Choosing a calendar booking software can be daunting. They all have different sets of features and different ways of showing the calendar to your visitors.
In this post, i go over 2 things:
1- The list of criteria you need to choose the best tool for your needs.
2- A list of calendar booking software available for a monthly, yearly or one-time fee.
List of common features to consider part of your evaluation
Here's a list of features you should think about when selecting a tool:
- Payment processing
- Group class booking, multiple booking for one time slot.
- How it handles multiple staff/teacher (multiple employee that can be booked)
- Time zones.
- The flow of the booking, payment before booking, or booking before payment
- Custom fields
- Automatic reminders
- Look and feel
- Integration to third-party systems like google calendar or your auto-responder
- Cancellation process
- Multiple-calendar support
- Embedding options
- Calendar Syncing (syncing with Google Calendar for example)
- Other: Have a look at the features of each calendar system to see if other features might be important to you.
List of popular tools
Last Update: May 2nd 2021
Starts at $168 / year
Normally $120 / year
No longer available
For a limited time
This table is best viewed on a desktop or laptop.
For a limited time
My personal favorite : TidyCal
If your needs are for a simple calendar book tool, I would recommend TidyCal. For $29 (pay only 1 time), you can a beautiful, reliable tool with no monthly payments.
And it comes with a 60 day money-back guarantee if it doesn't work for you. A great place to start.
My personal advanced platform : Acuity Scheduling (Now Squarespace scheduling.
I have been using Acuity Scheduling with Thrive Themes to get clients to book time in my calendar. Here are a few different ways of inserting your calendar in Thrive Themes. If you are looking for more information of what Acuity Scheduling can or cannot do for you, you can leave a comment in the comment section.
You can watch this video to see how it is done.
First, why Acuity Scheduling.
I personally do a few things with Acuity Scheduling. I allow potential new clients to book a 15-min free call. Then I have other calendars for regular clients where they can book and pay for paid sessions.
By having the Growing Plan with up to 6 calendars, it allows me to have multiple calendars.
I have a calendar with its own link for regular prospects, where they can book from Tuesday to Thursday only, and the next day.
I have also a second calendar is for hot prospects. If I receive an email or a live chat with someone and I think they are my ideal type of prospect, they can book the same day, even on a Monday or Friday (as long as there is time in my google calendar.
After my initial call with a prospect, often they will might to pay for more services. I then send them to a different calendar where they can book a time and pay for a session with me. I have a separate calendar for this with different time slots. The process is easy. If they buy a block of 10 hours, they can book 5 time slots of 2 hours from the calendar, without having to ask me. They can use their email address to rebook time slots as the projects moves forward.
Again, by having up to 6 calendar, it's possible to have different calendars with different availability.
How to display or link calendar in Thrive Themes
Step 1. Click On Business Settings --> Availability and Calendars
Step 2. Click on Direct Scheduling link
Here are the 4 examples as available from the screenshot.
Option 1. Direct Link
Click here to see how this would show : Calendar Link
Option 2 : Embed Scheduler
To embed, use the Custom HTML element
Here's how it would look like after it's embedded.
Option 3: Button
You can use the custom HTML and paste the code like for Option 4.
Here's what it would look like.
Option 4 : Booking Bar
You can see how it looks like at the top of this page, or with this screenshot
You can leave a comment in the comments section below or contact me directly.
Watch this video to view the options used
Video Transcript :
In this short video, I'll talk about how to use Acuity Scheduling and Thrive Architect together. Acuity Scheduling allows for multiple calendars, if you have some of the higher plans, and then you can whether link them in Thrive Themes or embed them. There's four options. I'll go through that. I've written a blog post. There is a link below in the video if you are on YouTube. If you're watching this straight from the blog post, then you can just scroll below to see the details.
I talk a bit about why Acuity Scheduling, why it's good for me. You can go through that if you're interested. If you want to embed or see the options for embeds, there is four ways. To access this, if you have the access to the admin of Acuity Scheduling, you would go to the business settings, click availability and calendars, click the direct scheduling link. You have to choose if you have multiple calendars, you have to choose the one that you want, click on this and then you'll see four buttons, four options.
I'll show you a demo of exactly what it looks like. The first one is a direct link. It's this one, option one direct link. Then you can link basically any word, or a sentence, or buttons in Thrive, and if you click on it, it actually links to the Acuity Scheduling website with your own calendar id and owner id, and then people can click a time, choose a date and then fill all the information.
I'm not gonna go through all the options here. In term of display as well, this is one sample, so there's a lot of different ways of displaying information. That's not the goal of this video. If you're interested in more into what are the options, I can definitely record more videos, just comment at the bottom of the post, but it's just to show you here that we can have a link within Thrive Architect.
That's the embed, you can embed it on a blog post or a page. If you try to embed it on a pop-up box or a light box, form the tests I've done and there was display issues, especially because of the responsive nature that you want with Thrive. There's gonna be issues most likely from the tests I've done. It's probably not a good thing to do, it's better to embed it on a direct link or on a direct page or post. That's the embed, that's the third way, that was the second way, sorry.
The fourth one is a booking bar. It shows at the top like this. I haven't looked at the customization of this, but basically there is a scheduled appointment there. It's maybe not the ideal way that you want to use, but it is there in case you're interested to do so.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave a comment here in the box below. On YouTube as well, there's a comments section, and hopefully I can guide you in using both Acuity Scheduling and Thrive Architect together.