If you’re a professional at any level, you will be familiar with Calendly.
It is hands down, the most popular scheduling app. It is very likely that you have used it more than once in your life.
But one among the list of the best Calendly alternatives, may be suited more to your specific needs.
Here's what we'll cover
- What is a meeting scheduler app?
- Why is a scheduler app important?
- What makes a meeting scheduling app good?
- Tips for using a meeting scheduling app
- The best Calendly alternatives
- 1. Boomerang Calendar
- 2. Doodle
- 3. FreeBusy
- 4. Meetin.gs
- 5. Meetingbird
- 6. Vyte
- 7. X.ai
- 8. Rallly
- 9. BookLikeABoss
- 10. Cogsworth
- 11. Acuity Scheduling
- Your takeaway
What is a meeting scheduler app?
A meeting scheduler app is something that allows someone to book a time and date slot on the host’s calendar.
Let’s say I were to add a, wouldn’t you know it, Calendly link at the bottom of the page. You can go to my page and book a 15, 30 or 60-minute time slot with me.
Oh, we could talk for 60 minutes. I have material prepared.
I’d get a notification and my time would be yours. This link can be put in emails or an API that adds a calendar to a webpage.
It is these types of options that you may be unfamiliar with.
Why is a scheduler app important?
Chaos. To avoid chaos.
You might start a blog or a consulting business with dreams of great conversations with customers and visitors.
But then when there is a demand for your time, you have to give them a way to book a slot. And book a slot in a way that you’re aware and there is no confusion at the end of the day.
Both you and the visitor/customer should be clear on the meeting time across time zones.
What makes a meeting scheduling app good?
- Reliability is the most important factor. Last thing you want from a tool like this is to give it all the responsibility and it not being reliable.
- You want it to be easy to use. These are, most of them, paid options. Or at least, their full functionality requires the paid version.
So once you make that investment, your role should be minimal. A simple setup is mandatory.
- It should work across time zones. You will be in many situations accepting bookings from around the globe.
The app has to adjust to the visitor’s geographical location. And it should do so, without fail.
- There should be a robust notification system. All involved should be notified a set time before the meeting.
The ability to easily customize notification settings is also appreciated.
Tips for using a meeting scheduling app
You definitely want to make sure the app you pick has the 4 features mentioned in the last section.
Then the next step is about picking the right one. This depends a great deal on how you intend to use it.
If you prefer doing this over mail, your choice will be one tool. If you’re a consultant getting interest on your website, your choice will be another.
So the actual tips will work better for each tool individually, rather than a one-for-all sections.
The best Calendly alternatives
Now, for the actual list for alternatives. There are a few options for you to check out. So I mention the specific situation where the app is best.
1. Boomerang Calendar
This is for when you use your emails for outreach or scheduling a meeting directly with someone.
This is a Gmail plugin, so all scheduling can be done inside the email. So there’s no hassle of them having being led to another page and book a slot.
You would download it as an extension on your browser. It would then come into effect when you’re using Gmail.
Who should use Boomerang Calendar
Boomerang Calendar for the feature and pricing it has it is apt for people who run their business on Google Suite.
This is suitable for attorneys, content creation agencies, marketing agencies. This is a great fit for anyone who has to work with corporate clients.
Doodle is your go-to for letting people book slots on their phones. It works for both Android and iOS.
It connects to whichever calendar you’re using and lets a contact book a meeting.
You would suggest a meeting on the app and then send them a link to pick a time. Then they pick one or more time slots that work for them.
Based on their answers you make a final pick and you both agree. It’s more a polling app with a twist than a straight up meeting scheduler.
There’s also a public page called MeetMe where anyone is able to see your availability.
Who should use Doodle
Since its best features are designed for mobile, I’d have to say people on the move.
FreeBusy is the tool of choice for bookings within the organization. This would normally be done within a project management tool, with the meeting set up as a task assigned to attendees.
But FreeBusy makes the whole process a lot smoother, certainly more optimized than an email burst and replies of acknowledgement.
It’s also great for setting up meetings between individuals from 2 different organizations.
You’ll first connect all your calendars to FreeBusy. FreeBusy forms an overall availability calendar based on these.
This eliminates the back-and-forth of people trying to agree on a time convenient for everyone.
So it can be described as a scheduling assistant more than a run-of-the-mill scheduler app. It even suggests a good time based on all participants’ availability.
Who should use FreeBusy
I look at their best feature and its getting people from different organizations together.
So FreeBusy is a great fit for upper management. Other than them, I’d say anyone engaged in work that involves collaboration.
FreeBusy can take a lot of the logistical issues that arise in these situations.
This is a more in-depth tool for meeting scheduling.
It does a lot more than scheduling. It even lets you prepare for them. This is done by letting you pick slots for prep work.
This could be the time it takes to build a presentation. The point here is to pick the right meeting slot based on your availability.
You can specify meeting types available to a person.
This leads to customized solutions for different people. Are you ready for a 45-minute lunch meet or can you just spare a 15-minute talk over coffee?
Who should use Meetin.gs
This is a great tool for consultants. Consultants in any field can benefit greatly from these features for their initial meet-ups with clients.
Having a catalog of meeting options does make it a lot easier for a potential client to book that meeting and follow through.
Great tool to schedule team meetings. It happens often and requires a different solution.
The booking is done through an email sent to the entire team.
One of the cool things about it is that its transparent and has the effect of keeping the entire team accountable.
It has integrations with other tools your team might use like Slack, Zoom and Gmail.
Actually, with the Zoom integration a Zoom meeting is automatically booked once a meeting is made on Meetingbird.
Who should use Meetingbird
Project leaders will appreciate the features of this tool very much.
Keeping your team notified, involved and accountable is a pretty strong trifecta of features
This is a solid polling app for scheduling. You send them invites through email.
They reply with slots that work for them and a final call can be made. All this without having to create accounts for each member.
It’s just the organizer that needs to set up an account. The rest is all email.
Who should use Vyte
It’s great for impromptu bookings between people that don’t necessarily have to meet often.
It’s great for HR when they have to meet up with employees or potential hires. Remember the not having to meet often part.
This is a pretty weird one, at least it was for me when I saw it.
This is an AI assistant that schedules meetings for you.
Once you set up an account, any email that is to set up meetings acts like instructions to the AI assistant.
You would have the person as recipient of the email. An assistant AI with an email id like ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ would be added in the CC section.
Then you would have a separate paragraph addressing the AI which holds the particulars of the meeting.
I’m really not sure where this is better than the more traditional scheduler apps. But it was freaky and it’s an alternative to Calendly.
Then the AI would respond with a time for confirmation. And the original sender and recipient can agree or look for a different time.
Then it occurred to me the Google docs feature that turn URLs into links automatically sort of works similar. So maybe not that freaky.
Who should use X.ai
Busy people that prefer typing than clicking. I can think of having this setup work for managers who prefer setting it up through their phones.
An anonymous scheduling app, you say? Got one.
If for some reason your team is not a safe space, and you’re afraid to share even the time preference for your meetings, try Rallly.
Or you could use it for the original purpose, which is to let a group of friends agree on a time to meet up.
Once a few time-slots have been agreed on, your friends get to vote on the final one anonymously.
This list is supposed to be for professionals, but you’re allowed to have personal time.
Who should use Rallly
Teams when deciding where to go after work.
Or really call team leaders who like getting their team members involved in decision-making.
So this one’s the tool a friend of mine used for paid bookings.
He works as a consultant, and he would use this scheduling app to let visitors book time slots. The same tool would then accept payment to complete the booking.
It’s as simple as sharing a link and you get paid, should they choose to accept the mission.
You would get a unique URL with your name or company’s name in it. This can be added to a website or email.
People can then book an available slot and then proceed to the payment gateway seamlessly.
It’s even nice enough to remind people that booked slots that the meeting is soon.
Who should use BookLikeABoss
Consultants are the obvious beneficiaries. Paid consultation is a tough enough field. Having a meeting scheduler that also helps with the payment side is a godsent.
Cogsworth is an excellent tool to have for the sales team.
It is a scheduling tool focused on conversion. A visitor is asked to fill out a form to gauge interest and schedule meetings with the sales team.
On your end, you can set buffers between calls for each potential customer, assuming the conversation is progressing well.
So it’s right on the line between a meeting scheduler and sales/marketing tool.
The buffers can be set by you based on your sales strategy. Being pushy is a big no-no after all.
It sends reminders to you and your customer to make sure the meet actually happens.
It even has the feature to accept payments like BookLikeABoss.
As a salesperson, all you have to do is set your availability and Cogsworth takes care of the rest.
Who should use Cogsworth
Salespeople. Maybe marketing, but this tool is definitely optimized for the sales team.
Having qualified leads book their own meetings is a dream situation.
11. Acuity Scheduling
This is another sales-focused meeting scheduler. This tool is from the people that made SalesForce, so we know there’s experience behind the tool.
The tool tracks your real-time availability based on your work calendar and lets visitors book a call.
Rescheduling is done with a click which is handy considering the number of times that happens.
Who should use Acuity
Much like Cogsworth, this is a top tool for sales. Just the fact that SalesForce is behind the app, makes any other recommendation seem foolish.
I’ve covered apps for as many situations I could think of where I would need a scheduler.
As you can see, there’s no one-for-all fit here. It’s very much dependent on your specific needs.
Check out their sites, especially their tutorials. The use cases these tool-makers use is a good indication of what they were focusing on when designing them.
Let me know if one or more recommendations worked for you.