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Should You Use Calendly for Appointment Scheduling? [App Review]

Right now, Calendly is one of the most popular scheduling apps. So, it might seem like a natural choice to automate your appointments. But, because of all the work that goes into setting up systems, selecting software is a big decision.

You can’t just hop on a bandwagon without knowing where it’s headed. Here’s everything you need to know about Calendly so that you can decide if its the right platform for you. 

Here’s what’s in store:

So, keep reading if this might answer your questions.  

What is Calendly? 

Calendly Logo

In a nutshell, Calendly is modern, cloud-based scheduling software. The platform integrates with other online tools to streamline appointment, meeting, and event scheduling and can be used by virtually anyone from anywhere. 

Business owners, independent service providers, and coaches can use Calendly to set appointments with clients and customers. Teachers can use it to schedule meetings with students or parents. Healthcare practitioners can use it to plan office or telemedicine visits with patients.  

The versatility doesn’t end there. Calendly is dedicated to a streamlined end-to-end experience for international users and supports multiple currencies and languages. 

Review Calendly

The best part is that it enables you to get appointments scheduled without the hassle of back and forth emails. 

How Much Does Calendly Cost?

Calendly does offer a free basic plan. From there, the price goes up as high as $10 per user per month for premium and $15 for pro. Annual billing can save you $24 to $36 per year. 

The free version is limited to integrations with Intercom, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and GoToMeeting for conferencing. Premium allows you to enable Zapier and custom web hooks.  Pro users have access to Salesforce, Hubspot, Mailchimp, Stripe, PayPal, Google Analytics, and Facebook Pixel integrations. 

Calendly free

The most obvious reason people upgrade to a paid version is the fact that Calendly’s free plan only allows one “event type.” 

What this means is that basic users can’t enable invitees to select the type or length of meeting being scheduled — only 30-minute meetings are available. All appointments scheduled via a free Calendly account will be the same by default. Both premium and pro plans offer unlimited event types. 

Calendly login

Calendly Pro is for the user who wants to take advantage of all the bells and whistles this software offers. 

Is Calendly Secure?  

If you’re going to collect customer data, it’s crucial to comply with regulations. So, is Calendly GDPR compliant? And, for folks in healthcare, is it HIPAA compliant? Here’s what you need to know. 

Calendly is in compliance with the latest GDPR legislature. So, general data collection is secure and safe — your clients and customers can trust that they won’t get spammed or have their information stolen. 

Calendly review security

However, while full security measures are taken, sensitive patient data should never be shared via the platform. Technically, the app itself isn’t HIPAA compliant. So, healthcare professionals should never include personal or medical questions when scheduling with this system. 

How to Use Calendly: An Overview 

When you first sign up, you will automatically enter the pro plan on a 14 day trial, which is great. This provides enough time for you to find out which features and integrations you will need. 

Next, you’ll be asked to connect your Google account to give Calendly access to your Google Calendar. 

With the basic plan, you can use only one calendar. This means that the plaform will not check for scheduling conflicts between multiple calendars with the free plan. With the premium plan, you can connect two calendars and up to six with pro. 

Note that Calendly uses your schedule and existing calendar appointments to determine your available times and dates. So, if you schedule an all day reminder for a two week online course or webinar and forget to check the “available” box, Calendly will book you out the entire time (at no fault of their own).  

Once you’re all set up, you simply share your personalized link via email or on your website and invitees can select an available slot. In my experience, this saves a ton of time that would otherwise be spent emailing back and forth to find an hour that works for multiple parties. 

Calendly embed

If you want to fully leverage the system, take Calendly across all platforms. 

Calendly Apps, Chrome Extension, & Integrations 

As a standalone app, Calendly is useful, but the available apps, integrations, and extensions can help you automate most of the appointment scheduling process. 

First, the Calendly Mobile iOS app and Android app make it easier for you to share links to your calendar from anywhere. From your phone, you can use the mobile app to copy and share links or view upcoming meetings.

Calendly apps

Next, the Calendly Chrome Extension and Firefox Browser Add-On can provide access to your appointments when browsing from your computer. A browser extension can help you access event links without logging into your account each time you want to share them. 

With the Chrome extension, you can also offer specific times with ad hoc meetings that can then be added directly to emails in Gmail. 

Calendly review

Then, business owners, service providers, and coaches might want to enable their customers and clients to schedule appointments from their website. WordPress users can leverage the Embed Calendly Scheduling plugin by Shycoder (though, plugins can sometimes be a bit code-heavy, so proceed with caution). All others can use Calendly’s built-in embed features.  

Calendly WordPress

Then, Paypal and Stripe integrations make it easy to collect payments as an invitee schedules a certain type of appointment. This feature is especially helpful for consultants who charge for their time. 

Finally, Calendly can integrate easily with 80+ conferencing, sales, marketing, and CRM apps that you already use to streamline tasks associated with setting up an appointment or event. 

Does Calendly work with Zoom?

And, if you don’t see your tool on the list, there’s a chance you can use Zapier to create it

One of the most popular integrations is Zoom. Pre-COVID, an automated link to a Zoom meeting was a pro feature. Now, even basic users can leverage this option. My guess is that the feature will continue to be free into the foreseeable future. 

Calendly Alternatives: How Do They Stack up?

You know you have options. So, how do the top competitors compare? Here’s a quick breakdown. 

Appointment Scheduling Software Comparison

PlatformPricingSynced CalendarsIntegrationsMobile AppsBrowser Extensions
Calendly$0 to $15 monthly Up to 680+iOS, AndroidChrome, Mozilla
Acuity$0 to 45 monthlyUp to 3639+iOS, AndroidNA
Appointy$0 to $99.99 monthly2+5+iOS, AndroidChrome, Mozilla
Setmore$0 to $5 monthly2+41+iOS, AndroidNA
SimplyBook$0 to $59.90 monthlyUnlimitedZaps onlyiOS, AndroidNA

Acuity vs Calendly 

Being Calendly’s top competitor, it’s key to look a bit deeper how these two platforms compare before you make a final decision about which scheduling software to use. So, here’s a few key comparisons of Calendly vs Acuity. 

  1. Best Pricing: Calendly 

The most calendars you can sync with Calendly is six, which costs around $15 per month, depending on your billing choice. To integrate six calendars with Acuity will cost $23 per month when paid monthly. 

  1. Best Payment Processing Options: Acuity (Sorta)

Acuity has an integration with Square for payment processing. Calendly doesn’t. But, don’t let this deter you — you can still integrate Calendly with the payment processor used by millions of merchants…  

Calendly plugin

There’s a Zap for that

  1. Most Synced Calendars: Acuity

Now, if you have a large team involved in scheduled meetings and events or you run multiple companies with multiple calendars, Acuity might be the best option for one reason. Their platform enables you to sync up to 36 calendars. That’s 30 more than you get with Calendly’s pro plan. 

Final Takeaway

So, should you use Calendly for appointment scheduling? I say “yes.” If you’re a solopreneur or your team is small, as long as you can set a schedule syncing 6 calendars or less, Calendly is an excellent app. I love the software, use it daily, and highly recommend it. 

It would be nice to see a bit more diversification with calendar syncs, SMS in addition to email reminders would be nice, and an internal communication platform would be nice for teams. But, it hits the mark in a lot of ways. 

So, go try Calendly for yourself and let me know what you think.