Appointments per month:
Only one in the free version
Only email in the free version
Email, live chat, phone, help center
Windows, MacOS, Android
The best free scheduling software doesn’t necessarily come from huge companies with decades of experience. Bookafy was born out of one man’s desire to organize his own company’s workflow. Fast forward several years and his business scheduling software has grown into a global powerhouse used by individuals, small businesses, and large companies worldwide.
When it comes to pricing, Bookafy has three main plans, including one that’s completely free. There are also negotiable options available for enterprises, start ups, and non profit organizations. All of the paid plans have annual and monthly subscription options.
Bookafy’s free online scheduling tool includes more features than most competitors offer. You get a free site complete with a booking app, unlimited appointments and services, the ability to customize colors and fonts, limit future bookings, and even send email reminders and confirmations. But it only comes with support for one user/login, just like Acuity.
Next up is the Pro plan, which costs $7 or $9 per month depending on whether you’re paying on a monthly or a yearly basis. The most important addition is support for unlimited users. You also get calendar integration and payment processing, as well as one SMS reminder per month (no text reminders are available with their free appointment scheduling software).
The final tier (Pro+) costs between $11 and $13 per month and adds a lot of advanced features, such as the ability to connect an entire organization’s Exchange account. You also get two customizable SMS reminders per month, Zapier integration and a few more advanced features such as custom fields on your booking calendar.
As with Acuity, Bookafy has unlimited appointments and appointment types with its free scheduling plan but only one calendar/staff login and no calendar integrations. The Pro plan adds support for Google, iCal, iCloud Calendar, Outlook, Office365, and Exchange calendars.
When it comes to booking functions, Bookafy’s scheduling software has free support for iFrame and WordPress, allowing you to do basic booking page customizations, such as matching colors and fonts with your brand’s logo. In order to get access to advanced booking features, you’ll need to move to the Pro and Pro+ plans.
Features available behind a paywall include integrations with popular payment processors such as Authorize.net, Stripe, and soon PayPal. You can also create group and class bookings and separate the booking pages that your staff and customers use.
When it comes to customer relationship management, free online scheduling functionality includes automatic non-customizable email reminders and review requests. The Pro plan adds SMS reminders for both staff and clients, and Pro+ lets you customize both types of reminders. Zapier integration also helps automate other integrations and extends your CRM toolbox.
Bookafy’s online schedule app works well on both Windows and MacOS systems. There’s also a very good and lightweight Android app called Bookafy Pro.
The user interface tries something a little different. While the booking calendar seen by the customers looks similar to every other online appointment scheduling software, the staff view here is a little different.
The most important account details such billing/payment information and customer reviews are on the left side of the screen, while the collapsible calendar, customer, and agenda tabs are on the bottom right of the screen in the desktop version. With some WordPress knowledge, you can customize much of the overall look, which is always a bonus.
Customer support is fantastic no matter what plan you choose. In addition to a detailed Learning Center on the site, you can get email, live chat, and phone support or even book a screen sharing call if you are struggling.
When it comes to making the best schedule, an app like Bookafy is a godsend. The free version has a compelling set of features including email reminders and automatic feedback requests, as well as unlimited bookings and appointment types. But if you need payment processing and other advanced features, you’ll need to pony up some cash.