With Google Calendar launching their (now) free booking schedule feature, you might be wondering if you can get away with using it instead of using a paid scheduling tool. In this article, we'll talk about how it stacks up compared to other paid tools like Calendly and Motion.
First, why should you use a scheduling tool?
Scheduling tools allow everyone to be more efficient when coordinating a time to meet.
Instead of going back and forth over email to find a time that works, sending a scheduling link allows the person on the other end to quickly find a time on your calendar that you have available. If a time slot gets taken up by another meeting or appointment, the meeting link is updated in real time, showing only your available time slots which is also convenient.
Using a scheduling tool for the first time can feel like you have a personal assistant working with you!
Google Calendar Appointment Scheduler
The truth of the matter is, Google Calendar is way behind with this scheduling feature. The usability is clunky and limited compared to other tools on the market.
While it allows you to create a booking page, unless you're on a paid version you can't have multiple appointment types within a time slot, making it limiting to use. In our business, we have different booking links for sales calls, customer calls and partnerships that require different team members to be involved. This wouldn't be possible to set up using the Google Calendar Scheduler.
With Google Calendar, you can have a general "Schedule Time with Me" that is a catch all for all types of meetings.
Want to schedule a time with multiple team members? Google Calendar won't allow you to do this, leaving you back in manual-mode coordinating times with multiple people.
This lack of customization may leave you desiring more, feeling frustrated and inevitably opting for a paid solution anyway.
Calendly was one of the first on the market to introduce meeting scheduling in 2013. That said, the current version of the Google Calendar Scheduler is probably similar to what Calendly was when it first launched over a decade ago.
Calendly is a good scheduling tool especially for users who are looking for a barebones way to get started with online scheduling. If you are a single user, you can even get away with using Calendly's free tier, which is going to be much more robust feature-wise than the free Google Calendar scheduler (not to mention a way better UI/UX).
Calendly also works well when integrated with other tools, making it possible to have automations that, for example, update your CRM when when a lead schedules a call.
While Calendly is the most 'famous' online scheduler, there are newer tools that have moved this category forward even more.
A newer tool called Motion allows you to set up multiple booking links depending on the meeting type (with different team members), indicates your preferred booking times around other meetings and also uses AI to automatically rearrange your tasks around your meetings. You get so much more than just a booking scheduler with Motion. For this article, we'll focus on the scheduling features although we recommend checking out the Motion page for a full run-down of why we recommend it.
Another thing we love about Motion is that it offers booking times in natural language, while Google Calendar just offers me a booking link to ask people to click. Many people prefer this way of inviting guests to schedule a time as it's a bit more warm and conversational.
It has a nifty "Generate Message" button with your availability, which automatically copies the format below to send to your guests:
Would any of these time windows work for a 60 min meeting (CDT)?
Thu, Jul 13: 11am - 1pm, 3pm - 5pm
Fri, Jul 14: 12pm - 4pm
Tue, Jul 18: 1pm - 5pm, 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Feel free to use this booking page if that's easier (also contains more availability and will be displayed in your local time zone):
Further, Motion suggests "Preferred" booking times to my guests that are close to other meetings I have, allowing my meetings to be more likely to be scheduled together, allowing me to have more chunked time for focused work.
Overall, our favorite tool is Motion if you are looking for the best in class solution. Motion also has other cool features, like allowing you to add tasks to your calendar, making it a much more powerful tool than Google Calendar alone. If you're thinking of choosing between the Google Calendar Scheduler or Motion, we'd say it's worth spending the extra money on Motion.
If you are just wanting to get a taste of online booking, we'd say use Calendly's free version over the Google Calendar Appointment Scheduling feature as it will give you a better booking experience overall.
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