- Cheap monthly cost
- Good customer support
- Varied support materials
- Limited features
- Steep learning curve
- Unsuited for large businesses
According to its website, ScheduleOnce’s mission is “to provide powerful, easy to use and affordable scheduling software to individuals, service businesses, product businesses and educational institutions.” While this mission statement sounds identical to those of many solutions-based companies aimed at small businesses, ScheduleOnce actually delivers on the promise. Its functions are equally well (if not better) suited for meetings (among organization members, for example, or between virtual tutors and their clients) as appointment scheduling.
The emphasis on meetings between individuals also drives the name of ScheduleOnce’s “MeetMe” pages, each of which is formatted like a social media profile—albeit with a large calendar front-and-center. MeetMe pages can be bound together in “BookNow” pages for organizations and businesses with multiple members. While ScheduleOnce doesn’t offer small businesses a streamlined solution — in that it cannot process or track payments or include service add-ons — it does keep the scheduling needs of small businesses in mind and has made MeetMe pages flexible enough to be used for resource and staff management. Impending integrations with SalesForce, InfusionSoft, WebEx, and GoToMeeting also reinforce the company’s commitment to small business and constant improvement.
In addition to being a unique hybrid between a meeting and appointment-based scheduler, ScheduleOnce’s two most standout features are its superb Google integration and advanced time zone support. Anyone already dependent on Google for running a business or daily life, as well as those who frequently work with people in different time zones, will find ScheduleOnce exceptionally useful.
Table of Contents
ScheduleOnce offers three account types:
Basic: ($7.50/user/month) plan
- Unlimited bookings
- Multi-user system
- Comprehensive time zone support
- Booking with approval
- Automatic booking
- Calendar integration
- Reminders & follow-ups
- SMS notifications
- Cancel/reschedule policy
- Booking reassignment
- Zapier integration
- Payment integration
Professional ($15.80/user/month) plan
- Multiple event types
- Master pages
- Custom booking forms
- Custom themes
- Website integration
- Automatic redirect
- Personalized links
- Session packages
- Group sessions
- Customer guests
- Infusionsoft integration
- Zoom integration
- GoToMeeting integration GoToMeeting integration
Enterprise ($32.50/user/month) plans
- Multiple distribution methods
- Resource pools
- Panel meetings
- Custom notifications
- Web form integration
- Email from your domain
- Custom booking domain
- Custom security policies
- HIPAA compliance
- Meeting resources
- Editable customer interface text
- API integration
- Salesforce integration
- WebEx integration
You can pay for your ScheduleOnce subscription using any major credit card or a PayPal account. The prices above are also based on a full 1-year subscription, which also bags you two free months. However, I would recommend taking advantage of the 14-day free trial before paying for anything.
Ease Of Use
Using an exceptionally clean user interface, ScheduleOnce makes the setup and configuration process, as well as day-to-day business, seem friendly and straightforward, though there is a significant learning curve over the first few days. You can practice accepting appointments as an individual or a team online to get a feel for the software’s interface and style. Managing your account is so simple I’d hazard to say that someone with no software experience could figure out the basic functions of Schedule Once entirely on their own.
- Setup: When you sign up for an account, the first thing you do is select your own URL ending – your MeetMe page link will look like this: http://meetme.so/[yourname]. You then set your basic weekly recurring schedule in a beautiful Google Calendar-like clickable schedule. This availability calendar does not serve as your main calendar but syncs later with your main external calendar when you begin accepting appointments. Next, you add basic personal info: name, company, title, and a welcome message. A strikingly clear and helpful popout window over the main page appears guiding you to the final Setup steps: 1. Connect calendar (with link). 2. Adjust your setup (with link). 3. Make a test booking (with link). Returning to the “Home” tab prompts the popout with these steps and their associated links (including to the Support Center) until you choose to keep the window closed. At the bottom of the Home page, a friendly invitation to request a personal setup/training session with the company’s CEO appears, which you have the option of dismissing.
- User Interface: With subtle but effective color choices, popout windows and buttons, appropriate icons, simplified text in a readable font, and a perfect amount of white space cushioning the text, ScheduleOnce’s graphic user interface is simple and clean, if not necessarily attractive. Tabs and headers are easy to read and divided intuitively. Simple design elements, such as big orange “Save” buttons at the bottom of settings pages, make the setup and configuration process very transparent. The interface really shines when it comes to contextual help, with small “?” buttons set beside certain headings; these explanatory bubbles disappear as soon as you pass over them. All in all, the software is clearly designed with the end user in mind – not a particularly tech-savvy end user, mind you, but one who knows how to navigate a website and simply wants to set up a booking page without too much fuss. The design style is equal parts professional and unintimidating.
- Settings: Just as ScheduleOnce offers practical but not stylistic customization to the user, its settings don’t try to reflect the specific needs of dozens of industries. Rather, in prioritizing simplicity and efficiency, ScheduleOnce offers a decent number of configuration options for each element of the user experience without additions that would distract the average user (but satisfy one with very specific needs). Services, for example, include only a name, description, duration, price, and image – there are no service-specific settings or add-ons – but any service can be duplicated (then adjusted, of course) for setup ease. The fact that many options start off on a default setting reflects ScheduleOnce’s commitment to ease of use over the complication of extra functionality.
- Scheduler: An “activity stream” (rather than a calendar) appears on the account homepage; the application relies on integrations with Google calendar or Outlook to do the heavy lifting there. Adjacent buttons allow you to easily reschedule, cancel, and filter activities, while associated icons make the type of activity clear. Two large buttons at the top of the page offer easy access to customer self-schedule links and group meeting setup. Still, having to dig in the “Setup” tab for the availability calendar or click back and forth between another window with an open Google Calendar isn’t as simple as a basic calendar displayed on the home page would be.
- Custom Fields For Booking Forms: While not a unique feature, custom fields have never seemed so easy to create. Field titles and subtexts can be linked to an outside URL for all five field types. File sizes can be limited for attachments and certain options checked by default in the checkbox field type.
- Email Notifications: Another common feature, customer notifications are also quite attractive in ScheduleOnce. You can decide what name appears as “sender” in the confirmation emails. You can include Google Calendar invites in the email, which then automatically add the event to the customer’s calendar. While the format and style of emails are only customizable at the Enterprise level, you can add your own text and decide both how many emails go out and when they go out. You also decide the timing of optional follow-up emails. Finally, single-user accounts can use one additional email address to send notifications of new bookings.
- Client Experience: Overall, the client experience is as simple and straightforward as that of the account user. When scheduling, the client is greeted with a time zone setting to ensure the calendar appears accurate. The scheduling page features a large, clickable monthly calendar with clear instructions for choosing a date and time. The service provider’s note and social media links appear in a sidebar, with ScheduleOnce’s logo and a “Help” link in the header. ScheduleOnce is careful to give clients multiple points of access; through the website widget, you can invite customers to contact you via phone or email in addition to making an appointment online.
Customer Service & Support
ScheduleOnce’s customer service is tiered. Email support is offered to all paying members, with weekday phone support available to Professional and Enterprise clients. Enterprise users also receive phone support on Sundays.
Free, 24×7 customer service options include:
- Knowledge Base: Over 150 in-depth articles.
- Thorough Blog: The ScheduleOnce blog announces regular (usually monthly) updates to the software.
- Email Support: I received a response half an hour after I sent a support question during business hours on a weekday. The email was friendly and precise and included a phone number for live support.
- Free Consultation: ScheduleOnce offers to host a one-on-one meeting with a customer service representative to demo the software and receive feedback (though this only comes with the Enterprise level subscription).
- Training Webinars: Every ScheduleOnce account gains access to the company’s onboarding training webinars. With the complex setup required to use this software at its full potential, I highly recommend taking advantage of them.
- Social Media: The company’s YouTube account offers a wide array of videos, more than 80 in total (feature introductions, general overviews, and testimonials). ScheduleOnce has a moderate presence (around a little over 1000 likes) on Facebook, with posts every few months, mostly by CEO Rami Goraly. The Twitter page is full of conversations between ScheduleOnce and enthusiastic users — praise for the software springs up almost daily. There are also conversations in Twitter focused on solving users’ issues and answering questions.
Negative Reviews & Complaints
No (public) issues with customer service, account management, or software functionality exist online. Criticism for ScheduleOnce mostly surrounds feature limitations. Personally, as someone accustomed to reviewing software that offers some kind of POS for small business users, I was most surprised by this lack. Other reviewers brought up the following other limitations:
- No Home Page Calendar: The software only displays an “activity stream,” or list of meetings and appointments on the home page.
- No Automatic Rescheduling: As the scheduler, you cannot directly reschedule a one-on-one meeting or appointment. Rather, if your availability changes, a cancellation notice and request to reschedule is sent to the invitee. For group meetings between people who have already shared availability, you can reschedule a meeting at any time.
- Group Scheduling Difficulties: A Mashable reviewer notes that the process of sending a scheduling invitation link to invitees through email makes it hard to track invitees that haven’t yet responded. Additionally, the reviewer notes, the horizontal availability timeline makes multi-day meetings and availability less intuitive than they could be.
- Syncing Issues: Of all the complaints I found, I am most concerned about this. Several users reported calendar de-sync, where either employees or customers could not see some appointments. Since this is literally the point of a ScheduleOnce account, it is extremely problematic. The issue may not be widespread, but still: this is not good.
Positive Reviews & Testimonials
There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of enthusiastic reviews for ScheduleOnce scattered in various sources, from Google App Marketplace to Twitter. A small business CEO writing on Geekwire, for example, claims he “can’t live without” ScheduleOnce in his daily life. A Twitter user writes, “This is one of those ‘OMG’ apps,” while another tweets, “If you are a busy person and you aren’t using @ScheduleOnce you are making a huge mistake.” “It’s what I like to call a ‘gamechanger,’ ” writes a Google App reviewer. So what do these users getting so excited about?
- Accurate Time Zone Support: This piece of praise was the focus of a ComputerWeekly.com review, which concludes, “For global organizations that regularly deal with multiple time zones, ScheduleOnce provides a solid capability.” An AllBusiness.com writer explains the mechanics behind the unique time zone support:
ScheduleOnce has a patent-pending method for ensuring absolute scheduling accuracy across any combination of time zones and daylight saving changes. You can rest assured that all attendees receive the correct time, anytime in the year and anywhere on the globe.
- Reliable Company: As I mentioned, it’s virtually impossible to find complaints about the company behind the software. One user writes “I have never encountered an error since I’ve been using the service.” A 5-star review on Google App Marketplace praises ScheduleOnce for polishing its software and staying visible and active in the marketplace.
- Google Integration: Google Calendar users were very excited about how easily ScheduleOnce fits into their Google accounts. ScheduleOnce even appears on the Google Mail sidebar, making it very accessible. Users claim:
ScheduleOnce works seamlessly and accurately with my calendar like nothing I’ve ever seen before.
I use Google Calendar and the integration is nearly flawless (it doesn’t remove an appointment when cancelled – only changes to cancelled status).
- Easy To Use For Clients: One user writes that his clients are very responsive to the email links, while others note that they receive positive feedback from their customers and meeting invitees. A business owner theorizes that “a well-displayed timetable stimulate the use of the system by clients and by staff.” Another reviewer called the interface “dead-simple.”
- Eliminates Back–and-Forth: Mozilla user inteliov claims, “If you arrange and schedule meetings or conference calls you MUST have this.”
- Powerful Back-End System: One tech-savvy ScheduleOnce user praised ScheduleOnce’s capabilities and described a long-term history with the company. Mozilla add-on reviewer praised: “In my point of view ScheduleOnce is the most powerful, friendly and functional add-on for Gmail on earth, thanks for make it [sic].”
Because ScheduleOnce has one foot in meeting-scheduling and the other in appointment-booking, most of its best and most diverse features address scheduling needs rather than extra small business solutions. These scheduling features include:
- Outlook Integration: Professional and Enterprise users can integrate ScheduleOnce with Outlook. Despite the horror stories that usually result from attempts to integrate Outlook in web-based software services, ScheduleOnce appears to have pulled it off with minimal complications.
- Google Integration: ScheduleOnce’s integration with Google is thorough and seamless, with features for your Google apps, Gmail, and Google Calendar. For example, you can sign in to ScheduleOnce with your Google Account – no new username necessary. You can also sync as many Google calendars as you want for real-time updates across all calendars. Finally, the Google Apps administrator for an organization only needs to install ScheduleOnce for all users.
- Salesforce Integration: ScheduleOnce now fully integrates with Salesforce, allowing users to access the full spectrum of the customer’s lifecycle, from lead generation to customer acquisition.
- Infusionsoft Connector: This is another customer management system, offering similar functionality to Salesforce.
- Office 365 Calendar Integration: ScheduleOnce now offers a completely secure connection with the Office 365 Calendar API.
- Availability-Based Group Scheduling: No signup is required to use this function. Rather than accept or reject proposed meeting times, ScheduleOnce allows you to present a range of availabilities and match them with the availabilities of an unlimited number of others. The steps are insanely easy and the schedules easy to view. You can send a scheduling link to as many others as you want. The software automatically finds schedule commonalities and prompts you to add the event to your calendar. Once you’ve created an event, all respondents become attendees and are sent a meeting confirmation email.
- Automatically Redirect: This minimal and simple feature — the option to automatically redirect clients to any URL you choose after a booking is confirmed — creates interesting possibilities. You can also choose how long after the confirmation page displays you want the customer to be redirected, if at all.
- Meeting Location Settings: Each MeetMe page can define the meeting location, if desired, as virtual or face-to-face. Choose whether you or the client sets up the conferencing or location information.
- Custom Categories for MeetMe Page: Not only can you label, add, and edit categories for your MeetMe page – you can also make the category visible to the public or only internally. Add an image associated with the category from ScheduleOnce’s broad collection of stylistically consistent icons.
- Website Integration: ScheduleOnce makes it extremely easy to create a widget, embed the scheduler (without the ScheduleOnce branding) into your website, and add buttons to your website. The customizable widget is particularly interesting. It pops out in a “lightbox” (rather than redirecting to a new window) and can offer clients the option of booking online, calling or emailing. The brandless embedded booking page also has a customizable color scheme and adjusts to mobile and desktop views. Buttons can float at the bottom corner of a website or be added in a specific part.
- Resource Pools: This recently added feature allows you to group employees into teams, in order to better track and assign their workload. It is a handy feature, but only available in the Enterprise subscription.
While you can list prices for services, ScheduleOnce still does not offer to store credit card numbers or take payments from clients for goods or services.
You can choose to add a layer of HTTPS encryption (already present in the link for website embedding) to your standard customer links.
Integrations & Add-Ons
ScheduleOnce is based on a thorough integration with Google—including Gmail, Google Apps, and Google Calendar. Additionally, the following integrations are available:
- Exchange Calendar
- Office 365 Calendar
- Outlook & Outlook.com
- iCloud Calendar
Notice that Zapier integration there at the end: this opens up a huge library of their-party apps that will work with ScheduleOnce. With the Zapier integration, the world is pretty much your oyster.
A hybrid of appointment-booking and meeting-scheduling software, ScheduleOnce is difficult to judge against software that falls strictly in either of the two categories. It’s safe to say that because ScheduleOnce is a reliable company (which has earned a glut of fantastic reviews by virtue of attentiveness to users), the software will only get more powerful and more flexible with time. Painless integrations with Google and Outlook are a major selling point. Currently well-suited to the needs of educators, consultants, organizers, and busy individuals, the software is quite affordable for the average user, although the loss of the free version makes ScheduleOnce a bit less attractive to individual users with modest scheduling needs.
I imagine that any business that requires online meetings, particularly across time zones, would find ScheduleOnce uniquely useful. I highly recommend it to sales professionals and small businesses that are already hooked up to Google and want to integrate a scheduler into their website (but only if they are comfortable relying on third-party solutions for CRM and payments). Larger businesses may want to explore the Outlook connector as a way of unifying their internal meeting and appointment schedules.
Booking Software Rating Criteria.