Do you struggle to find a suitable time slot for client meetings? Do you waste hours emailing to confirm a meeting date and time? Have you ever missed a meeting because of a time zone confusion or a calendar mishap with your offshore team? If your answer is ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then you need an online meeting scheduling tool.
An online meeting scheduling tool is a software application that helps you schedule meetings with ease and convenience. It can save you time, energy, and hassle. It can also improve your productivity, efficiency, and collaboration.
In this blog, you will learn the following:
- What is a meeting scheduling tool ✅
- How it works ✅
- What are the benefits of using it ✅
- Most popular meeting schedulers in the market ✅
- Tips to make the best use of a meeting scheduling tool ✅
- Factors to consider for choosing the right meeting scheduling tool ✅
Too Long; Didn’t Read (TL;DR)
Here are the key insights from the article that SHOULD NOT miss:
- An online meeting scheduler, a.k.a, meeting scheduling tool provides integration with calendar tools to sync user’s booking slots.
- It helps you schedule events, webinars, consulting calls, sales calls, workshops, appointments, etc.
- SmartReach Meeting Scheduler, Calendly and, Doodle, are some of the most popular free meeting scheduling tools available on the market.
- 5 golden practices for using an online scheduling tool – set your availability rules, choose your event types, customize your meeting request page, and always confirm and sync the meetings with online calendars.
- Consider these 5 factors while choosing your online meeting scheduler – features and functionality, pricing and plans, customer support, reviews and ratings of the tool, and data protection compliances it follows.
What is a ‘Meeting Scheduling Tool’?
An online meeting scheduling tool is a tool that simplifies the process of planning and organizing online meetings with multiple participants. It eliminates the need for back-and-forth emails or phone calls to find a suitable time and date for everyone. Instead, it lets you share your availability with others, view their preferences, and select the best option with a few clicks.
It also integrates with your existing calendar and sends automatic reminders to ensure that no one misses the meeting.
An online meeting scheduling tool has so many use cases, such as:
– Scheduling one-on-one meetings with clients, colleagues, or friends
– Scheduling group meetings with multiple participants
– Scheduling recurring meetings or events
– Scheduling webinars, workshops, or training sessions
– Scheduling interviews, consultations, or appointments
Also, a meeting scheduling tool can handle different scenarios, such as scheduled meetings:
– Across different time zones
– With different levels of priority or urgency
– With different types of participants (internal or external, formal or informal, etc.)
– With different modes of communication (phone, video, chat, etc.)
– Based on round-robin and team availability
How does a meeting scheduling tool work?
An online meeting scheduling tool works by following these simple steps:
1. Creating a meeting request
You create a meeting schedule request form by entering the relevant meeting details, such as the topic, the duration, the mode of communication, and the participant details. You could also ask a few questions that would help you during the meeting.
2. Putting meeting details
You choose your preferred time slots for the meeting, based on your availability and preferences. You can also set your working hours, time zone, and buffer time between meetings.
3. Sharing meeting
You share your meeting scheduling request form with the participants, either by sending them a link or by embedding it on your website, LinkedIn profile section, or email signature (something like “Book a Meeting”). You can also customize the appearance and the message of your meeting request.
Here’s how I embedded a meeting scheduling link to my LinkedIn profile for easy meeting setup with prospects.
4. Participants info
The participants view your meeting schedule request and select their preferred time slots for the meeting, based on their availability and preferences. They can also see the availability and preferences of other participants if you allow them to do so.
5. Meeting evaluation
The online meeting scheduler tool compares the time slots of all the participants and finds the best match for the meeting. It then confirms the meeting date and time with everyone and adds it to their calendars. It also sends reminders to everyone before the meeting.
What are the advantages of using a meeting scheduling tool?
Using an online meeting scheduler tool can offer you many benefits, such as:
✅ Saving time
You can schedule meetings faster and easier without wasting time on emails, phone calls, or messages. You can also avoid double bookings, conflicts, or overlaps in your schedule.
✅ Increasing productivity
You can focus on your core tasks and goals without getting distracted by the hassle of scheduling meetings. You can also optimize your schedule and plan your day better by choosing the most convenient and efficient time slots for your meetings.
✅ Improving collaboration
You can communicate and cooperate with others more effectively by scheduling meetings that suit everyone’s availability and preferences. You can also foster a positive and professional relationship with others by respecting their time and showing your flexibility and reliability.
✅ Enhancing customer satisfaction
You can impress and delight your customers by offering them a smooth and easy way to book meetings with you. You can also increase your conversion and retention rates by reducing the friction and the waiting time in the booking process.
Most popular free meeting scheduling tools for 2024
There are many online meeting scheduler tools available in the market, each with its features and benefits. We have carefully selected the best meeting scheduling tools in terms of ease of use, pricing, unique features, etc.
For more information on the best free + paid meeting scheduling tools check out our blog Top 10 Calendly Alternatives to Use in 2024
#1 SmartReach Meeting Scheduler
SmartReach Meeting Scheduler is an automated scheduling tool that is part of SmartReach’s suite of sales productivity software. Whether you need to schedule a sales call, a demo, or a team meeting, SmartReach has you covered.
This tool comes absolutely FREE with all SmartReach plans.
Here’s how SmartReach helps you:
✅ Create tailored links for different scenarios, with customized availability, location, duration, and calendar settings. This helps your participants choose the best time and place for them.
✅ Use your brand name in your meeting links to make them professional, credible, memorable, and secure.
✅ Automatically pause your campaigns for prospects who book a meeting, and focus on the ones who are most interested and ready to buy.
✅ Connect various popular online calendars such as Apple Calendar, Google Calendar, Outlook Calendar, etc. to never miss any meeting opportunity with prospects.
✅ Sync with all major calendars such as Apple Calendar, Google Calendar, and Outlook Calendar, and never worry about double booking or missing a meeting again.
✅ Automate the scheduling process and let SmartReach handle the notifications, reminders, and follow-ups for you and your participants.
✅ Customize your meeting scheduling and distribute your meetings evenly across your team, find the best time for everyone, and add buffers to avoid back-to-back meetings.
✅ Limit the number of meetings per day or week and set minimum notice periods to protect your time and energy.
✅ Connect with your preferred CRMs and keep your lead status updated after every meeting, without any manual data entry.
✅ Trust the robust and secure data encryption and protection of SmartReach, which meets the highest standards of compliance and privacy such as SOC Type-2, GDPR, etc.
To gain access to SmartReach Meeting Scheduler, you have to subscribe to any SmartReach plans. SmartReach plans starting at $29/month.
SmartReach.io is a sales engagement platform used for prospecting, outreach, engagement, and outreach response management.
Try it for free today and see how it can boost your productivity and revenue.
Calendly is one of the most widely used standalone online meeting scheduling tools, with over 10 million users worldwide. It’s a free tool for a single user with limited functionality.
It allows you to create simple and elegant meeting requests, and share them with anyone via a link or an embed. It integrates with various calendar and communication platforms, such as Google Calendar, Outlook, Zoom, Teams, and more.
It also offers customization and automation options, such as setting your availability rules, adding questions or forms, sending confirmation and reminder emails, and more.
Calendly has a free plan for up to one calendar and one event type, and paid plans starting from $8 per month per user.
#3 Appointment Scheduling with Google Calendar
Appointment Scheduling with Google Calendar works for everyone (especially Android users). It is free and secure, and you can use it on any device to book appointments, events, and tasks with the RSV option.
It is suitable for both personal and business use. For business use, you can combine it with Google Workspace for a more powerful meeting scheduling tool.
For personal use, it’s FREE. However, for business use, you need Google Workspace plans starting at $6/month/user.
Doodle is a powerful free online meeting scheduling tool that helps you book meetings faster and easier. Doodle is trusted by over 10 million users worldwide and rated highly by G2 and Capterra.
With Doodle, you can create and share personalized booking pages, integrate with your favorite apps, invite participants to vote on the best time and date, manage multiple calendars, and enjoy high-level security and privacy.
Coming to pricing, Doodle offers a FREE forever plan for unlimited 1:1 meetings with limited functionality. However, to use all the features, customization options, and different settings you need to subscribe to their paid plans starting at $6.95/month/user.
Try Doodle for free and see how it can save you time and hassle.
#5 Zoho Bookings
Zoho Bookings is a meeting scheduling tool that helps you manage your appointments and services with ease.
With Zoho Bookings, you can offer online or offline, paid or free, one-on-one or group services to your customers. You can customize your booking page, booking form, notifications, and scheduling options to match your brand and business. You can also support multiple languages and time zones to cater to a global audience.
Zoho Bookings is part of the Zoho Business suite, which means you can leverage the power of other Zoho apps and tools. For example, you can sync your meetings with Zoho CRM, accept payments with Zoho Invoice, host online meetings with Zoho Meeting, and send SMS alerts with Zoho SMS. Zoho Bookings also works with Google, Outlook, and other popular calendars and online meeting platforms.
Zoho Bookings offers a FREE forever plan for a single user with limited functionality perfect for individuals, solopreneurs, etc. However, for business use, you need to subscribe to their paid plans starting at $6/month/user.
SimplyBook.me is a meeting scheduling tool especially created for service-based businesses. It has features and payment methods that you can customize to fit your needs and attract more customers.
You can get bookings from different sources, connect with other platforms, and give discounts and vouchers. SimplyBook.me also keeps your data safe with HIPPA standards and works on mobile devices.
Coming to pricing SimplyBook.me offers a FREE entry-level plan and has few features and bookings.
You also have to buy extra features and more bookings separately.
SimplyBook.me’s pricing goes from $0 to $49.9 per month, depending on how many bookings and seats you want.
#7 Notta Meeting Scheduler
Notta Meeting Scheduler is a tool for planning and sharing events with your guests. You can name and describe your event, pick your video platform, set the length, and define your availability. It works with Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Meet, and more.
Notta is easy to use, compatible, secure, and multi-device. It encrypts your data and gives you AI transcriptions.
But Notta is expensive, has poor analytics, limited integration, and needs high-speed internet. Notta’s pricing depends on your bookings and seats.
Notta offers a FREE plan for a single user for a meeting duration of up to 20 hours/month with limited functionality.
For advanced features and longer meeting duration, you have to subscribe to their paid plans starting at $8.25/month.
ScheduleOnce is a powerful and flexible online meeting scheduling tool, with over 100,000 users worldwide.
It allows you to create booking pages and forms to capture and qualify leads and share them with anyone via a link or an embed. It integrates with various calendar, communication, and CRM platforms, such as Google Calendar, Outlook, Zoom, Teams, Salesforce, and more.
It also offers various customization and automation options, such as setting your availability rules, adding custom fields and logic, sending notifications and follow-ups, and more.
ScheduleOnce has a free plan for up to one booking page and one user, and paid plans starting from $9 per month per user.
#9 Acuity Scheduling
Acuity Scheduling is a comprehensive and user-friendly online meeting scheduling tool, with over 50,000 users worldwide.
It allows you to create booking pages and forms to offer and sell your services and share them with anyone via a link or an embed. It integrates with various calendar, communication, and payment platforms, such as Google Calendar, Outlook, Zoom, Teams, and more.
It also offers customization and automation options, such as setting your availability rules, adding coupons and packages, sending invoices and receipts, and more.
Acuity Scheduling has a free plan for up to one calendar and one user, and paid plans starting from $15 per month per user.
5 Best practices for using a meeting scheduling tool
To use an online meeting scheduler tool effectively, here are some tips to follow:
#1 Set your availability rules
You should set your working hours, and time zone, and buffer time between meetings to avoid scheduling meetings at inconvenient or inappropriate times. You should also regularly update your availability to reflect any changes or exceptions in your schedule.
#2 Choose your event types
You should create different event types for different purposes, such as 1:1 meetings, group meetings, webinars, round-robin meetings, Ad hoc appointments, etc.
You should also specify the details of each event type, such as the topic, the duration, the mode of communication, and the possible participants.
#3 Customize your meeting scheduling request form
You should customize your meeting request’s appearance and message to make it more appealing and professional. The branding should catch the eyes of clients.
You should also add any questions or forms that you want the participants to answer to gather more information or feedback from them for self-preparation.
This is handy, especially during client discovery calls where every detail matters.
You should share your meeting request with the participants, either by sending them a link or by embedding it on your website, social media handles, or email signature.
For sales reps, it is advised to share the link with their email signature. If you are a large size company looking to hold a webinar or event, embedding the link to the website can be most beneficial.
You should also follow up with them, to remind them about a meeting they have scheduled. To automate this reminder process, you can use tools like Microsoft Bookings, Calendly, and Google Calendar which send automatic notifications, and email to the meeting participants beforehand..
#5 Confirm and sync the meeting
You should confirm the meeting date and time with all the participants and add it to your calendar. You should also sync the meeting with your communication platform, such as Zoom or Teams, and send reminders to everyone before the meeting.
Also, for the sales guys, having a scheduling tool like HubSpot Meeting Scheduler or SmartReach Meeting Scheduler will automatically sync your prospect lead database in the CRM based on the outcome of your prospect discovery calls.
Consider these 5 factors before choosing a meeting scheduling tool
To choose the right online meeting scheduling tool for your needs, here are some factors to consider:
#1 Features and functions
First, jot down all your needs for using a meeting scheduling tool. Then, you should compare the features and functions of different online meeting scheduling tools, and see which ones match your needs and preferences.
You should also check the compatibility and integration of the tools with your existing calendar and communication platforms.
For example, if your use case is sales,
- Check if the meeting scheduler provides a CRM sync to update your lead status.
- Check if it supports native integration with automation tools like Zapier so that you can automate your sales outreach process.
- Check if it integrates with widely used calendars such as Outlook Calendar, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar, etc. so that you can set up calls effectively with prospects using these calendars.
#2 Pricing and plans
You should compare the pricing and plans of different meeting scheduling tools, and see which ones fit your budget and requirements. An agency’s budget will be different than an enterprise-level company’s, and so will their frequency of usage.
If you have some cash lying here and there, go for an annual plan of these meeting scheduling tools rather than going for a monthly plan. It saves you some money and builds a long-lasting relationship with these companies.
If you are a solopreneur or a garage agency, go for some free versions before you subscribe to any plan.
#3 Customer support
You should also check the availability and quality of the customer support and service of the tools. Check their SLAs, average response time, response mediums, etc.
For example, at SmartReach.io, we provide customer support 24/6 via email, website, zoom call, etc. with an average response time of 6 mins.
#4 Reviews and ratings
You should read the reviews and ratings of different meeting scheduling tools, and see what other users have to say about them. Leverage sites like G2 and Capterra to read detailed reviews.
You should also check the reputation and credibility of the tools and their developers. Use a platform like LinkedIn to check the company and developer’s credibility.
#5 Security and data protection
This is an important factor (if not the most important one) to consider when choosing an online meeting scheduling tool. Always look for tools that are based on SaaS architecture.
✅ Choose a tool that has been built upon AWS or GSC for robust application infrastructure.
✅Check if this tool follows security and data protection compliances like SOC-2, GDPR, SSL, CCPA, etc.
Meeting scheduling tool: conclusion
Congratulations! For reading this blog till the end. I hope you enjoyed this post and learned something new about online meeting scheduling tools.
Use the meeting schedulers mentioned in the blog and let me know which one you find the best.
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