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- Free forever plan
- iOS & Android apps
- 100+ integrations
- Easy to build workflows
- Too many features
- Expensive for larger teams
As your business grows, you’ll likely find that you need to schedule more and more meetings – but the back-and-forth of trying to find a time slot that works for everyone can be a major time suck.
Enter: appointment scheduling software.
Calendly is a web-based appointment scheduling tool that makes “finding time” a breeze. It’s one of the most well-known schedulers out there, and it’s the one that I personally use in my own freelancing business.
SMB Guide’s Evaluation Factors for Calendly
To keep our reviews consistent, we like to look at a set of key parameters for each type of software.
We’ll be evaluating Calendly based on the following criteria:
- Pricing & Plans
- Appointment Workflow Automation
- Customization Options
- Calendar Management Features
- Automated Reminders and Notifications
- Client Management and Communication
- User Interface and User Experience
- Integrations, Compatibility, & Supported Platforms
- Customer Support
Pricing & Plans
Calendly offers four different plans, with the cheapest being a free plan that includes basic scheduling features.
If you’re a large organization and need accounts for more than 30 people, you’ll need to get in touch with the Calendly team for a custom quote.
First-time users get a free 14-day trial of their Teams plan when signing up. Note that Calendly uses per-seat pricing – meaning your total cost will depend on how many different user accounts you need.
Here’s an overview of Calendly’s plans:
Calendly’s Free plan is best suited for freelancers or solopreneurs who are just starting out and only need the bare minimum scheduling functionalities.
- $0 per month
- Unlimited meetings with one event type
- One calendar for availability and scheduling
- Integrations with Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Slack, Zoom, and more
- Customizable booking links and page branding
- Automated event notifications
- Embedded scheduling on your site
Who it’s for: Individuals that need basic scheduling functionalities
Calendly’s Standard plan provides more sophisticated scheduling features for individuals or small teams at a reasonable price point.
- $12/seat per month
- $10/seat per month with annual billing
- All Free plan features
- Group and collective event types
- Multiple calendars for availability and scheduling
- Unlimited 1-on-1 event types
- Reminders, reconfirmation requests, and other workflows
- Customizable branding and logos on your scheduling website
- Hundreds of integrations including Hubspot, Paypal, and Stripe
- Live chat support
Who it’s for: Individuals or small teams that need additional scheduling features
Calendly’s Teams plan includes reporting, meeting distribution, and automations for teams and well-established businesses.
- $20/seat per month
- $16/seat per month with annual billing
- All Standard plan features
- Salesforce connection to flow meeting data into the CRM
- Share meetings booked across the team
- Route leads with Hubspot, Marketo, or Pardot forms
- Lock and sync admin-managed event templates
Who it’s for: Teams that need more advanced features
For large teams that need even more features, Calendly offers a Custom plan with advanced security, control, and support.
You’ll need to contact sales to get a price quote for this plan.
- Custom pricing
- All Teams plan features
- Single Sign-On (SSO) and advanced user provisioning
- Ensure compliance with an audit log and data deletion API
- Ability to claim your domain and work in one account
- Full suite of Salesforce routing features
- Expedited support, onboarding, and implementation
Who it’s for: Teams of 30+
Appointment Workflow Automation
With Calendly, the entire appointment scheduling process is really seamless. All you need to do is provide your clients a link to your scheduling page, and then they’ll be able to choose their event type (according to the specific appointments you offer).
Then, once they’re in, they’ll be able to pick from the days you’re available and schedule the meeting themselves, without any input required on your end.
Calendly automatically accounts for “buffer” time before and after meetings unless you change it in settings, so you don’t have to worry about meetings being booked back-to-back with no time in between.
As soon as your client books their appointment, they’ll be sent an email invitation with links to the conference call, as well as options to cancel or reschedule if needed.
For paid Calendly plans, you get a lot of flexibility when it comes to creating different appointment types that people can book.
If you’re on the free Calendly plan, you’ll only get one event type. However, there’s still a lot of customization you can do within a single event, including:
- Specify meeting location – such as Zoom, Google Meet, phone call, in person
- Choose whether to allow invitees to add their own guests
- Choose how far people can schedule into the future
- Set buffer time, minimum notice, and a daily meeting limit so you don’t end up with a day stacked with back-to-back appointments
- Choose which time zone is displayed, yours or the invitee’s (time zone is automatically converted)
While you do have the option of customizing your scheduling page somewhat, your options are limited. You can customize the URL of your scheduling page and the URLs for individual event types.
On the Standard plan and higher, you can add your branding and company logo to your scheduling site and remove Calendly’s branding.
On the free plan, you don’t have the option of removing Calendly’s branding, but you can add your own company logo which will appear at the top-left corner of your scheduling page.
Calendar Management Features
Calendly can integrate with calendars on Google, Outlook, iCloud, and Exchange to prevent accidental double-booking.
On the Free plan, you only have the ability to sync your account with 1 external calendar, but if you upgrade, it jumps up to 6.
If you’re meeting with a client in a different time zone, the good news is that Calendly will do an automatic conversion so that you’re both on the same page.
If you need to reschedule, you can easily do so by clicking “Scheduled events” in the left menu and then selecting the meeting you want to reschedule.
You can choose to give a reason for the change, but it’s not required. A notification will then be sent to your client. They also have the ability to reschedule on their end, as well.
Automated Reminders and Notifications
When a client books a meeting with you on Calendly, they’ll automatically receive a calendar invitation in their inbox after booking.
If you want more automated reminders to go out, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid subscription.
On the Standard plan and higher, you can set up text or email reminders to provide invitees with all the information they might need prior to your meeting.
According to a Calendly user survey:
88% of Calendly’s users reported meeting no-shows have decreased by using automated reminders.
Spending time prepping for a meeting that ultimately never happens is a waste of your valuable time as a business owner.
So, in my opinion, that statistic alone makes it worth it to upgrade to a paid plan to access this functionality.
Client Management and Communication
Calendly doesn’t store meeting information in a client database, so if you need that functionality, you’ll need to try a different scheduling software.
User Interface and User Experience
Calendly has a simple interface that’s easy to navigate and understand. When you log in to your account, you have easy access to your scheduling link at the top of the page so you can copy and paste to send to clients.
Here’s what the dashboard looks like when you first log in:
The software is also extremely easy to set up. Once you’ve created your account, it’s just a matter of setting your availability and creating an event.
Everything in Calendly is just super intuitive and I found it very user-friendly.
Integrations, Compatibility, & Supported Platforms
Calendly offers over 100 integrations with third-party applications, including marketing automation, project management, applicant tracking systems, and more.
And, as previously mentioned, you’ll be able to integrate with your calendar app to sync your availability.
Calendly is primarily a web-based software, but they also have mobile apps for both iOS and Android so you can schedule appointments on the go.
If you’re on Calendly’s free plan, you have a few options for getting help when you need it. They have an automated chat box for simple queries.
I tried this feature out myself and it seems to handle straightforward queries pretty well.
But if you’d rather speak to an actual person, you can request more assistance and submit a support ticket that way.
The only caveat is that you’ll need to be signed into your Calendly account in order to do so.
If you’d rather find answers yourself, you can visit their Help Center, where they have written guides and video tutorials to walk you through certain features.
On the Standard and Teams plans, you’ll get access to live chat support, as well. And if you’re on a Custom subscription plan, you’ll receive expedited support from Calendly’s team not only for issues, but also for onboarding and implementing the software into your team.
What the Experts Say About Calendly
These are Calendly’s ratings on some of the most popular review sites:
- Trustpilot: 2.5 stars (120 reviews)
- G2: 4.7 stars (1942 reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7 stars (3051 reviews)
With the exception of users on Trustpilot, pretty much all of the reviewers had only positive things to say about Calendly, with a few bits of criticism here and there.
Here are a few comments from real customer reviews:
✅ “I truly cannot imagine my work life functioning without Calendly. The company consistently rolls out new improvements and provides suggestions on how we can incorporate them into our niche use of their product. And now, through the Calendly Collective, I have been able to connect with and meet multiple members of their team who are truly interested in my suggestions for the growth of their product.”
✅ “I used a lot of different calendar services, and none of them compare to Calendly. It’s easy to set up, easy to integrate, easy to manage, etc. It’s easy to embed into your website. It’s easy to manage as a CRM for appointments. The workflow is my favorite!”
✅ “Really great tool. I have seen a massive increase in attendance for meetings having started putting the responsibility on clients to book it themselves through Calendly rather than me messing around back and forth with emails.”
❌ “It can be used for basic things, but for more serious use it lacks some important features or simply doesn’t work as expected. E.g. for SMS notifications the guest reconfirmation only works once per guest address, you can’t book a meeting from the admin page, etc.”
SMB Guide’s Verdict for Calendly
Calendly is one of the most popular meeting scheduling solutions out there, and for good reason. It’s easy to use, integrates automatically with your calendar, and offers a range of plans that work for different budgets.
It’s personally what I use in my own business, and I’ve had no issues or complaints since I signed up., I’m happy with the service and recommend it especially for fellow freelancers and solopreneurs out there.
Based on those factors, my own personal opinion, and user reviews, we give Calendly an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.
While I personally use and love Calendly, I recognize that it’s not going to be the right fit for everyone. Luckily, there are a ton of alternatives out there, including:
While Calendly’s sole offering is scheduling, you can think of Acuity Scheduling as more of a personal assistant.
It offers a variety of other features, including email, payment ability, and accounting integrations.
- Starting Price: $16/month
- Best For: Small business owners who want a more robust and functional solution than simple scheduling
Calendly is designed more for 1-on-1 event types, while Doodle is a scheduling application designed for group meetings.
- Starting Price: $6.95/month per user
- Best For: Companies who regularly need to coordinate large group meetings
Clockwise has a super cool feature that Calendly lacks – it helps you build more “focus time” into your day by automatically moving your meetings to the least interruptive time slot.
- Starting Price: $6.75/month per user
- Best For: Entrepreneurs and small business owners who are overwhelmed with meetings
Other options: Best Calendly Alternatives
Getting Started with Calendly
Calendly is an excellent scheduling platform for businesses that want to save time emailing to set up meetings. Create a free account today to get started.
You’ll receive a free, 14-day trial of Calendly’s Teams subscription if you’re a brand new user!
Is Calendly free?
Calendly offers both free and paid plans. Its Free plan is no cost forever, but it comes with a few drawbacks – you can only have a single person on your account, one calendar for scheduling, and one type of event.
Is Calendly HIPAA compliant?
Calendly is not compliant with HIPAA. If you’re a healthcare provider of any kind, you should avoid using Calendly for scheduling patient appointments and consult with a lawyer about possible alternatives.
Who owns Calendly?
Tope Awotona is the CEO of Calendly. He founded the company back in 2013 to help simplify scheduling between individuals without all the back-and-forth emailing to find an available time slot.
Calendly is the modern scheduling platform that makes “finding time” a breeze.
Product Brand: Calendly