call their clients using Skype.
Timely offers a free, 30-day trial and per month charges per calendar for their Schedule Plan and Schedule & Sell Plan. If you have a large team with specific needs, contact them for a plan tailored to your business.
vCita: A Simple and Powerful Scheduling Package
vCita offers a powerful scheduling package that simplifies appointment setting, contact management, online payments, document sharing and many other features via your website.
The vCita LiveSite software combines several customer communication streams into one simple to use platform.
LiveSite comes with integration for websites, email systems, and social media accounts, allowing sharing communications over these channels.
Anytime your customer responds to a campaign in social media or lands on product websites, the software retains the customer details, storing them in a database.
vCita is a subscription program, with a per month charge starting at $19.95 each month for a single user. The paid for plans come with a free, 14-day trial and a for free plan with a limit of 300 client records.
Going Deeper: Comparing the Scheduling Software Packages
Acuity Scheduling not only rates as our top pick, but it’s also the most cost effective program.
Timely comes in second for a price structure geared toward smaller businesses with a per month per staff price, depending on the plan.
In a tie for second is Apointly, with their unlimited staff and services, and rounding out in fourth is vCita at only nine cents more than Apointly, but only allowing three users.
The scheduling software offers a bare bone scheduling only plan for no charge per month, with client self-scheduling and unlimited appointments.
Acuity is a perfect plan for small businesses with fewer schedule and CMS needs.
All other plans come with a free 14-day trial and receive a free month of service if paid annually.
Client self-scheduling only – No monthly charge
1 user 1 location – $10 per month
6 users 6 locations – $19 per month
36 users 36 locations – $34 per month
The free plan with Appointy is better than Acuity with one user, five services, and unlimited bookings.
The monthly subscriptions include unlimited staff and bookings, and their Enterprise Plan includes multiple business locations.
Unlimited staff and services + separate staff login and advanced analytics – $39.99 per month billed annually. Unlimited staff and services with multiple business locations – starting at $59.99 billed annually
Unlike their competitors, the Timely free trial period is 30 days instead of 14 days.
The schedule only plan has an advanced calendar, automated reminders, and marketing tools.
The Schedule & Sell plan includes a complete front and back office with advanced calendar, POS, payments, and invoicing.
Schedule only per staff calendar – $15 per month
Schedule and sell per staff calendar – $20 per month
Contact Timely for tailored plan rates
All subscription plans come with a free 14-day trial and different services per pricing tier.
300 client record limit – No charge
Single user – $19.90 per month
3 users – $39.90 per month $9.95 per month per additional user
3 users – $59.90 per month $14.95 per month per additional user
Setting Up and Using the Scheduling Software
While the other three platforms have easy to use features for beginning users, Acuity is our top choice. The highly functional dashboard with a checklist and progress bar helps guide users through each step of setup seamlessly.
The online scheduling program has an easy setup with a checklist and progress bar for guiding you through each step.
Navigation is easy with helpful and useful features for your staff like designating specific appointment types with set pricing for each.
It also gives you the ability to accept payments when clients schedule their appointments. Acuity has a good selection of client-booking features including recurring appointments.
Appointment cancellations, and price quotes while scheduling appointments. The process of each of these functions is easy and straightforward with confirmation emails generated when clients make or cancel appointments.
The one negative side of Acuity is the interactive calendar during appointment booking and cancellation.
Though it’s easy to use, each calendar step takes the client to a different page rather than staying within the view window. But, the steps are clear and easy to navigate with an uncluttered and clean interface.
Setting the program up is simply plugging staff, service, and business information into floating dialogue boxes.
Once done, you tour the software and highlights describing the layout and icons of the admin page.
The user interface is interactive with regular updates and improvements. The scheduling software is highly customizable, even allowing for choosing or creating color themes and background images for the client appointment calendar.
Appointy allows you to hide their logo from the booking site for the ultimate customization.
The elegant appointment scheduling systems is a good value for individuals and small teams in freelancing or project development environments.
Timely is not a program for larger businesses because of its narrow functionality and low integration potential.
Setup and use are self-explanatory, quick, and easy with a simple dashboard for adding and editing staff, services, and locations.
Once setup, the dashboard displays the latest activities, upcoming appointments, important announcements, and previous month’s sales.
Companies can set up lists online for scheduling options, services, and fees.
Reduce missed appointments with automated reminders and confirmations and synchronization with existing calendars like Google, Outlook, and iCal.
The scheduling interface also allows for scheduling appointments with a specific team member.
Our Final Take on the Best Scheduling Software
All four scheduling programs offer functionality and features desired by businesses needing to schedule appointments over different business platforms.
Timely offers unique features geared toward freelancers and small teams of freelancers, not found in the other programs.
Setup and use are easy and intuitive, and the software comes in different package sizes and prices from basic, no charge service to tailored to your needs.