A Comparison of Online Scheduling Tools
Have you ever exchanged more than five emails with the sole purpose of trying to nail down a meeting time that works for both people? Me too. Super ugh.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way.
There are a handful a swarm of services that take the back-and-forth (and the pain!) out of the process by moving the discussion out of email and into one comprehensive list of available times. Most of them grab basic busy/free info from your existing calendar so you don’t have to put any effort into it at all.
As a long-time user of these online scheduling tools, I am extremely enthusiastic. I use them for most of my personal scheduling as well as my professional appointments. And while many of the services have similar features, needing one feature or another has resulted in a few moves over the years.
Fortunately, it’s a buyers’ market, with tools available to fit just about any need and scheduling philosophy. In fact, so many new online appointment scheduling services have appeared recently that the challenge has gone from “is there a tool that will help?” to “which of the many tools is the best fit for me?”
The path around mad overwhelm
The last time I made a switch, I was overwhelmed by the options and had a hard time remembering which features were available with which tools, so I did what I always do in times of confusion: I made a spreadsheet. 😉
(Actually, I set up the spreadsheet and the wonderful Megan Mori filed it in. Megan is a superhero.)
Eventually it became clear which tool was my holy grail (Acuity Scheduling, for me) and I happily switched to it. But I thought you might find the research helpful, too, so I’m sharing the spreadsheet.
A few quick notes:
- Some columns are greyed-out. That’s because those services don’t pull availability from (and put new appointments on) Google Calendar, which is an absolute deal-breaker for me and many other people.
- I’ve tried to make the rows (describing features) moderately descriptive, but if it’s not clear what the features are, please ask in the comments (I’m planning on adding to this post later—you know, “when things slow down”… “after the holidays”).
- If you come across particular information that’s out of date, let me know in the comments (and if you’re really enthusiastic about data quality, I’ll gladly let you edit!).