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Published on March 22, 2021

7 Best Free Scheduling Apps That Make Scheduling Easier

7 Best Free Scheduling Apps That Make Scheduling Easier

A few years ago, I decided to open up my coaching programmes to the wider world. To achieve this, I would need to shift online and use tools such as Skype and FaceTime. (Zoom was in its infancy back then, and Microsoft Teams was still in development).

One of the first problems I faced was how I was going to schedule my coaching appointments. I live on the east side of the world in North-East Asia, and most of my clients live in North America and Europe. I realized I would be working with up to seventeen hours time difference.

To overcome this difficulty, I began searching for a scheduling service that would automate my calls.

A scheduling service allows you to set the parameters for when a person can schedule an appointment with you. So, all I needed to do was set the times I would be available for a call or meeting, and the person who wanted to schedule a call with me could select a time from the times I made myself available through a link I shared with them. This avoided me having to email back and forth, trying to find a suitable time for both of us.

Scheduling services have come a long way over the last few years, becoming quite a competitive market. One of the advantages of using such a service is that once a person has scheduled a meeting with you, most of these services will add the appointment to your calendar and send out reminders to all parties about the meeting.

With many of us now working from home, the advantage of using a scheduling service is you can set up different time blocks in the day when people can arrange a meeting with you, and you can keep time in the day free of meetings, so you can embark on some quality deep work without worrying about being disturbed.

As long as you share your scheduling link with your colleagues and clients, you can be safe knowing that your carefully planned out day will not be disturbed by people trying to find a mutually convenient time for you to have a meeting.

Below I have listed out my top seven free scheduling services you can use to bring a lot more control to your day.

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1. Square

    Square is one of the most popular free services. Square is not just a scheduling service. You can run a business through this service, too as it allows you to take payments and keep track of your clients.

    If you are a personal trainer, a coach, teacher, hairdresser or any other business that requires your customers and clients to schedule appointments with you, then Square is a great option to go with.

    Square integrates with Google Calendar and has a mobile app for both iOS and Android to manage your appointments wherever you are.

    2. Calendly

      Possibly, the most popular scheduling service, Calendly integrates with almost all types of calendar; whether you are using Google Calendar, Outlook or Apple, Calendly will integrate with it. You can also embed Calendly right into your website.

      More importantly, today, you can also integrate Zoom and Microsoft Teams with Calendly, so all you need do is click on the start meeting right from Zoom or Teams.

      As with Square, this app is perfect for teachers, beauticians, personal trainers and any solopreneur as it allows you to set up your schedule, and your students and clients can pick a time and date that suits them.

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      You can also set scheduling limits so you don’t get any surprises. For instance, you can set it up so that people cannot book an appointment with you less than a few hours before the time.

      3. Bookafy

      Bookafy is another free service that has a lot of power under the hood. You can schedule unlimited appointments and types. Appointment types could be the length of the appointment (30 mins, 60 mins etc.) or, if you are a beautician, the type of service being booked.

      Bookafy’s website is beautiful, which is an important consideration for your own business branding. It is intuitive for your clients and makes the whole scheduling experience a joy.

      You can make sure your customer or colleagues receive all the meeting login details when they schedule the call, and you can also accept payments from your clients through the Bookafy interface.

      4. SimplyBook Me

        SimplyBook Me is a free service where you can customise the add-ons you require. Most of the add-ons are paid services, but if you are searching for a simple, free appointment scheduling service, then SimplyBook me is certainly worth looking at.

        There is a mobile app for managing your appointments. You can also integrate SimplyBook Me with your Facebook page or Instagram account so your customers and clients can schedule appointments through it.

        Reminders are customisable, so you can set a reminder of an appointment for the time you want your clients to be reminded. Most services only offer a 24-hour reminder; with SimplyBook Me, you can set your reminder schedule.

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        5. Picktime

          Picktime is a relatively new service with many features. Its website is both desktop and mobile-friendly and is one of the easiest services for changing or cancelling appointments.

          One of my favourite features of Picktime is you can limit the number of people signing up for a specific meeting. This is an excellent way to run a fitness or yoga class, so you do not get too many participants making your job as the instructor difficult.

          Picktime is quite new to the scene, so all their services are free — now. So if you want a fully-featured and growing service, Picktime might be the scheduling service for you.

          6. 10 TO 8

          10 To 8 is a great scheduling service that guarantees that their free service will be free forever. You are limited to 100 appointments per month, but for a small business looking for a better way to manage meetings and appointments, then 10 TO 8 will do the job for you.

          Like, Picktime, you can use 10 TO 8 to schedule classes, and you can set up recurring appointments if, for example, you run the same class each day or week at the same time.

          Another benefit of using 10 TO 8 is you can set up your Stripe or PayPal accounts, so you can take payments when a customer schedules an appointment with you saving you the hassle of chasing payments.

          7. Google Calendar

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            Finally, a little known feature in Google Calendar is the ability to set up a calendar where your clients can schedule appointments. It is rather less automated than the services above, but it does work.

            I used this service many years ago when I taught English. All I needed to do was set up the time blocks I was available and send the calendar link to my students. They then could pick and choose the times that would work for them.

            There are no automated reminders; it would depend on whether your client or colleague has reminders set up on their calendars, but it works, and if you are looking for a service that will always be free and keeps you in control of your times, then Google Calendar will do the trick for you.

            Bottom Line

            You have a lot of choice with scheduling services today. Many are free and can be integrated into your website to retain control over your branding.

            Scheduling services can take the pain out of scheduling appointments, and it also allows you to stay in control of your calendar. This is one of the best features of this service for me. I can get on with my work, safe knowing I will not be getting unexpected meeting invites or phone calls. I can refer people to my scheduling service and let that do all the hard work for me.

            More Useful Productivity Tools

            Featured photo credit: Thom Bradley via unsplash.com

            More by this author

            Carl Pullein

            Dedicated to helping people to achieve their maximum potential through better time management and productivity.

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            Last Updated on March 17, 2021

            35 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2021 Updated)

            35 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2021 Updated)

            Over the years here at Lifehack, we’ve discussed plenty of apps that you can use to improve your overall productivity.

            There are certain ones that many of our contributors and editors (past and present) have adopted over the long-term — there are always the stalwarts that stick around. But there are also new apps that crop up every day, adding more and more depth to the app category.

            Some of the apps are incredibly plain and simple, while others are more robust and offer more features than you can shake a stick at. And everyone has the one they prefer.

            It’s been our job (and still is our job) to keep abreast of all of the productivity-type apps out there. As a result — and as a bit of a refresher — we’ve put together a list of 35 best productivity apps for iPhone (all categorized based on their functions) to provide you with an all-in-one resource for you.

            For Getting Things Done

            1. OmniFocus

            This app is, while pricey, considered to be one of the (if not the) most robust and full-featured productivity apps on the market.

            Download it here.

              2. Forest

              Train yourself to put your phone down and stay focused on the task at hand by playing with this planting game. It’s fun and will help you achieve more.

              Download it here.

                3. Things

                Another robust choice, this app is a favorite amongst “productivityists”.[1]

                Download it here.

                   

                   

                  4. Any.Do

                  A beautiful-looking app that is both easy on the eyes and your wallet.

                  Download it here.

                    5. PocketLife Calendar

                    This calendar app is specifically designed to be stylish and super easy-to-use. You can organize your life easily with different modern features.

                    Download it here.

                      6. Asana

                      We’ve covered Asana here at Lifehack

                      , and it is being actively developed by a strong team committed to making collaborative task management a more efficient and effective experience.

                      Download it here.

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                        7. ToDoist

                        This app keeps track of everything – from simple errands to your most important projects – so you can get it all done and enjoy more peace of mind along the way.

                        Download it here.

                           

                           

                          8. Calendars 5

                          This calendar app focuses on events that help you to keep track of upcoming events and tasks easily. It has everything you need to organize, track, and complete your to-dos.

                          Download it here.

                            9. Clear – Tasks, Reminders & To-Do Lists

                            A fun and innovative list-making app that relies on swiping and pinching to make things happen. Clear created a lot of buzz when it launched, and might be the perfect to-do list gateway app for many.

                            Download it here.

                              10. Due

                              A robust reminders app that lets you store and maintain reminders of all types. It’s replaced Reminders for me when it comes to the basics, and it’s worth a look if you want to keep the mundane stuff out of your head and cluttering your mind.

                              Download it here.

                                11. Checkmark 2

                                I use this app

                                for location-based reminders (such as groceries I need to get or single items I need to pick up from various locations). Checkmark is simple to use and valuable addition to my productivity arsenal.

                                Download it here.

                                  12. TeuxDeux

                                  Created by Tina Roth Eisenberg and Fictive Kin — TeuxDeux is simple and incredibly stellar in terms of design. If you like lists (including the popular “Someday Bucket”) and want to associate dates with tasks, then TeuxDeux will be right up your alley.

                                  Download it here.

                                     

                                     

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                                    13. Nirvana

                                    For the GTD enthusiasts, there’s Nirvana. Straight from the source: “Nirvana frees your mind to focus on actually getting things done. If you’ve had enough of generic to-do lists, it’s time for Nirvana.”

                                    Download it here.

                                      14. Priorities

                                      An elegant-looking task management app that has received decent reviews,[2] this could be the one for you if you’re not a fan of OmniFocus or Things — especially if you need (or want) to share tasks with others.

                                      Download it here.

                                        For Building Habits

                                        15. Productive

                                        With this app, you can plan your habits with an easy-to-use interface, schedule habits for any time of the day, set smart reminders for each time of the day, and stay on track with useful feedback. This app is perfect for anyone who wants to build a habit that sticks.

                                        Download it here.

                                          16. Habitica: Gamified Taskmanager

                                          You can complete tasks and build habits in a more fun way with this app. Input your Habits, your Daily goals, and your To-Do list, and then create a custom avatar. Check off tasks to level up your avatar and unlock features such as armor, pets, skills, and even quests.

                                          Download it here.

                                            17. Streaks

                                            This app follows the model of the popular “don’t break the chain method” in that you use the app to track how you are donig in the pursuit of your goal. Great for goal-setting — and an easy and elegant interface to boot.

                                            Download it here.

                                              18. Remember The Milk

                                              Another popular to-do list app, Remember The Milk has a huge following. It has plenty to offer, including the ability to share tasks with others.

                                              Download it here.

                                                19. Day One Journal

                                                When it comes to journaling, nothing really beats Day One. Its latest update added a slew of features that will make you want to start making journaling a habit.

                                                Download it here.

                                                  For Files Organization

                                                  20. Evernote

                                                  Touted as the world’s most widely-used productivity app, Evernote is an be used simply as a notetaking app or can be customized to be your GTD app of choice — among other things.

                                                  Download it here.

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                                                    21. Pocket

                                                    You can save an article, video, or link you want to read or watch later to Pocket from anywhere including your computer, Safari, email, and your favorite apps like Facebook, Twitter, Flipboard, and Feedly.

                                                    Download it here.

                                                      22. Sync.Me

                                                      This app identifies unknown phone calls, warns you from annoying spam calls, and adds a caller picture to your contacts from Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

                                                      Download it here.

                                                        23. Droplr

                                                        One of the most popular file-sharing apps out there today. Straight from the source: “Stay productive on the go. Droplr for iPhone keeps you in sync and makes sharing on the iPhone natural.”

                                                        Download it here.

                                                          24. Dropbox

                                                          Before iCloud, there was Dropbox. And there still is Dropbox, which is still widely used by both Mac and PC users all over the globe. It’s like having a flash drive on your iPhone. A must-have.

                                                          Download it here.

                                                             

                                                            For Working Smarter

                                                            25. Captio

                                                            A simple capture tool. Straight from the developers: “It’s simple. Open Captio and start typing. When you’re done, hit Send. The note is immediately delivered to your email inbox.”

                                                            Download it here.

                                                              26. Drafts

                                                              A tremendous capture tool that allows for simple capture, followed by sending items to various applications such as OmniFocus, Things, and more.

                                                              Download it here.

                                                                27. NoteShelf 2

                                                                This is a perfect note-taking app for you. You can take beautiful handwritten notes, type, annotate PDFs, record audio & create lists. You can organize them into categories or groups.

                                                                Download it here.

                                                                  28. Doodle

                                                                  This app links directly with the Doodle service, which is one that allows you to plan and organize meetings far more efficiently and effectively. Lifehack contributor Steve Dotto has written about Doodle more in-depth here.

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                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                    29. TextExpander (Legacy)

                                                                    I have saved countless hours of time with TextExpander, and despite its inability to be as robust on iOS as it is on the Mac, it is still a worthy app to have in your arsenal.

                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                      30. Launch Center Pro

                                                                      A quick launcher for the iPhone that doesn’t just launch an app…with some of them it can do much more. This app saves you time by launching complex actions in a single tap.

                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                        31. GoodReader

                                                                        This may seem to be an odd one to make this list, but here are plenty of reasons why it is here with this article.

                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                          32. LogMeIn

                                                                          Want to be able to control your Mac from wherever you are? Then get this app.

                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                            For Improving Security

                                                                            33. 1Password

                                                                            There is simply no better password manager out there. I’ve even put together a 1Password Emergency Kit worth looking at here.

                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                              34. LastPass Password Manager

                                                                              You can store passwords and logins, create online shopping profiles, generate strong passwords, track personal information in photo and audio notes.

                                                                              All you have to do is remember your LastPass master password, and LastPass auto-fills web browser and app logins for you.

                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                35. Truecaller

                                                                                Identify and block spammers, search for unknown numbers, and call friends easily with this app. With a community-based spam list from over 250 million users, you’ll need this app.

                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                  There are plenty of other options out there (and we’ve heard from readers in the past as to what they enjoyed using), but these 40 are among the best.

                                                                                  Featured photo credit: William Hook via unsplash.com

                                                                                  Reference

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