SimplyBook.me vs. Calendly: Which booking tool works better?

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Compare SimplyBook.me vs. Calendly to find the best scheduling tool for your needs. This article breaks down features, pricing, and usability.

 
 
Free - $99.9/mo
Free - $20/mo (per seat)
Service-based businesses of all sizes
Everyone from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies looking for a tool to make scheduling
Free - $99.9/mo
Service-based businesses of all sizes
Free - $20/mo (per seat)
Everyone from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies looking for a tool to make scheduling

Choosing the right online scheduling tool can be daunting, especially with top contenders like SimplyBook.me vs. Calendly.

SimplyBook.me is a robust booking software designed to manage appointments and services with ease, while Calendly aims to simplify meeting scheduling across multiple participants. 

  • Which of these tools will best meet your needs?
  • How do they compare in terms of functionality, usability, and pricing?

You’ve come to the right place if these questions are swirling in your mind. In this side-by-side comparison, we’ll look at both platforms’ features, pros, and cons, providing you with the information you need to make an informed decision.

So, without further ado, let’s get started.

SimplyBook.me vs. Calendly: At a Glance

CriteriaSimplyBook.meCalendlyWinner
SMB Guide’s Rating8/109/10Calendly
Appointment Workflow AutomationCalendly
Customization OptionsSimplyBook.me
Calendar Management FeaturesCalendly
Automated Reminders and NotificationsTie
Meeting AnalyticsTie
UX and UIEasy to useHigh user-friendlinessTie
Integrations & API CapabilitiesRequires Zapier100+ integrationsCalendly
Supported PlatformsTie
Customer SupportLive chat, email, help centerLive chat, email, help centerCalendly
PricingFree – $99.9/moFree – $20/mo (per seat)SimplyBook.me
ScalabilityTie

SimplyBook.me: Key Features, Pros, Cons, & Pricing

Simplybook.me homepage

SimplyBook.me is renowned for its wide range of features and customization options that cater to various industries, including healthcare, education, beauty, and fitness.

It offers a flexible online booking system, complete with a user-friendly interface that enhances organization and improves customer service.

Key features include scheduling, admin and statistics, a booking website, SMS and email reminders, and various integrations.

It also has a strong focus on security and reliability and offers the ability to accept payments. 

The software provides fully configurable booking forms, automated reminders, and notifications to help reduce no-shows and boost client engagement.

It comes with an admin app where users can view their booking calendar, upcoming bookings, recently scheduled appointments and client list.

SimplyBook.me is also known for its custom features, which include accepting deposits, anti-fraud/spam protection, an API, and more.

Users can get a beautiful booking website or a widget to embed on an existing website.

Pros & Conns

Pros

Free forever plan

Accept payments

50+ integrations

User-friendly interface

Cons

Limited bookings

Poor API support

Pricing

All plans come with a 14-day free trial, so you can test the platform and the custom features you want to use before committing to it.

Each plan has a limited number of monthly bookings, but you can purchase additional booking packages to boost that number.

You can also purchase SMS messaging credits to use for SMS reminders.

There are several plans to choose from, including:

  • Free: $0/month/year, 50 bookings a month
  • Basic: Free: $9.90/month ($8.25/month/year)
  • Standard: $29.90/month ($24.90/month/year)
  • Premium: $59.90/month ($49.90/month/year)
  • Premium Plus: $99.90/month ($82.50/month/year)
SimplyBook.me

SimplyBook.me is an online booking system that is easy to use, yet customizable and flexible enough to fit your business or organization like a glove.

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Calendly: Key Features, Pros, Cons, & Pricing

calendly homepage

Calendly is widely recognized for its intuitive scheduling and automation features, making it a popular choice among professionals from various fields.

It offers robust calendar integrations with platforms like Google Calendar, Outlook, and iCal, ensuring schedules are always up-to-date.

Key features include customizable event types, time buffers, group events, round-robin scheduling, and recurring event options.

Other notable features include website embedding, customized branding, complete data privacy, and meeting pools.

Calendly integrates seamlessly with CRM tools, allowing users to connect with high-value leads and create efficient workflows.

It also supports integrations with payment gateways like PayPal and Stripe. The platform is known for its affordability, offering unlimited event types with unlimited meetings, multiple calendar availability, and scheduling options on its paid plans.

Pros & Cons

Pros

Free forever plan

iOS & Android apps

100+ integrations

Easy to build workflows

Cons

Too many features

Expensive for larger teams

Pricing

Calendly offers four plans, priced per user, rather than a flat monthly rate like SimplyBook.me.

  • Free: $0/month/user
  • Standard: $12/month/user ($10/month/user with annual subscription)
  • Teams: $20/month/user ($16/month/user with annual subscription)
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing for teams of 30+ users

Appointment Workflow Automation

SimplyBook.me has limited workflow automation options. You can use automatic notifications about booking confirmations and reminders to control some of the workflow automation.

To make the most of it, you must invest in Zapier. Though Zapier has a free plan, it is limited, and investing in a premium plan will add to your monthly expenses.

simplybook.me appointment scheduling

With Calendly, you only have to provide a link to your schedule page. Clients will be able to choose their event type, select the date and time they want, and schedule the meeting on their own, without any need to confirm with you directly.

calendly appointment scheduling

Scheduling meetings with either tool is fairly simple, but Calendly wins this one.

✅ Winner: Calendly

Customization Options

With SimplyBook.me, your customization options depend on the custom features you add to your plan.

The plan you choose determines the number of active custom features you can have active in your account at any given time.

simplybook.me customization options

With Calendly, you can customize the event types you have, but the ability to customize branding to match your website is limited depending on the plan you choose.

calendly events

Because there are more options available with SimplyBook.me, it’s the winner here.

✅ Winner: SimplyBook.me

Calendar Management Features

Both tools make it easy to manage your calendar with two-way sync. SimplyBook.me offers two-way sync with Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook.

Though it integrates with iCal, the two-way sync feature doesn’t work with it.

simplybook.me calendar management

Because Calendly will sync to all three options, that’s why it’s the winner here. Plus, it also integrates with Exchange, and on paid plans, you have the option to sync your account to six external calendars.

calendly calendar management

Both tools also have features in place to add buffers between meetings and prevent double booking.

✅ Winner: Calendly

Automated Reminders and Notifications

Both tools allow you to send automated reminders and notifications. However, the extent to which this is possible depends on your chosen plan.

The free versions of SimplyBook.me and Calendly are far more limited in this regard. 

Paid plans allow you to add SMS notifications to the mix, while free plans are limited to email notifications only.

✅ Winner: Tie

Automatic Rules

Both SimplyBook.me and Calendly offer automatic rules that will make it easy to adjust the time zones for each participant.

They also make adding your booking and cancellation policies easy, set working hours, and more. These make it easy to reduce no-shows, prevent double-booking, and give yourself downtime between appointments.

✅ Winner: Tie

Meeting Analytics

Calendly gives you access to an Analytics Leaderboard so you can see the team members that book the most meetings.

You can only access this feature on the Professional, Teams, and Enterprise plans.

Calendly analytics

SimplyBook.me offers a great deal of analytics data from directly within the dashboard. You can see your daily bookings, weekly bookings, workload this week, revenue this week, and visits on the previous week.

simplybook.me dashboard

You can also quickly see the percentage of increase or decrease compared to the previous period.

✅ Winner: Tie

User Experience and User Interface

Both Calendly and SimplyBook.me are incredibly easy to set up and navigate. You can set them up in a few minutes, with no technology knowledge or expertise required.

✅ Winner: Tie

Integrations & API Capabilities

Calendly wins here just because it’s a bit easier to set up the integrations. There are over 100 to choose from.

It’s not to say that SimplyBook.me doesn’t offer integrations and API capabilities – it’s that to make the most of your options with it, you have to invest in Zapier, a third-party tool, to connect everything.

Though there’s a strong API, it could use better support.

✅ Winner: Calendly

Supported Platforms

Both tools are web-based applications you can access from any device that has an internet connection. Both tools also offer mobile apps for iOS and Android devices so you can access them from your phone.

✅ Winner: Tie

Customer Support

With Calendly, customer support is limited on the free plan. You’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan if you want access to features like live chat.

Enterprise plan users will get access to expedited support. Outside of that, there’s a knowledge base, FAQ, and blog to help you get the answers you need.

calendly help center

With SimplyBook.me, there’s a help center and blog to help you get the answers you’re looking for. There is no customer support by phone.

You can also use the YouTube channel to learn how to use it, case studies, and the “How it Works” resource to help you, as well.

Many customer reviews say that support could be better.

✅ Winner: Calendly

Pricing

Both platforms offer multiple pricing options based on your needs. The main difference is that you will pay a flat rate per month (with a set number of users on each plan) with SimplyBook.me.

The maximum number of users is 60, on the highest plan for $99.90 a month ($82.50 per month with annual billing.) 

Calendly charges per user, and requires the Enterprise plan with custom pricing if you need more than 30 users. From that perspective, SimplyBook.me offers a more affordable “per user” price.

✅ Winner: SimplyBook.me

Scalability

It’s easy to adjust your plans and features with either SimplyBook.me or Calendly. If you need more than 5,000 appointments in a month with SimplyBook.me, you can purchase packages separately.

Though SimplyBook.me tops out at 60 users, you can scale to as many users as you need (with custom pricing at 30+) with Calendly. 

Because it’s easy to scale up or down with either tool, I call this one a tie.

✅ Winner: Tie

Standout Features of SimplyBook.me

SimplyBook.me offers flexibility to adapt to your business’s specific requirements. Using over 60 customizable features that you can pick and choose from based on your subscription, you can use many of them at the same time. 

For example, you can use the custom features to collect more data in your booking form, use coupons and gift cards, or create a dedicated app so that clients can book and track appointments from their mobile devices.

Standout Features of Calendly

Calendly stands out for its time zone intelligence, which is extremely useful for coordinating meetings across different time zones.

SimplyBook.me vs. Calendly: SMB Guide’s Verdict

Both tools are powerful in their own right. SimplyBook.me is better for service-based businesses that require appointments because it has a client database.

Calendly, on the other hand, doesn’t – because it’s better suited to sales and marketing professionals who need to schedule meetings with others online.

While the tools are both highly rated, we call Calendly the winner because it offers greater flexibility overall.

SimplyBook.me

SimplyBook.me is an online booking system that is easy to use, yet customizable and flexible enough to fit your business or organization like a glove.

Get a free account
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Lucinda has spent the last 15 years working from home as a freelance writer and WordPress designer, and throughout her career, she has worked directly with several digital marketing agencies with clients in the SaaS space, ranging from e-commerce platforms to procurement software.