Booking calendarAs cliche and as overstated as it may be, the truth is that time can really be money, especially when it comes to the world of business. If you get caught up spending too much time on administrative and logistical tasks, you can’t spend that time on other activities, like content creation, brand management, and customer acquisition. Tasks that can be suitably and reliably automated probably should be, so long as the end result still meets your core objectives.

A terrific example of this is when you are trying to arrange for appointments or meetings, whether that’s with colleagues, potential partners, or customers. Rather than endure a frustrating game of voicemail tag or try to survive an endless back-and-forth email exchange, why not leverage one of the many great auto-scheduling tools to get everyone aligned for a mutually convenient time?

Calendly

Clean and elegant online booking with Calendly

Clean and elegant online booking with Calendly

If you are looking for a clean and simple approach to auto-scheduling, consider adding Calendly to your list of business tools. It allows for multiple types of meetings, including one-on-one, groups, and even a “round robin” system that automatically distributes these meetings among team members. Calendly works perfectly with Google Calendar, Office 365, Salesforce, GoToMeeting, and a wealth of other existing tools, adding in useful features like “buffers” between meetings and daily limits. The basic plan is totally free, but comes with a more limited feature set. The premium and pro plans are $8 and $12, respectively, per user per month when billed annually.

SimplyBook.me

SimplyBook.me offers widgets for WordPress and Facebook

SimplyBook.me offers widgets for WordPress and Facebook

Book appointments and meetings where your contacts already are on the Internet. With SimplyBook.me, you can integrate widgets into WordPress and Facebook to accept these meeting requests directly. The software is fully mobile responsive, making it easy to create your own booking website, and it integrates seamlessly with PayPal, Stripe and other payment portals too. For service-based businesses, you can even handle easy rescheduling and multiple users. The free plan includes up to 50 bookings with one custom feature. From there, you can unlock more with the basic, standard and premium plans starting at $9.90/month.

ScheduleOnce

Enjoy seamless integration with your existing services

Enjoy seamless integration with your existing services

Geared toward following “every phase of the customer lifecycle,” ScheduleOnce is ideal for such industries as financial services, consulting and coaching, and health and wellness, among others. Like others on this list, you can use ScheduleOnce to create your own personal booking page. Customers can then go through the easy wizard to pick the time, location and service that works best for them. The meeting is then added to everyone’s calendars automatically. It also integrates seamlessly with everything from Infusionsoft to Outlook. Monthly plans range from $5 to $49 per user per month, depending on the features and how many booking pages per user you need.

Appointlet

Auto-scheduling with a focus on growing your sales

Auto-scheduling with a focus on growing your sales

Another tool with more of a sales-oriented focus is Appointlet, which promises to help you “turn more prospects into customers by letting them book you right away, without the costly back-and-forth.” After setting your availability, your personal booking page can then be easily integrated into your website, emails and landing pages. They say you can see up toa 300% increase in conversion rates, saving up to 80% of your sales cycle time. You can collect payment via Stripe too.

You Can Book Me

You Can Book Me keeps it simple with just one price plan

You Can Book Me keeps it simple with just one price plan

You’ll need to link up to either a Google or an iCloud (or both) account to use You Can Book Me. From there, you control your availability and receive bookings by posting your booking grid on Facebook, to your website, or via email. When you get booked, you’ll automatically receive a detailed email message and the meeting will be added directly to your linked calendar. Adjust default appointment times and amount of padding between appointments to suit your needs. This works for multiple users too. Pricing is set at $10/month with discounts when you pre-pay for one or two years at a time.

Image credit: Photosteve101 / Flickr

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