Getting more done in less time is a good way to set your business up for success. Conversely, losing track of time or sitting idle for hours is a great way to sabotage your business. Using scheduling software can help you keep your calendar full without going crazy. These services are often designed for booking appointments to a single location – like a dog groomer’s office. To use them effectively for field service, you might have to make some minor tweaks, but it’s a small effort for a solid, free product.
As an example, you could make your location “Client Site” and then simply dispatch your tech to the address associated with the customer. The downside to this is clearly its limited scale. If you’ve got 50 trucks out on the road, you’re not going to be able to make this a viable system. These products are great for small shops, though.
With all that in mind, here are five free scheduling software options, presented in alphabetical order.
Appointy has over 65,000 customers across over 100 countries – not a bad start. With Appointy, you can book customers through your own website, through a site provided by Appointy, or through your Facebook page.
Customers can book individual appointments and schedule out appointments, allowing you to book repeat business right up front. You also have complete control over booking windows, meaning you can give customers anywhere from five minutes to a whole day per booking.
Finally, Appointy comes with tools such as mobile access, notifications, and Google calendar syncing. If you upgrade to a paid platform, you’ll also have access to staff logins, analytics, and some email marketing tools.
At the free level, you’ll have one login with five different services available. You can make unlimited bookings of those services though, through any of the support platforms. Paid plans start at $10 per month and run up to $60 per month.
I like checkAppointments. I’m not sure that a man who sits in front of a computer all day, digging up field service news and nuggets is permitted to have favorites, but if he is, then this might be my favorite on this list.
checkAppointments boasts some pretty popular clients, like Uber and Stanford University – you might remember them from Everything. The system has many of the same features that Appointy offers, but there are some nice little bonuses.
For one, booking home visits is built into the system. You can setup services, display prices to customers as they book, and even make sure customers live in your service area before you get too far into the booking.
You still get unlimited bookings with one user and a single location. Unlike Appointy, checkAppointments doesn’t offer Google syncing at the free level, but it does come with all the paid versions. Those start at $20 per month, going up to $40 per month for the full-on version. You’ll get the ability to accept payments, send text alerts, and creating waiting lists at those levels.
Setmore supports up to 20 staff members in its free incarnation. Like checkAppointments and Appointly, you can book an unlimited number of appointments using the free booking page provided with your account. You can also integrate booking with Facebook, MailChimp, your WordPress site, and a bunch of other platforms.
Setmore has an iOS and Android app, allowing you to manage appointments and get notifications on upcoming events. Staff members will also get their own login info to manage their details and appointments.
You can upgrade to the premium version of the service for $25 per month. That gives you access to SMS reminders, recurring appointments, and online payments.
SimplyBook is a neat free option because it comes with the basic features plus a bonus customization. These are options like more fields, analytics, payments, or mobile app management. The basic system comes with fifty appointments per month, a web page for booking, a Facebook widget, and an unlimited number of services and staff members.
The thing SimplyBook has going for it is its low entry point for additional features.
The downside to the plugin system is that there is really more than one plugin that I’d like to see used at a time. For instance, I want to be able to require sign-off before a booking is approved and mobile app access.
While this is an article on free software, SimplyBook gives you a decent amount for $8 per month. You get four of these customizations and 120 bookings. From there, you can go all the way up to $59 per month to get access to all the plugins plus some other benefits.
You can find a full list of scheduling software solutions in Capterra’s directory, if these four aren’t enough for you. If you’ve got any to add to the list let me know in the comments below.
Looking for Field Service Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Field Service Management software solutions.