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3 Time-Saving Online Scheduling Tools to Salvage Your Sanity

Ever feel like you’re at the end of your tether and on the brink of exhaustion -  driving between 5 practices, doing admin, marketing and networking. And still you need to be thinking about how to book more clients?

Fortunately there’s an easy way to start to salvage your sanity and give yourself the extra time you’re after in the process.

At the heart of it all is the struggle for time. After all, how we spend our days is how we spend our lives.

So why not to start introducing the kind of systematic time relievers that will let you spend more time with your kids or have more engaged sessions with clients?

Systemsfree you up from managing repetitive, predictable (and often unnecessary) tasks, let you reclaim your productivity and creativity and return joy & excitement to your work.

(Unless of course you’re waiting until you reach the point of breakdown before taking action)

So, how can you make it happen?

You can start implementing systems in your business today and, in the process, streamline or automate simple, repeatable business tasks.

While there are countless systems you could implement, the good news is that you don’t have to put them all in place today. In keeping with this approach, we’ll be covering one of the most important systems - online appointment scheduling.

Systematise with online scheduling tools that streamline client management

Why your clients will love it 

  1. Booking appointments will be quick and efficient
  2. Their appointments will be automatically scheduled
  3. They’ll receive reminders prior to their appointment

All of which makes you look like a pro…

Systems in practice: A sample online scheduling tool workflow

There are a number of routes your prospective client could take to get to the point where she’s ready to make a booking with you. Let’s take a quick look at 2 of them to see how online scheduling tools could simplify the process.

Route 1: Moving closer to your brand through content

Blog post - Email signup - Welcome email offering free consult call - link to booking page - tool - automatically scheduled + confirmation email 

Having landed on one of your blog posts via Twitter, your potential client (pc) signs up for your mailing list. You automatically send her a welcome email, at the bottom of which you offer a free 15-minute starter consultation. She clicks ‘Book your free consultation call’ and is taken to your booking page. There she chooses a suitable time and confirmation emails are sent to both of you.

Route 2: Booking an appointment

Website (want to book) - through to booking page - shows availability and location - book - automatically scheduled + receive email 

Your potential client (pc) has been referred to you by a friend and is ready to book. She clicks through to your booking page where she is able to choose a time and location that works for her. With a single click she confirms her appointment and both of you receive confirmation emails.

The 3 tools designed to save your sanity

Many of the online scheduling tools offer the same basic functionality but most offer premium paid versions with more advanced features and for larger practice.

1. Calendly

4-min.jpg

In their own words, Calendly offer ‘Simple, beautiful scheduling’ - and it’s hard to argue.

Calendly is a no-fuss online scheduling tool that creates a custom booking page for you and which can be easily embedded in your website. While the free version only allows you to select a single standard meeting length and retains Calendly branding, it integrates perfectly with Google Calendar and is a breeze to use.

Pros

  • Simple, attractive design
  • Fully-functional free version
  • Embed in your own website
  • Integrated with Google Calendar and Office 365
  • Mobile responsive
  • Email notifications

Cons

  • Key features only available on paid plans
  • ‘Powered by Calendly’ branding on free version
  • No customisable email notifications on free plan

Pricing

  • Free version
  • Premium - 7GBP per user per month

2. Acuity Scheduling

3-min.jpg

Acuity offers simple online scheduling features hosted both on your own Acuity page and on your website (embedding with simple code or a Wordpress plugin). Again, features in the free version are limited but may well be enough for a small practice.

Pros

  • Clients can schedule their own appointments
  • Fully-functional free version
  • Embed in your own website
  • Integrated with Google Calendar and Office 365
  • Unlimited service options
  • Advanced reports on account activity

Cons

  • No time zone conversion in free plan
  • Reminder emails only on premium
  • Acuity branding
  • Colours not customisable on free plan

Pricing

  • Free version
  • Premium - 8.65GBP per user per month

3. TimeTrade Scheduling

5-min.jpg

Widely used in the healthcare field, TimeTrade is one of the more advanced online scheduling tools. There’s no free plan available but there is a 15-day free trial and pricing is competitive for the Individual plan. TimeTrade also includes extensive learning resources.

Pros

  • Unlimited bookings and appointment types
  • Mobile booking
  • Outlook, iCal & Google Calendar integration
  • Custom branding
  • Knowledge base and extensive support

Cons

  • For the more tech-savvy
  • Not the most attractive option
  • No free version

Pricing

  • Individual plan - 33.60GBP per year

Our pick

We use Calendly in our business because of its simplicity, Google Calendar integration and minimalist design. It’s easy to embed in a WordPress site and the free option offers all the functionality we need.

Meet the team behind the keyboards:

The UX Advisors -James Longley- Conversion Copyriter.
The UX Advisors -James Longley- Conversion Copyriter.

James Longley

  • Copywriter & Content Strategist
  • Kayaker & Paleo enthusiast
The UX Advisors -Sveta Kornienko- Conversion Consultant
The UX Advisors -Sveta Kornienko- Conversion Consultant

Sveta Kornienko

  • Digital & Content Strategist
  • Believer in nutritions' healing power