If you’ve made it to this page, you likely already know how impactful your booking and scheduling process can be on your business.
Having a reliable automated scheduling tool saves you a lot of time wasted manually setting appointments and preparing email reminders.
Not to mention, it eliminates the risk of giving an important client the wrong date and time, which is critical, especially if you have a business that relies heavily on client meetings.
Using these tools isn’t only necessary for small businesses and freelancers. It’s also a priority for large companies and teams since the bigger the team is, the more challenging its scheduling needs are.
That’s why, no matter what your business nature is, you probably need a scheduling tool to help you establish automated workflows.
In this article, we’ll compare two of the biggest names in the scheduling solutions market; Calendly vs. Acuity.
Of course, they’re not made with the same ideal users in mind, so read on to see which one is better suited for you!
Calendly vs. Acuity at a Glance
Many people will tell you that one is better for small businesses than the other, but the truth is that they’re both very capable of meeting scheduling solutions for any kind of business.
Your choice depends on your budget and your business needs.
The main difference between the two is their pricing plans and the number of features that Acuity packs in comparison to Calendly.
Calendly focuses on scheduling functionality as its core feature and eliminates fluff or non-essential features.
This makes it great if you want to start scheduling events immediately and don’t have any other administrative needs.
It also means that the lowest-paid plans Calendly offers are significantly more affordable than Acuity’s plans.
On the other hand, Acuity’s main advantage is that it seamlessly combines many functions on top of meeting scheduling, such as invoicing, appointment packages, seamless credit card payments, gift cards, and a CRM.
Of course, Acuity’s extra feature may not be necessary or relevant for your business.
In that case, Calendly is likely to be your best option, mainly because it has more affordable plans and can support over 1,000 users.
What Do Calendly and Acuity Have in Common?
Here’s a list of the similarities between the two tools.
- Both tools let you eliminate back-and-forth emails with clients or team members to determine a mutually acceptable meeting date.
- They give your people the ability to self-schedule meetings.
- They let you set your availability and integrate them into external calendars such as Google Calendar, iCloud, or Outlook.
- They automate the process of notifying you and your invitees at and before the time of your online meetings.
- They allow your clients, team members, or invitees to reschedule and cancel meetings within a timeframe that you decide.
- They can detect the user’s time zone to book appointments without the inevitable miscommunication with timing. You’ll especially love this feature if you’ve ever gone through the pain of group scheduling across time zones.
- They have a free trial with some differences, so you don’t have to commit to one or the other if you have time to try both.
- They let you set buffer times before and after each appointment booking or put a cap on the total number of hours or meetings booked in a day.
Calendly vs. Acuity: The Ultimate Comparison!
Although Calendly and Acuity are both marketed as scheduling tools, there’s quite a lot of difference between them in terms of functionality.
You can almost say that Calendly is optimized purely for scheduling meetings, while Acuity is more of a comprehensive tool to manage all things appointment booking.
Here’s how they stack up against each other regarding each feature.
Right off the bat, you can see that Calendly’s user interface is stripped down and straight to the point, so it requires virtually no time to understand and navigate comfortably.
Acuity, on the other hand, is a lot to take in at first. It has a steeper learning curve and isn’t super intuitive compared to Calendly.
That said, it’s straightforward to use once you set up the initial settings. Also, you don’t need any sort of technical knowledge to be able to use and navigate Acuity scheduling software comfortably.
It just means that the base functionalities you’ll need won’t be as front and center as they are in Calendly.
This might slow you down when setting up the service, but it’ll have no negative impact on your experience after that.
One of the most remarkable points about Acuity is that it offers customization tools that change the whole look and feel of the platform. You can use these to integrate your logo and brand colors.
That also extends to the amount of customization you can do with the email notifications your clients and users receive on and before the event.
Of course, Calendly offers you a bit of customization as well. Still, it’s pretty limited in comparison, especially since most customization options are only available with the Professional plan, which isn’t the most affordable.
On the free plan, you can add your business name but can’t remove Calendly’s branding.
As for the customization available with the other plans, it simply allows you to add your logo and business name and remove Calendly’s logo and colors.
Without customization, Calendly may look more visually pleasing than Acuity for your customers. This is because it’s more minimalistic and has an overall more modern look than Acuity.
One of the most important aspects to look at when comparing Calendly and Acuity is the ability to integrate them with other existing software that you may already be using.
These integrations allow you to expand the way you use these platforms exponentially.
It’s important to know that many integrations are only available in the paid plans within both scheduling tools. You can get more details on the latest available integrations on Calendly and Acuity‘s websites.
Video Conference Service Integrations
After the pandemic hit, most people have grown accustomed to having most of their meetings online unless it’s necessary to be there in person.
As a result, any scheduling software would be much less helpful if it didn’t have direct integrations with the most popular video conferencing platforms used today.
Both Acuity and Calendly can integrate your new bookings with all your video conference details without you having to shuffle to send the correct meeting link to your client or team.
Calendly integrates with a few more video conferencing services than Acuity, such as Webex and Microsoft Teams.
Both scheduling tools integrate with all the popular calendar apps, including Google Calendar, Outlook, and iCloud.
They also both offer calendar apps that you can use to check and manage your appointment scheduling software and get notifications for new bookings while you’re on the go.
Both platforms know just how crucial CRMs are for any business administration. That’s why they’re both optimized for a dozen different platforms, such as Salesforce, HubSpot, Pipedrive, and many more.
It’s important to mention that Acuity does have the upper hand here since it has a built-in CRM system that makes it quite a bit easier to use than it would be with Calendly.
It’s also worth noting that you only have access to CRM integration with Calendly on premium plans, but they’re still likely to be more affordable than those of Acuity.
The people behind Calendly openly share that they don’t offer a lot of extra features because they’re 100% focused on doing their core feature as efficiently as possible, which is scheduling.
You can say it’s a traditional appointment management tool, not a luxurious one.
Out of the two, Calendly offers the best team schedule management capabilities. It can sync up to six calendars per user and is better optimized to find the best availability for multiple calendars than Acuity.
However, Acuity scheduling tool is feature-rich compared to Calendly, mainly because it includes many features that don’t center around scheduling.
For example, Acuity has a client management system that can be incredibly useful for businesses that have many returning clients or emphasize client retention.
It allows you to keep track of each client’s information, past comments, history of booking, and much more.
Also, if you have a Squarespace website, Acuity would be a great choice since it’s owned by Squarespace and works effortlessly with it.
Of course, you may not need all these features, so you should assess your business requirements before paying for the software.
Another vital feature that’s unique to Acuity is its integrated forms. You can create bespoke forms to collect client information as part of the appointment booking process, be it agreement or intake forms.
Finally, Acuity scheduling tool allows your attendees to choose from different locations, which is incredibly useful for businesses with an international team.
Pricing and Free Trials
This is going to be the other major win in Calendly’s favor between these two platforms for potential users, as it’s much more affordable.
Calendly boasts of having a free plan that gives access to one calendar and has only one type of event available for booking.
Of course, there are some drawbacks to having a free plan on Calendly, such as being unable to send automatic reminders or follow-ups and not having access to customization or many essential integrations. But as long as it’s free, you’ve got nothing to lose if you try it.
While Acuity also has a free plan, it isn’t as long as Calendly’s. Also, the most expensive plan Calendly offers is still more affordable than Acuity’s most basic plan.
You can click here and here to see Calendly and Acuity’s prices, respectively.
Finally, we reach the part of the comparison that’ll save you when you’re having trouble with the service.
Both services have many resources in their help center that let you find the answers to all your questions. However, Calendly’s resources are far better than Acuity’s.
Calendly’s categories and topics are easy to navigate, and its help pages are full of step-by-step tutorials, including screenshots for most steps.
It even has a whole collection of video tutorials for just about everything you can do with its scheduling tool.
Acuity’s resources aren’t so easy to navigate and are crammed with text, so you might feel a little lost till you find the info you’re looking for.
Neither scheduling platforms have phone support, but they both have effective and robust live chats where you can converse with real people (after some basic questions with a chatbot.)
Having a reliable online appointment scheduling tool is crucial for most businesses nowadays.
You’ll find endless options when researching the best scheduling solutions,but Calendly and Acuity will always be in the top 5.
Comparing the two tools, we found that Calendly is easier to use in almost all aspects and much more affordable.
Meanwhile, Acuity scheduling software is a more comprehensive solution for businesses that prefer to keep all their admin work in one place or those looking for more features.
All in all, whether you choose Calendly or Acuity depends on your business needs and how much you want to spend.