woman working from home on laptop
From internal team meetings to customer-facing class schedules, these eight tools come with free and paid options and encourage a seamless user experience. — Getty Images/mapodile

A survey by Doodle found that businesses waste 4.8 hours every week scheduling meetings. That adds up to roughly six weeks each year spent on the back-and-forth of trying to find a time and place to meet, an administrative burden that can drag down your business’s bottom line.

Luckily, there are a ton of tools out there to make scheduling easier. Here are some of the most popular tools that make it easier to schedule meetings, appointments, classes and more.

[Read more: 5 Productivity Apps That Will Keep You Organized]

Calendly

Calendly is a simple, free, user-friendly tool that also has a paid version with even more powerful features. Calendly’s free version allows you to book unlimited meetings, connect with your Google, Outlook, Office 365 or iCloud calendar and send out a custom link to help make scheduling easier. Attendees can self-select the times that work best for them, eliminating the back-and-forth emailing that wastes time. Upgrade to the paid version to schedule multiple meeting types, such as one-on-one, round-robin and group meetings.

[Read more: 8 Collaborative Business Tools to Boost Your Team's Productivity]

Woven

Woven takes your calendar and supercharges scheduling. Woven’s tools include Smart Templates to make it easy to set up recurring events. Create a template for each common meeting type with the meeting details, time preferences and location. Woven’s Scheduling Links, Availability Sharing and Group Polls let attendees select meetings at the most convenient time from those you offer. Woven even includes email and iMessage integrations to help busy business owners schedule meetings while on the move. Woven is free and syncs with Google and G Suite calendars and is free.

HubSpot Meetings

The HubSpot Meetings tool is a good option for anyone already using the free HubSpot CRM. It integrates directly to help you keep track of your contacts and meetings automatically. HubSpot Meetings allows you to send a link in an email or embedded into a website to let customers and prospects book time with you. When time is requested, your calendar is automatically blocked off and HubSpot Meetings sends a confirmation message to the prospect. HubSpot Meetings works with Google Calendar or Office 365 and is free.

The HubSpot Meetings tool is a good option for anyone already using the free HubSpot CRM.

Square Appointments

If you’re looking for a booking tool that also allows you to accept payments, turn to Square Appointments. Great for salons, workout studios and other service industry professionals, Square Appointments is a booking tool that also can be set up to require pre-payment when a customer books, collect payment at checkout or send professional invoices. Use Square Appointments to set up a free customer booking website, send automated text and email reminders and charge cancellation fees for no-shows. This tool is free for individuals but charges $50/month for teams of five or fewer people and $90/month for teams of six to 10.

Appointlet

Like HubSpot, Appointlet is geared toward sales professionals. With Appointlet, your sales team can create booking pages, customize availability, and send links to prospects and customers to set up a time to chat. Appointlet claims to save up to 80% more time by eliminating the back-and-forth. It integrates with sales tools such as Salesforce, Zoho CRM, GoToMeeting and MailChimp. Pricing is free.

MINDBODY

Gyms and fitness studios seeking an easy way to schedule classes online turn to MINDBODY. This is a powerful marketing platform that includes some marketing in addition to scheduling classes, appointments, and events. MINDBODY includes appointment booking through Facebook, unlimited staff accounts, individualized set-up and training and 24/7 customer support. Your business is also listed on the MINDBODY consumer-facing app, which is a great way to bring in new business. Pricing starts at $129 per month.

GigaBook

GigaBook is a highly customizable scheduling option great for internal teams. If you’re managing with limited meeting space, GigaBook makes it easy to specify the invitees, room, and equipment needed for each meeting so that there are no crossed-wires. Businesses seeking a customer-facing tool can use GigaBook’s payments, invoicing, and deposits function and auto-reminder tools to cut down on missed appointments. There are a ton of features to navigate — GigaBook comes with something for everyone. Pricing starts at $12 per month.

Acuity scheduling

Acuity is another very customizable scheduling tool that works well if you’re a business managing appointments all day (salons, doctor’s offices, etc.). Acuity allows your customers to choose recurring appointments, fill out their intake form, and pay in advance. Its add-on feature gives you the ability to let clients add a service while they book, such as a pedicure in addition to a manicure. Settings on the business side allow you to set intervals for how often appointments begin, giving you space in your calendar for late arrivals or breaks throughout the day. Acuity has a free plan and paid options.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published May 21, 2020