Best Calendar & Scheduling Software in 2018

These applications help businesses schedule meetings, phone calls, appointments, and webinars quickly with the help of integration's with online calendars. With the help of this software type, you can easily check the availability of your coworkers, pick a suitable time for everyone in the team and schedule meetings and events. Scheduling software saves you the hassle of sending emails back-and-forth. It is also handy if you wish to set up meetings with team members in different time zones. Calendar and scheduling software is a must for distributed businesses to manage their schedule efficiently and to save time.  Read the full software guide...


Calendar & Scheduling Software Guide

What is Calendar & Scheduling Software?

Calendar software helps you create and edit online calendars and share them with multiple users.

The software generally allows you to set your availability and check the availability of other users, which makes scheduling easier for everyone in the group or organization.

Organizations often use scheduling software to schedule business meetings and appointments, create and manage employee schedules, assign jobs, plan work shifts and track everything in real time.

More advanced products allow you to track employee attendance and work hours, set automatic reminders for upcoming meetings and appointments, and make informed scheduling decisions based on a worker’s availability, skill sets and current location.

Most products allow employees to update job status in real time, even when they are working off-site. Some even allow employees to swap shifts with their colleagues.

Other key functionalities include automated scheduling, time zone synchronization, resource scheduling, and the ability to generate reports on no-shows, paid time-off, etc.


How to Choose Calendar & Scheduling Software for Your Business

What type of scheduling solution you need depends on the nature and size of your business. Service-based businesses, such as, saloons, dental clinics, restaurants and field service providers must have appointment scheduling software, while almost any business with more than a few workers will need an employee scheduling solution. If you are looking for features exclusive to a certain sector, consider choosing an industry-specific solution.

Considering the size of your business and its growth potential is also important. For instance, a startup with less than 20 employees may need basic calendar management and online booking functionalities. SMBs with around 100 employees may require time tracking, resource scheduling and shift planning features. If your business is likely to grow fast, you need a scalable solution. On the other hand, enterprises with hundreds of employees working from multiple locations often need a fully featured product capable of addressing any scheduling needs from a single point.

You should also consider if you have any industry-specific requirements. For instance, on-location service providers, such as, transportation companies often require coordinating shifts between multiple locations. Healthcare companies often need to send automated reminders for last minute schedule changes. Here are some other things to consider.

  • Ease of use – Check if the software provides customizable shift templates, multiple calendar viewing options (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.) and drag and drop interfaces. Can you quickly create a shift template, reuse it, drag names of employees onto it, and upload employee data directly from a spreadsheet?
  • Integration – Consider your integration needs. For instance, retail shops may need a scheduling solution that integrates with their POS systems. On the other hand, caterers may look for a product that integrates with Google Maps, so that their off-site employees can easily see maps and get directions.

  • Reporting – More advanced products record employee work hours, pull data from POS systems to generate reports on labor costs, sales and future expenses.


Types of Calendar & Scheduling Software

Not all products under this category are designed to address the same kinds of scheduling needs. Depending on their area of focus, these products can be categorized into three main types.

  1. Appointment scheduling – This type of software specializes in scheduling, tracking and managing appointments and meetings. Companies also use these products to take online bookings and manage reservations.
    Appointment scheduling software usually comes with a centralized scheduling board that allows both administrators and users to view availability and manage bookings. Administrators can enforce new scheduling rules and set automated notifications for bookings and cancellations. When a customer sends a booking request, the system automatically confirms or rejects it based on availability. More advanced programs feature the ability to manage a waiting list of booking requests and automatically replaces reservations when someone cancels an existing booking.
  2. Employee scheduling – These products are designed specifically to plan, create, monitor and manage employee schedules. Employee scheduling software allows workers to communicate with managers and coworkers through an inbuilt message center, which makes shift planning easier for everyone.
    The software enables workers to set availability, create and update work schedules and swap shifts with coworkers, without having to take permissions from their managers. In addition, managers can use the program to track employee work hours and assign jobs based on skills and location of workers.
  3. Industry-specific – These products are designed to address the specific scheduling needs of an industry. For instance, products focused on the construction sector usually feature the ability to estimate the time required to complete a task based on the availability of resources, constraints and dependencies. On the other hand, scheduling software focused on restaurants and food businesses usually come with time-clock integration and POS integration capabilities.

Benefits of Calendar & Scheduling Software

By using the right calendar and scheduling software, businesses can gain from the following benefits.

  • More efficient and accurate scheduling – Products in this category centralize scheduling data in a single location, which helps avoid scheduling issues. By automating common scheduling tasks, most products also help avoid manual errors.

  • More informed scheduling decisions – The software lets managers access each employee’s contact details, skills, experience, qualifications, availability and current location, making it easier for them to create and revise schedules.

  • Tracking labor costs – Employee scheduling software tracks work hours, paid time-offs and overall labor costs, which helps managers with budgeting.
  • Reducing no-shows – Appointment scheduling software sends automated email and SMS reminders for upcoming events, which helps reduce no-shows.

Overall, calendar and scheduling software helps businesses save time and money on scheduling.


Common Features of Calendar & Scheduling

API Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are programmatic intersections with external products or platforms that allow for custom integrations with your own solutions or other solutions you are using.
Calendar Management Manage and update calendars for scheduling or consolidation of events across teams, departments or business functions.
Contact Management Manage large amounts of personal or business contacts in a centralized system.
Contact Sharing Share contacts across teams or platforms to give access to others or to migrate address books across different systems.
Email Integration Integration with email clients or providers to create and send emails as well as view received emails within an application.
External Integrations Integrations with other software products or platforms to improve efficiency and compatibility across systems.
Google Apps Integration Integration with the G Suite, including Gmail, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Calendar, etc.
Multi-User Supports more than just one user account and generally allows for collaboration with colleagues.
Notifications Includes notification support and sends you alerts with information on important events and other time sensitive instances. For example through push notifications on mobile phones or email notifications.
Project Management Manage projects from conception through the planning stage to delivery and post-project reporting phases. This allows organisation teams to organise resources, plan budgets and improve efficiency in the delivery of project objectives.
Scheduling Schedule tasks, resources, appointments, payments, communications, etc.

Latest User Reviews of Calendar & Scheduling

Falcon.io
Andrea Pawlowski, Social Media Manager - Golem Verlag GmbH
"Over all solution for all Social Media wis..."

MavSocial
Julie Anne Gniadek, PMP, Owner and Founder - J. H. Language Solutions
"MavSocial WORKS!"

My favorite thing about using MavSocial is having everything easily accessible and or...

SuperSaaS
Sneha Mittal, Marketing and Customer Service Manager - SuperSaaS - Online Appointment Scheduling
"Amazing for small and medium businesses"

The software is very affordable and highly customizable. I use it to manage my person...

Appoint.ly
Nick Amaral, District Staff Development Coordinator - Ramapo Indian Hills High School District
"Decent Booking App"

The layout and overall design is engaging. Apppointly lets you set the hours you work...


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