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Maintaining a well-managed and efficient work schedule can save you time and stress when planning for your business or organization. Appointment scheduling software systems like Calendly and Acuity can enable you to keep track of events and meetings in real-time and can make it easier for clients to understand your availability.

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What is Calendly?

Calendly is an automated scheduling platform that enables users to schedule professional meetings without the need for excessive email correspondence. In addition, the product aims to uncomplicate the scheduling process for teams and individual users.

What is Acuity?

Acuity is an online appointment scheduling software system. Its automated features provide users with a real-time view of their schedules, so they can manage and keep track of their appointments with ease.

Calendly vs. Acuity: Feature comparison

Calendly and Acuity offer a variety of useful appointment scheduling features to help users manage their time more effectively. But where Calendly offers options for automation, Acuity provides more resources to help users learn the software.

SEE: Feature comparison: Time tracking software and systems (TechRepublic Premium) 

FeatureCalendlyAcuity
Send reminders to meeting inviteesYesYes
Create automated workflowsYesNo
Availability optionsYesYes
Offer classes, workshops or group eventsNoYes
Accepting paymentsYesYes

Availability options

Users of Calendly software can share their availability easily with their clients to schedule meetings during the times that work best. The system does this by enabling the user to set pre-determined availability preferences, which helps the software understand their availability based on meeting types. Users can also set time caps on certain meeting types or allocate buffer periods before or after meetings to allow for smooth transitions between events throughout their schedule. Moreover, the software has automatic timezone detection, reducing the possibility of scheduling errors due to scheduling events across multiple time zones.

Comparatively, Acuity lets users share their schedules with their clients while only showing them what they want them to see. This helps users and clients coordinate their schedules while protecting the user’s privacy. Additionally, they can limit how and when their appointments are scheduled to restrict booking, such as a maximum amount of schedules per week. The Acuity system’s availability feature also automatically avoids start times that wouldn’t leave enough room for the event. Moreover, users can add and edit multiple calendars with their hours of availability, and Acuity can auto-adjust based on time zones to eliminate confusion when scheduling events across various locations.

Invitee reminders

Calendly helps meeting participants stay coordinated on all scheduling plans through their Workflows feature. Their automated event notification tool sends email updates regarding booked events and cancellations to all involved participants. This email will contain a link that invitees can use to add the event to their calendar. Users may also send their invitees email reminders and follow-ups through email and/or text messages days, hours or minutes before the meeting is scheduled to begin. In addition, invitees can unsubscribe to the text notifications, and the emails can be sent using a no-reply email address. The email notifications and reminders can also be customized in the system to make them more specific to the user’s brand or provide more details regarding their meeting or event.

Acuity also keeps users and meeting invitees in sync on all plans with their event reminder features. Their system sends customized reminder emails and texts to clients to reduce the chances of no-shows due to forgotten appointments. Their software provides confirmation, reminder and follow-up emails to invitees to stay notified of their appointments until the time of their meeting. Confirmation emails are beneficial, as system users can see when their invitees have confirmed their appointment via their email. When users receive no confirmation from their invitees, they may send them to a cancellation or rescheduling email flow. And text message reminders can be sent worldwide to invitees to notify them of appointments before they are set to occur.

Accepting payments

Calendly accepts payments from clients through integrations with Stripe and Paypal. Users can set their scheduling options on their website to collect payments when the client chooses their appointment time, so clients can execute their scheduling and pay all in one simple set. By enabling payments, clients can send funds to users safely and conveniently. The system can collect these direct payments through Paypal or credit card payments. Calendly users can also take advantage of the software’s direct integrations with various business apps, including their analytics apps, to gain more insights from their payment processing data.

Acuity also accepts payments and deposits from clients through Stripe, Square or PayPal. Additionally, the software lets users offer appointment packages to their clients that can include payment plans to improve the customer experience and provide more flexibility regarding payments. And Acuity enables users to take care of various payment processes, such as refunding clients, removing cards on file, receiving payments after booking and more. In addition, users can easily view their customer payment data and purchase information within the system.

Choosing between Calendly and Acuity

Calendly and Acuity provide beneficial features to simplify and streamline the event scheduling processes for their users. To choose the best option for you, it would be helpful to consider which of their unique aspects and features would be most beneficial for your scheduling needs.

For example, a user who regularly schedules various types of events of different lengths and preparation-time requirements may benefit more from Calendly’s scheduling availability features. However, a user with a very busy schedule of many paying clients may appreciate a system like Acuity more, with their canceling and rescheduling email flows and extensive payment processing options.