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The Best Appointment Scheduling Software

Booking and appointment scheduling apps can help streamline your business by managing bookings and dealing with cancellations. Check out our top picks for best scheduling software.

    Kymberlin Bush
  • Last updated onUpdated

  • Matt Sherman
  • REVIEWED BY

    Matt Sherman

    Lead Staff Writer

Advertiser Disclosure: Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity.

Is your small business juggling too many calls? Is your front-end staff stretched thin? Are you tired of no-shows and late appointments?

Check out our favorite appointment-scheduling software platforms for a cost-effective way to ease your stress. By taking advantage of one of these software solutions, you’ll have fewer missed appointments, get paid quicker, and learn more about your customers and how they spend their money.

Keep on reading to check out our top choices.

Learn More About Our Top Picks

CompanySummaryNext StepsSummary
Square Appointments

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  • Best all-in-one solution
  • Free for individuals, SMS texting and automatic reminders included, easy-to-use and set up.
  • Pricing starts at $0 per month
  • Best all-in-one solution
  • Free for individuals, SMS texting and automatic reminders included, easy-to-use and set up.
  • Pricing starts at $0 per month

Visit Site

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Acuity Scheduling

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  • Best for niche businesses
  • Easy to use and set-up with great training resources, fresh-looking UI, and an admin and support team with a finger on the pulse
  • Pricing starts at $16 per month
  • Best for niche businesses
  • Easy to use and set-up with great training resources, fresh-looking UI, and an admin and support team with a finger on the pulse
  • Pricing starts at $16 per month

Visit Site

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Zoho

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  • Best for low-budgets
  • A user-friendly scheduling software with low monthly plan prices, no long-term contracts or early termination fees, and a 15-day free trial
  • Pricing begins at $0 per month
  • Best for low-budgets
  • A user-friendly scheduling software with low monthly plan prices, no long-term contracts or early termination fees, and a 15-day free trial
  • Pricing begins at $0 per month

Visit Site

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Doodle

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  • Best for scheduling meetings
  • Offers robust security measures, great integrations with popular meeting apps, and a free trial and plan
  • Pricing begins at $0 per month
  • Best for scheduling meetings
  • Offers robust security measures, great integrations with popular meeting apps, and a free trial and plan
  • Pricing begins at $0 per month

Visit Site

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10to8

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  • Best for fast-paced growing businesses
  • Many integrations available, a generous free plan option, and SMS reminders included with every plan option
  • Pricing starts at $0 per month
  • Best for fast-paced growing businesses
  • Many integrations available, a generous free plan option, and SMS reminders included with every plan option
  • Pricing starts at $0 per month

Visit Site

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Show Fewer Options

Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

The 5 Best Appointment Scheduling Apps

The best appointment scheduling app or booking software for your small business might be an overlap between your payment, CRM, and booking software tools. That’s why each scheduling app on this list has a specific focus to help you find your perfect match. Square tops our list, followed by Acuity, ZoHo, Doodle, and Sign In (formerly 10to8).

Square Appointments: Best All-In-One Solution

Square Appointments

Total Rating 4.8
Pricing4.8

Ease Of Use5.0

Features4.8

Customer Service4.5

User Reviews4.7

Pricing

$0-$69/month

Contract

None

Equipment Cost

$0-$799

Pros

  • Free for individuals
  • SMS texting and auto reminders included
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Higher cost for multiple users
  • Not suitable for industries

Why We Chose Square Appointments For Best Scheduling Software

For businesses that are already using Square, Square Appointments offers a robust platform to streamline appointments and sales. While Appointments is free for individual users, the price to add two to three users may be high for a smaller salon or service business. But, as you'll see in our review, the added features may be worth the extra cost.

Square's scheduling tool allows your clients to book the appointment slots that work for them, and it now features SMS text and email reminders, so you can reduce no-show appointments and keep lines of communication open.

As an integrated payment and booking app for small businesses, Square offers various features to simplify your process. The free customer booking link lets you display all the types of services you offer, so your customers can claim the spot they want. Or, if you are active on Instagram with a healthy following, you can use booking links that allow clients to schedule directly from the app. We also like that Square allows businesses to choose whether they want to require prepayment at the time of booking or if they want to collect payment at checkout or send an invoice.

As a platform, Square earns mostly positive reviews on all major customer review platforms and has proven to be a time-tested and trusted option. Square earns 4.7 out of 5 stars on Capterra, 4.6 out of 5 stars on G2, and 4.8 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot.

Square Appointments Scheduling App Pricing

Square Appointments Plans Price  When To Use
Free $0/month You are a single user with basic booking needs
Plus $29/month You have multiple locations and multiple staff appointments
Premium $69/month You want added permissions and advanced reporting

Square Appointments is included for free for individuals using the Square Payments platform. For $50/month, you can add two to five employees, and for six to ten employees, you’ll pay $90/month. Custom pricing is available for accounts with more than 10 users per month.

Square Appointments Scheduling App Features

Screengrab of Square Appointments Booking Tool

Square offers a pretty straightforward appointment tool you can start utilizing from day one of signing up with Square Payments, with no additional hoops to jump through. Simple in design and easy to use, you’ll find the features will help you reduce inbound calls and cut the time it takes to schedule appointments.

Here’s what you’ll get with Square Appointments:

  • Free online booking website
  • iOS and Android app
  • Automated email and text reminders
  • Google Calendar sync
  • Enforceable cancellation and no-show policy and fees
  • Website integration
  • Square Assistant
  • Waitlist
  • Instagram Integration
  • Multi-staff appointments and tip-splitting

Square Appointments Payment Processing Costs

Square’s built-in payment processor will run you a fee of 2.6% plus $0.10 per card-present transaction on the free plan. You’ll pay 2.5% plus $0.10 per transaction on the Plus plan. You are charged a 3.5% plus $0.15 fee for card-not-present transactions.

The fee for online/eCommerce transactions and invoices is 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Square subscriptions are month-to-month, and you can cancel your merchant account anytime without consequences.

If you damage your Square hardware within your hardware warranty period, even if you didn’t purchase the hardware directly from Square, the company will send you new equipment.

Get Started With Square Appointments

Read our in-depth review

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Acuity: Best For Niche Businesses

Acuity Scheduling


Visit Site


Pros

  • Easy to use and set-up
  • Customer friendly and accessible
  • In-the-know team/support

Cons

  • Some difficulty blocking off times
  • Inability to group edit repeating appointments

Why We Chose Acuity For Best Scheduling Software

Acuity Scheduling is owned by popular website builder Squarespace and geared towards more niche businesses like medical spas, aesthetics salons, and other personal services that may require HIPAA compliance. This scheduling software is best for professional services and appointment-focused businesses that want to automate more of their processes.

Acuity Scheduling handles patient intake, branded and customized confirmation emails/SMS messages, text and email reminders, storing patient information, rescheduling, payment processing, and marking patients as checked-in/late/no-shows for your employee's convenience.

For review sites, Acuity Scheduling ranks well. 4.8 out of 5 stars on Capterra and GetApp and 4.7 out of 5 stars on G2.

Acuity Scheduling App Pricing

Acuity Scheduling offers a 7-day free trial for all of their plan options. The plans start with the Emerging plan at $16 per month when paid annually.

The Growing plan is their most popular at $27 per month when paid annually and includes 6 total staff logins/locations. The Powerhouse plan is $49 per month when paid annually and can accommodate up to 36 staff members/locations. This plan also allows users to sign BAA for HIPAA compliance.

Acuity Scheduling App Features

Screengrab of Acuity Scheduling calendar page

Acuity Scheduling offers a ton of different helpful features for businesses looking for the best scheduling software.

  • Calendar sync
  • Mobile app
  • Staff permissions
  • Online payments
  • Gift certificates
  • Packages, memberships, and group classes available
  • Built-in HIPAA compliance
  • Automated email and/or SMS reminders
  • Credit cards on file to enforce late fees
  • Virtual appointments
  • Personalized intake forms
  • Customer accounts
  • Robust customization
  • Squarespace web design

Acuity Scheduling integrates with popular apps like Stripe, Square, Zapier, PayPal, Google Analytics, and more.

Acuity Payment Processing Costs

Acuity Scheduling doesn’t offer a built-in payment processor but does allow users to take online payments through trusted payment processors like Stripe, Square, and PayPal.

Acuity Scheduling also allows users to accept tips, deposits, and pre-payments as forms of payment.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

It’s easy to leave your Acuity Scheduling subscription behind if you need to. You can deactivate your subscription immediately or just turn off your auto-renew to finish out your last billing cycle.

You need to use a computer to manage your Acuity subscription at this time. There are no long contracts or early termination fees that you need to worry about with Acuity Scheduling.

Get Started With Acuity Scheduling

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Zoho Bookings: Best For Low Budgets

Zoho


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Pros

  • Low pricing
  • No long-term contracts or termination fees
  • User-friendly and easy to setup

Cons

  • Limited options for app design
  • Glitches with calendar integrations

Why We Chose Zoho Bookings For Best Scheduling Software

Zoho Bookings is a great budget-friendly option for small business owners who need to manage appointments in a time-efficient manner. Zoho Bookings is a dedicated scheduling software that doubles as a website-compatible booking page.

As a "freemium" platform, you can access many Zoho Bookings features using their free plan, but the basic plan starts at $6, and the premium plan starts at $9 per month when paid annually.

You can take advantage of their 15-day free trial to experience their custom scheduling workflows and APIs, personalized emails and SMS messages to customers, personalized online scheduling features, administrative reports, and payment processing.

Zoho Bookings also integrates seamlessly with Zoho Meeting for online meetings, Zoho CRM for team management, and Zapier to connect with apps you already use.

Zoho Bookings has earned a positive reputation across all the major customer-review sites and maintains 8.9 out of 10 stars on SoftwareReviews, 4.5 out of 5 stars on Capterra, and 3.5 out of 5 stars at G2.

Zoho Bookings Scheduling App Pricing

Zoho Bookings makes pricing easy with their Forever Free, Basic, and Premium plans. Rates start at $6 per month for the Basic plan (when paid annually) and $8 when paid monthly. The premium plan starts at $9 (when paid annually) and $12 when paid monthly.

Each plan can begin with a 15-day free trial. If you have more specific needs and require a tailored plan, Zoho Bookings offers a FLEX plan made just for your business. Contact Zoho Bookings directly for quotes.

Zoho Bookings Scheduling App Features

Screengrab of Zoho Booking CRM

Zoho Bookings provides other ways to support your organization within the software. You can:

  • Calendar syncing
  • Automatic work, break, and buffer times, along with time off and special hours
  • Meeting integrations
  • Administrative reports
  • Customer reports
  • Personalized, branded booking page
  • Dedicated staff booking pages
  • Terms and conditions document
  • Customer Portal
  • Personalized automatic emails and/or SMS messages for team members and customers

You can also take advantage of the Zoho Bookings custom workflow functions like periodic emails (newsletters, coupons, etc.) and APIs that help you build your own scheduling interface on top of Zoho Bookings or bring Zoho Bookings inside your own app.

Zoho Bookings Payment Processing Costs

Zoho Bookings doesn’t have a built-in payment processor but does allow users to take payments via popular processors like PayPal, Stripe, etc.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Zoho Bookings allows you to cancel your plan at any time with no penalties or charges for the next month.

Get Started With Zoho

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Doodle: Best For Meeting Hosts

Doodle


Visit Site


Pros

  • Offers robust security
  • Great integrations
  • Free trial and plan

Cons

  • Not suitable for service-based industry booking
  • Minor UI complaints

Why We Chose Doodle For Best Scheduling Software

Doodle is suitable for small and larger organizations that frequently schedule meetings with affordable and convenient plan options for businesses of every size. This tool will help you reduce the number of emails coming in and out of your inbox and help you keep meetings organized and confidential for all attendees.

The core problem that Doodle can solve is the disorganized, harried feeling one gets when sifting through email messages and calendars. Doodle not only offers you a way to book appointments and meetings, and organize, communicate, and track changes all in one platform (and across multiple time zones), but it also helps you keep appointments confidential for you and all attendees.

Across customer review sites, Doodle earns high reviews with a 4.4-star review on G2, 4.6 out of 5 at GetApp, and 4.6 out of 5 stars at Capterra.

Doodle Scheduling App Pricing

Doodle scheduling is free if you just want to set up a poll to find the best time to meet, but you’ll probably be interested in the actual booking tools, and for that, you’ll need a paid plan.

Paid plans start at the Pro level at $6.95/month for one user (paid annually). The Pro plan also allows you to access custom branding, one-on-one meetings, and a personalized scheduling URL.

Both those Doodle plans let you sync meetings to calendars, create deadlines, reminders, and more, with no ads.

If you have more than one user, you’ll need to jump to the Team plan, which runs $8.95/month per user for up to 20 team members when paid annually.

There’s also a customized Enterprise plan for large user groups.

All of Doodle’s paid plans have a 14-day free trial with no credit card required, so you can check it out for a couple of weeks before paying the annual fee.

Doodle Scheduling App Features

Screengrab of a Doodle Booking Software calendar page

Doodle can certainly reduce discord when it comes time to schedule a meeting between multiple attendees. Here are some of the features you get with the Pro plan:

  • Sync meetings to calendars
  • Deadlines and reminders
  • Store email, phone, and address of attendees
  • Track meeting invitations
  • Zoom, Google Meet, Webex, Zapier, and iCloud beta integrations
  • Bookable calendar
  • Custom logo and branding
  • Personalized scheduling URL
  • Doodle one-on-one meetings
  • Meeting time polls
  • No ads with paid plans

Doodle Payment Processing Costs

Doodle does not have a built-in payment processor. To take payments using Doodle, you’ll need to use the Zapier integration to have access to popular payment processors like Stripe, PayPal, Square, and more.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Like Square Appointments and other popular scheduling software, Doodle Professional is renewed automatically each year or month, depending on which subscription you choose.

If you want to cancel your Doodle plan, you just need to disable the automatic renewal of your subscription. This will cancel your current plan once it expires, and there are no early termination fees to worry about.

Get Started With Doodle

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Sign In Scheduling (Formerly 10to8): Best For Growing Businesses

10to8


Visit Site


Pros

  • Many integrations available
  • Generous free option and competitive pricing
  • SMS reminders included with every tier

Cons

  • Limits on reminder texts
  • No automated workflows

Why We Chose Sign In Scheduling For Best Scheduling Software

Sign In Scheduling can be a good appointment scheduling app for a wide variety of business types and sizes, due to the different price point options and the basic functionality of the service.

Especially if you don't already have a merchant account or you are still relying on paper checks, Sign In Scheduling is a great way to simplify scheduling while being able to offer different payment options to your customers.

With a generous free plan and four additional pricing tiers, Sign In Scheduling delivers what you need in basic scheduling without asking you to pay for anything you don't.

Across customer review sites, it's clear that Sign In Scheduling does what it says it is going to do. At Capterra, we found a 4.6 out of 5-star average rating with mostly positive reviews. On Trustpilot, Sign In Scheduling earns a 4.7-star rating out of 5-stars, and another 4.7-star rating out of 5-stars from the G2 consumer rating site.

Sign In Scheduling App Pricing

Sign in Scheduling plans start with the Pro plan at $7.20/month per user for up to 40 appointments a month. The Premium plan is $19/month per user for up to 100 appointments a month. Both plans include SMS reminders, the ability to take online payments, support, and custom branding.

The Premium plan adds the ability to manage teams across multiple time zones and can be HIPAA compliant. The fully-customizable Bespoke plan can offer more than the standard basic plans including custom integrations and personalized onboarding.

All Sign In Scheduling plans include a free trial, so you can try before you buy.

Sign In Scheduling App Features

Sign In Scheduling calendar page

From booking appointments or professional services at a small business to helping your sales team organize a meeting, Sign In Scheduling is built to help you book, track activity, and collect payments all in one platform.

Here’s what you get with the Sign In Scheduling solution:

  • Book-now button
  • Client-facing scheduling and booking menu
  • Take payments with PayPal or Stripe
  • Automated SMS and email reminders that have read receipts
  • Customizable service descriptions
  • Assign services to staff members
  • Color code staff members and services
  • Voice reminders
  • Clients can request changes from SMS, and you can respond from the online booking calendar
  • Integrates with WordPress and Facebook
  • Access control for staff booking
  • Tracking for changes, notes, payments, and customer history
  • Confirmation emails
  • Custom reports
  • Platform and messaging in more than 20 languages
  • Native Zoom integration
  • Automated satisfaction survey
  • Client review badge for your website

Sign In Scheduling Payment Processing Costs

Payment processing costs are going to depend on what processor you choose. Sign In Scheduling allows you to record payments made via cash, card, check, and bank transfer.

You can also connect a card reader or other POS terminal hardware via Stripe. Stripe charges a standard fee of 2.9% + $0.30 per card transaction.

PayPal has a more complicated fee structure you can learn more about it on their website.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Sign In Scheduling doesn’t provide a lot of information about their contracts or the process of canceling your plan subscription.

If you need to close your Sign In Scheduling account, you have to contact the customer support team.

Get Started With 10to8

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Honorable Mention

While this post is focused on customer-facing booking software for small businesses that helps you organize and communicate with your clients, we know some of you may be looking to improve employee scheduling in addition to using appointment scheduling software.

For that reason, we’re giving Sling employee scheduling software an honorable mention, so you can check out some of the helpful tools you may need for the back end, too.

Sling

Employee Scheduling

Sling provides tools to ease the employee scheduling burden many small businesses may be facing. One interesting feature is meant to democratize the scheduling process by allowing your employees to claim available spots on a first-come-first-served basis.

Here are some of the other noteworthy features that Sling offers for your employee scheduling:

  • Color-coded shift scheduler
  • Time and attendance tracking for employees
  • Labor cost budgeting tool
  • Labor data reporting
  • PTO tracking and capping for approval
  • Internal messaging platform
  • Newsfeed feature to update across teams or locations
  • Task management to-do lists for each employee

Sling’s pricing starts with its free plan, which has many of the core features included. To bump up to the Premium level, you’ll pay $1.70 per user per month when paid annually, and you’ll get the mobile time clock, timesheets, overtime tracking, labor cost management, availability, shift-swapping, overtime tracking, Google Calendar sync, budgeting tools, and more.

There’s also a Business plan, costing $3.40 per month per user when paid annually, that adds sick callouts, dedicated account management, PTO tracking, tags, shift acceptance, and more.

For employee scheduling, we recommend giving Sling’s free option a try to see if it can help you organize and streamline employee communications as well.

Booking & Scheduling Software FAQs

What is the best scheduling app for small businesses?

The best scheduling app for small businesses is the one that works best for YOUR small business! Check out Square Appointments, Acuity Scheduling, Zoho Bookings, Doodle, and Sign In Scheduling.

What is the best appointment scheduling app?

The best appointment scheduling app is going to depend on the features you need. Check out Square Appointments, Acuity Scheduling, Zoho Bookings, Doodle, and Sign In Scheduling to see which software meets your needs.

Which is the best calendar app?

The best calendar app for scheduling meetings is going to be Doodle. You can use a lot of their features for free and the paid plans are affordable for most small businesses.

What is the best free scheduling app?

Many scheduling apps offer both free trials and free plans. Check out Square Appointments, Zoho Bookings, Doodle, and Sign In Scheduling for free options.

How much does scheduling software cost?

You can find a lot of scheduling apps that offer free plans with a good amount of features, but if you end up paying, you’ll pay anywhere from $10 to $50 a month depending on the number of users and your payment schedule.

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Kymberlin Bush

Kymberlin Bush

Staff Writer
Kymberlin started contributing to Merchant Maverick as a freelancer in 2022 and joined the team as the full-time small business health insurance expert in 2023. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from Pacific University in 2020 and continues to reside in Portland, Oregon.
Kymberlin Bush
View Kymberlin Bush's professional experience on LinkedIn.