Scheduling appointments can quickly become a nightmare if you do not have some automated method of implementation.
Do you have a home or work calendar? Perhaps trying to juggle appointments and activities for the kids? Sound familiar?
I have three major calendars to manage my life...work, home, and family. My family calendar is used for all appointments that the entire family can view such as the numerous volleyball practices and tournaments for Auntie's Angel plus doctor's appointments, school events and more. You get the idea.
I reserve the home calendar just for my appointments. They are generally tasks and reminders for me of what needs to be completed but do not impact the family. Last of course is the Work calendar and naturally, that is for work associated appointments and tasks.
My Mac keeps everything in sync via the cloud but as I began to schedule appointments with clients, managing this was starting to take a toll on my time. Add in timezone differences, back and forth emails and phones too coordinate times was starting to wear on my nerves.
As my nickname, @QueenGeek indicates, I looked to technology to assist in my scheduling needs.
Anyone who knows me gets that I love technology but I do not want a product just to say I have it. I want products that reduce my workload, not increase them.
I try to follow the work smarter, not harder philosophy. This is why I chose Acuity Scheduling.
I use Zoom A LOT. If you are not familiar with Zoom, it is an online video conferencing platform that offers a slew of options for personal and business needs. The base plan is FREE for unlimited 1-on-1 calls. Think of Skype when it used to work well years ago. Yes, I said it!!! Instead of Skype or Facetime, Zoom works well and plays with a variety of platforms (Windows, Mac, Desktops, laptops, tablets, phones, etc). Best of all, it is not complicated.
Why am I ranting about Zoom? When I need someone to book an appointment with me, I want an automatic Zoom meeting scheduled for me even if we are only speaking via telephone (or computer audio).
Why is Native integration important? Without it, you may need to use another service, namely Zapier. If you have not used Zapier, it is a wonderful tool that makes it easy for applications or services to "work together".
For instance, if someone made an appointment in Acuity, Zapier could add their names to my E-mail Autoresponder such as ActiveCampaign or Kajabi. In short, it's a "If this, do that" or "If this, then that" program.
However, what happens when you do NOT want to do that. You just want things to work?
That's where Acuity Scheduling comes into play because it offers MORE native integrations to 3rd party apps like Zoom, as well as QuickBooks, Freshbooks, Mailchimp, ConvertKit WITHOUT using Zapier.
I want the easy button!!
With my chosen scheduling tool, Acuity Scheduling, integrates with Zoom (and GoToMeeting and Join.me) seamlessly. There are a host of other functions but NATIVE integration with Zoom and accepting appointments from my Facebook Page sealed the deal for me.
Any scheduling service worth its' weight syncs with the major services, Google, iCloud, Exchange and Office 365. My iCloud home, work, and family calendars sync flawlessly as well as my Google calendar and life is good.
Timezone adjustment is a big deal. Ask anyone who travels or has clients in various parts of the country (or world). Having the timezone automatically adjust to your default time is a must. Fortunately, Acuity handles this in all the paid plans.
Accepting payments online is a big deal. Acuity also integrates with Stripe, Paypal, Authorize.net and more.
Acuity also allows group events, workshops and more. This is huge!! If you have speaking engagements or other group events, then the ability to schedule and accept payments in a single platform is a big deal.
There are more features than these but these are some of the highlights. Since it also integrates with Quickbooks, Freshbooks, and other accounting software, it will grow as your business grows and incorporates some of these solutions.
Of course no good review would be helpful if I didn't discuss cost. Now, I used to use Calendly. It is a wonderful service and it is easy to set up and use. Truthfully, as of this writing, it costs less than Acuity for 1 person but once you need additional calendars, that is where the price vastly differs.
It was not until I set up online calendaring for a client that I did the comparison. For 3 people with a single Google calendar was going to cost $144 PER PERSON ANNUALLY (for SMS)!! That is not a typo. However, with Acuity, it would be $25/month for all 3 accounts.
I may not be a rocket scientist but it was clear that Acuity was the better deal. I asked twice via email to confirm the pricing as I could not believe the difference but it is true.
Needless to say, my vote is that you give Acuity a try and allow it to grow with your business.