In today’s world, time is of the essence. Effective management of time is of utmost importance, especially for businesses. Based on their size and operational capacity, businesses conduct dozens of meetings daily and/or entertain countless scheduled appointments based on the industry they’re operational in.
This demands efficient management of your schedule to make the most of available hours. The businesses that tend to manage their schedules manually end up spending their valuable time on - attending calls, sending SMS, and answering queries - failing to productively use the time at hand. Appointment scheduling software come in handy - managing your schedule and saving you a lot of time and effort. And, they’re probably the reason you’re here as well.
There are hundreds of alternatives in the market at the moment. This often leaves potential users confused concerning the choice of an alternative that’s best suited for them. In this article, we will compare Calendly vs Acuity vs Sprintful - three renowned names in the appointment scheduling industry. We will explore the tools from different aspects - facilitating you with the information that you need to make the decision.
Let’s Get Familiar
Before diving into the features and capabilities of the scheduling solutions, let’s get familiar with them first. We will start things off with Calendly as it’s currently sitting at the top in the market:
Calendly is an online scheduling solution that comes with the capability of connecting up to six different calendars. It’s an automated solution that helps you organize your schedule - managing your operational hours to bookings, meetings, appointments, and more. Calendly eliminates the need for back and forth communication as you don’t need to manually send booking reminders or attend confirmation calls. The tool does it for you. There’s so much that Calendly has to offer - making it a renowned scheduling solution worldwide.
Acuity comes with scheduling properties and more. The tool serves as personal assistance - managing your schedule and facilitating you with laborious or administrative tasks. The tool helps you control your availability, organize your schedule, manage client information, and more. You can even accept online payments facilitated by Acuity. As we said, it’s more of a personal assistant than a mainstream scheduling solution.
Quite fascinating tools Calendly and Acuity are. But don’t rule out Sprintful yet. The tool may seem like an underdog but comes with capabilities unlike any other.
Sprintful is a scheduling solution that helps you keep your calendar organized and manage bookings or appointments with ease, just like Calendly and Acuity. However, that’s not the end of what Sprintful has to offer. You can conduct group sessions, do video conferences, sync the scheduling solution with renowned calendar apps, coordinate with teams, and more. The tool even comes with deep customization options - allowing you to add a buffer between meetings, block booking days, specify the time for a meeting, and more.
Best Suited For
Calendly is a simple app that outright offers easy scheduling and calendar management capabilities. It’s an alternative best suited for companies or professionals that are looking for ways to seamlessly schedule meetings without having to deal with complex features or functionalities. The solution can also be said to be fitting for firms that are just getting started.
Acuity comes with a variety of capabilities that makes it a solution that’s best suited for large enterprises. However, some may argue that it’s a suitable alternative for small-medium size businesses. In any case, it’s a fitting solution for companies that are looking for multiple solutions facilitated by a single platform such as calendar management, appointment scheduling, online payments, and more.
Sprintful, on the other hand, is a solution best suited for companies of different sizes. The tool facilitates everyone - from startups to conglomerates. This is due to the simplicity of the capabilities yet the variety of solutions facilitated by a unified platform. The features that Sprintful has to offer are a bargain, especially for the price point it’s at. But, that’s to be covered later.
When it comes to the learning experience, the difference in all three alternatives - Calendly, Acuity, and Sprintful - is negligible. But, if we were to compare them anyway, we’d say that Acuity has a steep learning curve compared to Calendly and Sprintful. However, it’s nothing drastic. It just requires some integration-level understanding and getting used to the features that the platform has to offer.
If we speak of the core features like scheduling and calendar management, all three of them require the basic understanding of online navigation and feature accessibility as the respective development teams have done a pretty good job - making the tools functional from the get-go. However, if you want a personalized experience, you might have to do some digging and undergo trial and error to set up custom processes best suited for your needs.
One of the core functionalities offered by all three of the tools - Calendly, Acuity, and Sprintful - is calendar management and this article would be incomplete without comparing the calendar management capabilities that solutions have to offer.
When we talk about calendar management offered by Calendly, it’s as seamless as it can get. You get a variety of calendar management options and can sync the solution with up to six external calendars to manage your schedule. These calendars can be programmed to facilitate different groups such as customers, teams, external stakeholders, and more, without the rules set for one schedule affecting others. Calendly also offers effortless event invites - allowing you to invite external stakeholders to scheduled events or meetings by sharing the event link. The invitees can easily access the group rules and other useful information simply by accessing the link provided.
Calendar management capabilities offered by Acuity are a bit more customized than Calendly when it comes to organizing bookings and managing reservations. The tool facilitates you with a variety of solutions for managing appointments, events, team meetings, shifts, and more. Here, the one who manages the schedule and potential appointment seekers such as clients, teams, and stakeholders, can view all the schedules in real-time. Acuity also equips users with custom notifications and reminder options to reduce no-shows. For the ones that travel more frequently, Acuity automatically adjusts the schedule as per the time zone applicable to the viewer’s current location - saving users from the hassle to account for time zone differences.
On the other hand, Sprintful doesn’t fall short of offering custom calendar management capabilities either. Sprintful comes with a powerful self-scheduling feature - allowing users and appointment seekers to easily book, reschedule, and cancel bookings with ease. Sprintful also ensures the optimal utilization of your resource capacity - ensuring no appointments are missed by sending automated alerts, reminders, and status updates.
Without you having to invest in high-tier plans or spend hours to customize calendar management properties best suited to your operations, Sprintful gives you access to advanced calendar management features from the start.
Scheduling Invites & Rules
For an event that’s scheduled via Calendly, the host sends secure invites - providing potential attendees with a URL to access the scheduled event. Calendly allows users to set custom rules - indicating profiles or people eligible for accessing and attending the event.
An event scheduled for company personnel only cannot be attended by customers, stakeholders, or other parties with no access permission as the link would only be accessible to the audience it’s created for.
With Calendly, you can also set the meeting rules such as minimum and maximum time allotted for each reservation that’s to be scheduled. You can also set a maximum limit to the number of events to be scheduled in a day and buffer time among appointment slots.
Acuity, however, does not allow users to share a URL for an attendee to join the event. They believe that sharing the link publicly is simply not secure. Instead, Acuity allows its users to share the calendar of events with the intended audience.
This is like a live view of the schedule where users can see empty and reserved slots for appointments along with scheduled events. The schedule can be published online on the company site using an embed code or shared on social media.
You can also email the schedule if that’s more of your game. Appointment rules, however, are quite similar to the ones offered by Calendly. In addition, Acuity offers an appointment blocking feature for available schedules with a pretext option for users to avoid overbooking.
Sprintful offers a combination of both. With Sprintful, you can either invite users to attend a scheduled event via a secure URL or publish event details on your website and social media.
Links to appointments can be shared effortlessly via email or SMS - allowing you to choose a medium of communication that’s best suited for your operations. If we speak of rules, you can easily set appointment buffers to avoid scheduling clashes or facilitate representatives with prep time before the due session.
You can also specify the number of appointments to be scheduled in a day and specify the minimum and maximum time to be reserved for each appointment. With Sprintful, the possibilities are endless.
If we speak of integrations, Calendly currently supports renowned calendar apps such as Google Calendar, Office365, and Outlook. Calendly also provides integration with Zapier where you could look for other applications best suited for your needs. You can also accept payments with ease via Calendly as the tool facilitates payment integration powered by PayPal and Stripe. Calendly also supports integrations with Salesforce, Hubspot, and Intercom but they’re only unlocked if a user subscribes to a high-tier price plan.
Acuity also offers a variety of integration options. The tool supports calendar integrations with Google, iCloud, Office365, and Outlook via one-way or two-way sync. Furthermore, the tool facilitates you with dozens of other options to choose from. To facilitate online conferencing needs, Acuity offers integration with tools like Google Meet, Zoom, and JoinMe.
In addition, you can also connect mass outreach services like MailChimp, ConvertKit, and Aweber. And, for payments, Acuity offers connections with PayPal, Stripe, and Square.
Sprintful doesn’t fall behind either of them and facilitates users with a variety of integration options as well. First and foremost, the tool facilitates calendar integration with apps like Google Calendar and Outlook. Moreover, Sprintful facilitates team collaboration and conferencing needs by supporting connections with Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Google Meet.
You can also connect Slack and keep up with your day-to-day operations. As for payments, the tool currently supports integration with Stripe only. But that’s not all, you can identify and add other applications best suited for your needs via Zapier integration. Moreover, custom integration allows you to write your own NodeJS code to be triggered on new bookings.
As for the price comparison, Calendly offers four package plans at the moment - a Basic Plan which is free of cost, a Premium Plan charges $10 per month, a Pro Plan costs $15 per month, and an Enterprise Plan that requires a custom quote.
Acuity is a little bit on the expensive side - offering 3 packages to choose from. The most basic plan offered is called Emerging Plan that costs $15 per month. Then there’s Growing Plan that falls in the mid-tier category - costing $25 per month. And, finally, a high-tier plan called Powerhouse - costing $50 per month.
Sprintful offers market competitive prices and facilitates its users to choose from three packages offered - basic, professional, and business plans. The Basic Plan costs $9 per month and comes with all standard functionalities.
The Professional Plan is more suited for teams or medium-sized companies - costing $19 per month. And, the Business Plan is a high-tier plan - best suited for large companies or conglomerates and comes at a subscription cost of $49 per month.
To sum things up, we would like to conclude this article by saying that all three of the solutions - Calendly, Acuity, and Sprintful - are excellent scheduling alternatives. When it comes to choosing a solution, a lot of different factors come into play such as the learning curve, user experience, features, integrations, prices, and more.
In this article, we tried to cover as many as we could - facilitating you with all the information that you need to make an informed decision. The rest depends on your needs and the capabilities offered by your preferred solution in the budget that you have.
Though, if you currently seek an alternative to Calendly or Acuity, we’d say you give Sprintful a shot. It may sound a bit bias but we’re pretty awesome!