12 Free Appointment Scheduling Software Packages for Freelancers

Have you moved from providing a service to clients to including consulting or coaching as part of what you offer? Do you struggle to keep track of client meetings?

If you answered “yes” to either of those questions, you may need appointment scheduling software.

Sure, you could hire someone to keep your appointments straight. For some freelancers hiring someone is the right solution, but for many freelancers hiring someone to set appointments is just too costly.

An alternative solution to the problem of keeping up with your schedule is to use appointment scheduling software instead. In this post, I’ll explain what appointment scheduling software is and list twelve software options for freelancers.


What Is Appointment Scheduling Software?

At its most basic, appointment scheduling software lets you record and track your appointments with clients and colleagues. The most recent generation of appointment scheduling software goes one step further, it allows your clients to schedule their own appointments online (within preset parameters). Some tools even include mobile functionality.

Many appointment scheduling packages will also bill or allow the client to pay for the appointment online, send reminders, and even update your calendar software automatically.

Now that you understand what appointment scheduling software is, you may wonder what the advantage is to using it.

Pros of Appointment Scheduling Software

Let’s take a look at appointment scheduling without appointment scheduling software and then explore the difference that appointment scheduling software can make for freelancers.

While each package works a little differently, the examples below are typical for many of these tools.

Without appointment scheduling software, a prospective client emails you asking for a consulting appointment. You email back suggesting several dates and times. Unfortunately, none of these dates and times is to the client’s liking, so they email back again asking for different dates. You could go back and forth like this several times, before actually scheduling an appointment. In some cases, the client might actually lose interest before an appointment gets set up.

With appointment scheduling software, a prospective client clicks on a scheduling link on your website. They view a list of your available timeslots, select the time that is best for them, choose the type of consultation they would like, and prepay for it online.

You can see how easy the appointment scheduling software could make things for both you and your client. The next question becomes, how do I find the right appointment scheduling software for me?

Options for Appointment Scheduling

Once I realized what an advantage appointment scheduling software could provide to freelance consultants and coaches, I went searching for the best packages online. This post lists what I found.

(Note: At the time of publication, all of these packages offered at least a free trial or a free basic service. To take full advantage of a package’s features you may need to upgrade to a paid version of the software.)

Here are twelve alternatives for appointment scheduling:

  1. Acuity Scheduling. The basic version is free. The full version allows you to customize your online appointment forms. It has iPhone compatibility.
  2. BookFresh. A free trial of this software is available. The website for this package includes great tutorial video. The package supports iPhones and you can receive text message notification of new appointments. BookFresh has been reviewed by TechCrunch and Mashable.
  3. CalendarFly. This application is totally free. It is more suited to groups who need to schedule meeting times than for client or prospect use. Lacks some of the more advanced features of the pricier packages.
  4. Clickbook. A basic account is free. Additional functionality is available at an extra cost. The site includes a helpful blog. This tool is aimed at the client–service providers must register.
  5. Genbook. This package offers a free trial. Features of this unique package include iPhone and Facebook apps, text notifications and more.
  6. Jiffle. This is a free application for individual users. It offers good basic scheduling capabilities. It integrates with Google calendar. Timeslots must be shared with contacts before appointments can be made.
  7. Lattiss. This is another free application with some basic scheduling functionality such as keeping a calendar and reminders. A premium version with more features is available. It is compatible with the iPhone.
  8. Simplifythis. This scheduling package offers a free trial. It synchs with Google calendar and offers billing capabilities. The website also includes helpful blog.
  9. Scheduleview. This package offers a free demo and various levels of scheduling functionality based on price.
  10. SuperSaaS. A free version of this app is available for smaller users. Some versions include automatic Outlook and Google calendar synchronization and automated waiting lists.
  11. TimeTrade. Several versions of this app include a free trial. Appointments are integrated with your Google or Outlook calendar. It also integrates with Salesforce.com.
  12. Tungle.me. This tool offers a free basic account and premium accounts with additional functionality. This app integrates with a huge suite of calendar apps and also offers mobile functionality. There is also a helpful blog.

Your Turn

I’ve shared my thoughts on appointment scheduling software and how it might be useful to freelancers. Now it’s time for your thoughts.

Do you currently use a tool for scheduling appointments with clients? What package do you use? Share your answers in the comments.

Image by mpclemens

Comments

  1. says

    One question though, do we really need a appointment scheduling software. As a freelancer i never need it and have a personal diary with me which will help me to take care of everything

  2. says

    Hu… I had never thought about using one of these — was not even aware they were available. My only concern would be if clients would use it or if it would be just too much of a learning curve. I do like the idea of having scheduled time open for meetings that clients can grab. Thanks for the article. I am going to give this some thought and looking.

  3. says

    Vivek–I see this as primarily being helpful for freelance consultants and business coaches. However, if you have a lot of client meetings it can also help.

    Michael Schlotfeldt, The ones that I saw worked very simply and seemed to be somewhat intuitive. I don’t think you or your clients would have to struggle to learn them.

    Greg Winiarski–Wow, that’s a go-getting attitude if I ever heard one. :) Why not? Most of these have free trials.

  4. Davida Shensky says

    I have used appointment scheduling software and have found it very useful in keeping my appointments and schedules straight on a daily basis, and makes it very easy for client to schedule an appointment.

  5. says

    What’s so funny is I’m a freelance, local SEO. Yet, I actually use pencil and paper to keep my appointments. Sometimes more tech is actually not the answer.

  6. says

    I use VueMinder Calendar (http://www.vueminder.com). I’m not sure why more people aren’t aware of this scheduling program. It’s hands down the best one I’ve found, and I’ve tried many.

    I can tell a lot of thought went into its design. The developer seems to be able to read my mind, designing its features exactly the way I’ve always wished other programs would have done it.

  7. says

    I have installed GenBook on a couple of client web sites, but still haven’t decided to do it for me. GenBook is very easy and you don’t pay anything unless you decide to take an appointment fee or partial fee of some kind via credit card. I also like the newsletter.

    I find it easy to install and use, but the initial setup did take an hour — maybe two — to add all of the staff for the client.

    Good product!

  8. says

    Hi Laura, thanks for your article which gives a good overview of the scheduling space. However, I think our service Doodle (www.doodle.com) is missing in the list. It is (according to Alexa an other services) the most popular scheduling service out there.

    Doodle’s strengths are its ease-of-use, low entry barrier, full internationalization with many translations and timezone support and the support for group meetings as well as 1:1 meetings (via our MeetMe product).

  9. Jessica says

    @Vivek and @Burhanuddin: Even if you’re a freelancer, scheduling software can be really useful. For example, our product, ScheduleThing, gives you a unique booking site with your name in the URL, which makes it easier for new clients to find you, and for existing clients to share you online. Also, you can choose to allow clients to book on their own, which means you’ll spend less time coordinating on the phone and more time actually working. And finally, if a customer ever cancels an appointment/project, ScheduleThing will notify you right away, preventing you from getting started on something that no longer exists.

    @Bogdan: ScheduleThing also syncs with iCal. This makes it easy to keep everything connected!

    I really recommend ScheduleThing. It’s easy-to-use, completely customizable, flexible enough for any type of business, and resource-based. There’s even a free plan!

  10. Chad Harrison says

    Since this article was published, SnapAppointments has emerged as the best online scheduling systems… in my opinion. Their system is completely free, but they do charge for premium “add-on” features. I’ve been using them to manage appointments a for a couple months now and couldn’t be happier. I’ve also tried several of the other systems listed here.

    More Info:
    http://www.snapappointments.com/en/

  11. Roberto says

    I agree with the author about advantages of having an online appointment booking tool. I do use paper and pen as much as I can but I do also use the tool to organize my clients and plan my activities. Also helpful when prioritizing different projects. So I think combination of high-tech and low-tech is probably the best.

    And not to be outdone by other viewers here that have added fancy links, I use a free tool as well called Qooshi (http://www.qooshi.com). I find it just simple enough so I don’t need to learn new tricks and can focus on my job.

    Thanks,
    R

  12. says

    I’m writing on behalf of http://veribook.com, which is another online scheduling tool.

    It’s admittedly quite difficult for businesses to find the right tool, so articles like this are super useful. Thanks Laura for introducing businesses to this type of software, and should anyone want more information about us, please feel free to schedule an online demo with us through our homepage.

  13. Matthew says

    I have a day camp for kids. I want to be able to keep track of up to 20 kids per day. Ideally it would allow me (or their parents) to sign them up for multiple days all at once, like say an entire week or month of camp. It would be great if it could also keep track of billing, like if it could automatically calculate how much is owed based on the number of days the kid signs up for.

    Is one of these scheduling tools most appropriate for this type of business?

  14. says

    This is an interesting topic and one that has been on my mind for a while. Whilst I manage the internal hiring for a large global company and use a load of freelancers at any point across the business. I had a thought about building a profile site that allows freelancers to integrate their Linkedin profiles, Facebook profiles etc and generate a user page that has the scheduling option built in for clients to book your time.

    The site itself would have in theory a job posting section for clients to post roles and integrate with other freelance sites such as freelancer, freelanceswitch etc..

    The software will also integrate with a mobile application pushing new freelance requests direct from the client to you for approval before entering into your calendar. Once approved the system will auto generate a draft invoice for the company that has requested your time adding in your day rate from your profile saving you the need to invoice and negotiate costs. – All this will require you as a freelancer to build a profile or simply apply for a role on other sites with the “Apply through XXXX” button which will prompt the profile to be generated.

    The Client will be able to book you in for projects, extend your contracts etc all through the online interface and even be able to produce internal reports showing freelance costs for any given moment with a breakdown of projects, skills and levels of seniority.

    Assuming the freelancers side of the application took the best parts of various online scheduling applications already in existence is this something that freelancers would be interested in using in your view?

    Many thanks

    Lee

  15. Jessica says

    I am dietitian that uses TuneNGo as my online appointment software. It works great and entirely free. The best feature is Google Sync and upfront payments from my clients.

    Honestly, there are a lot of good options here and some that I had not heard of, but pretty happy with mine.

  16. says

    thanks for the article.

    I think using tools like calendars and to-do-lists is tedious and unintuitive. It requires too much effort from people. People don’t want to spend their time managing their time. It needs to happen as a natural flow to them. Lot of things I need to get done come through email and get buried under other email. Or they may pop in my head at a random times. It is not convenient to pull out a calendar or to-do-list to put it on there.
    It is much more natural to “tell” it to someone – e.g. text it, send an email.

    That is why busy (and rich) people hire personal assistants :).

    That led me to ask the question – why can’t everyone get a free personal assistant that they can email (or forward/CC existing emails) or text to and it will get on my calendar or task list – even help co-ordinate a meeting, etc.

    As a result, we have created a service: https://www.joggleme.com to do exactly that.
    It assigns you a free personal assistant with a personality that you can send or forward emails, include on emails, send text messages and it helps you manage your life for you easily. Just like if you had a real PA.

    Please check it out and give us feedback.

  17. says

    I have been looking through dozens of these apps and they all seem to lack one simple thing:
    Front end user defined times/block booking!
    I’m trying to set up a public calendar that shows my availability as a freelance chef/musician to multiple clients and allow them to send a booking request with date, nature of booking, start and end times. Nothing else, I just confirm it and job done.

    Isn’t that simple enough to expect someone to have done? Or is it only hairdressers and office types that use the internet?

  18. says

    Regarding trusting ones’ data to online databases, we’re very upfront what we do with that data and how it will be used and also what we will not ever do with that data. iSchedule247.com is completely free and only needs an email and optional cell # to work.

    But being hacked is a whole other subject regardless how secure online databases may be, especially with those higher volume services holding much more sensitive data. That’s the unstoppable online world we’re all in and fortunately or unfortunately, individuals also have a critical part to help keep our own personal info safe and must also educate themselves. A serious matter, we agree.

  19. says

    Excellent article and the follow up comments are extremely helpful.

    I was using http://tungle.me. However, they have closed the service. I found this article in an effort to find a replacement software package. I found Tungle saved me about 2 hours a week for scheduling appointments.

    I think using a software application works well to support SOHO or corporate business.

  20. says

    Spend a day walking through a wide variety of the programs mentioned here in the article. I would encourage one to approach the software listed here with caution. Some of it works, some of it does not work. Some installs and works yet certain features do not function.

    Do some careful testing before you put your business in the hands of the applications.

    Jerry

  21. Dr. Liewitz says

    I have been using ScheduFlow from Duoserve for my medical practice for a while now. They have a great software product that works through the Internet. You literally download the software and work with it as if it’s local, but your data is stored in the cloud. I can access my schedules from my iPhone and my colleagues from their Androids, without syncing. Check out their website at http://www.duoserve.com/calendar. Test it out with a free trial.

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  23. says

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  24. says

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  25. says

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  26. says

    Hi there, Since this original blog is a few years old I would like to add Simply Appointments to the list. We have been to many Massage conferences over the years learning exactly what therapists are looking for and how their online scheduling software can help them.

    Please check out http://www.simplyappointments.com

    have a great day and play safe.

  27. Jeff says

    Great Post! I found this information very helpful when searching for a scheduling site.

    I ended up registering on http://www.Findjoo.com after a friend told me about their site.
    When comparing with the listed softwares, Findjoo has great tools to help attract new clients and they offer unlimited scheduling and appointments for free.
    The customer service department is very friendly as well.
    I made a request for my company and they implemented a feature for my needs. I couldn’t ask for more!

    I don’t think they have been around for a long, but I definitely think they are
    worth taking a look at.

  28. Jeff says

    Check out clientap.com it’s a new android app that may not have all the options of these systems, but is great for simply scheduling appointments and tracking payments on your phone. It’s also free to try and cheap after that if. Works great for what I need.

  29. says

    Hello Laura Spencer, I just want to ask you a couple of quick questions to hear your opinions. I’m deciding using an online appointment form for a business site. The one I’m deciding to use is from ContactUs.com (http://www.contactus.com/online-appointment-form/). Do you thing using from ContactUs.com can be better than from ActiveCampaign (http://www.activecampaign.com/)? Which one would you recommend?

    I’ll be waiting your response.

    Thanks.

  30. says

    Yoou really make it seem so essy wth your presentation bbut I find this topic to
    be really something whidh I think I would
    never understand. It seems ttoo complicated and extrsmely brad for me.
    I aam looking forward for your next post, I wilkl try to get the hang of it!

  31. says

    Hi Laura, great article and at the moment we’re building our own Free & Paid appointment system for Sports and Fitness facilities to manage their bookings.
    We’re in Beta and it would be great if any of you would like to try us out to give us some feedback.

    Thanks

  32. says

    Fix the title. These are not software packages, they are services. 12 Free Appointment Scheduling SERVICES for Freelancers

    Methinks this blogger doesn’t understand the difference between software and service.

  33. says

    http://www.ScheduleX.com is the only true FREE online scheduling website online for any business big or small. UNLIMITED appointments, resources & locations for business users. ScheduleX is the most flexible and feature-rich FREE ONLINE SCHEDULING application available!

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