I’ve never understood the popularity of Moleskine planners.
People have these fancy binders and day planners with decorated pages and nice leather outsides, loaded with extra pockets and sleeves and sticky notes.
But does anyone actually like scheduling?
Do people get these things because they find making schedules an enjoyable use of their time? Or is it to make an unpleasant task marginally better? If that’s the case, then why don’t they have nice things like that for their employee scheduling, too?
Scheduling bites. It quickly goes from feeling simple to feeling completely overwhelming. And if your job involves constantly changing hours and shifts, then watch out.
What could possibly make scheduling not the worst thing ever? I’m sure some color-coded fancy paper would be nice. But I bet that employee scheduling software would help a lot more!
I’ve collected for you the top ten highest user-ranked scheduling software products out right now, with a bit of extra info directly from the reviewers about what makes them so popular.
These tools are organized by number of reviews and rating. They might not make scheduling your employees fun, but they’ll certainly make it better.
1. Booker — 4.5/5 stars (284 reviews)
Booker is a scheduling and employee tracking HR suite targeted at small businesses. It offers specific customized interfaces for businesses like salons, spara, dog groomers, tattoo parlors, and others. According to reviewers, it has a clean, well thought out interface and design. However, they also note that glitches are slow to be fixed, and the system might be too hefty if all you need is scheduling.
Interestingly, some reviewers noted that the system fails for them because it does not support Internet Explorer. If this is your issue, I suggest you take a moment and download Chrome. Thank me later.
Price: Starts at $85/month
2. When I Work — 4.5/5 stars (53 reviews)
When I Work is a scheduling program for hourly employees. It offers manual and mobile check in, so you can see when your employees arrive, and even tracks paid time off.
Reviewers love the team communication features, but note that if your employees are salaried, most of the features will be unnecessary for you. Employees cannot view their colleagues’ time off, and depending on your field that might be perfect or cause scheduling traffic jams. The biggest pain point mentioned in reviews was When I Work’s inability to automatically repeat schedules, meaning that users must copy repeat schedules manually.
Price: Starts a $9/month for up to ten users, scales from there
3. ScheduFlow — 5/5 stars (46 reviews)
ScheduFlow is a desktop application that allows you to schedule both employees and appointments, which is useful for client and appointment-based businesses.
Reviewers like the extremely organized, clean layout and the fact that the calendars and schedules are printable (actually printable, not messy). However, the reviews note ScheduFlow has a lot of similarities to free programs like Google Calendar, and have mentioned that reporting could be more robust.
Price: Starts at $9.95/month
4. NimbleSchedule — 4.5/5 stars (45 reviews)
NimbleSchedule is a straightforward web-based scheduling program that also offers some light HR management functionality. Reviewers find that it’s a very convenient program for employees, allowing for open shifts and shift swaps. It also notifies employees via push notifications when they have a shift about to start.
However, both of these functions have some drawbacks in that all employee self-scheduling is subject to supervisor approval, and the constant updates can flood your in-software inbox. While reviewers mention that the mobile functionality is less responsive than desktop, mobile functionality does exist. Also, time-off requests can be managed entirely in-app, which is pretty cool.
Price: $1 per user/month
Reviewing NimbleSchedule is easy, just click here.
5. ZoomShift — 4.5/5 stars (43 reviews)
ZoomShift is a scheduling tool targeted at people who are still using Excel. (Is that you? I see you out there. Don’t be ashamed, you’re taking steps to be better!)
Reviewers like the integration of scheduling with accounting. ZoomShift shows employee billing per employee per month. Reviewers also found it very easy to use the light software, and enjoy saving their shift templates for easy reuse.
However, some note that the employee self-service is limited, and employees can clock in and out on mobile devices without being on-site, which may enable dishonesty. ZoomShift also doesn’t differentiate between locations, so it’s not suitable for use across franchises.
Price: $1.50 per user/month
Used ZoomShift? Review here.
6. Deputy — 5/5 stars (42 reviews)
Deputy is a scheduling, payroll, and employee administration system. It functions as a workforce manager and task tracker in addition to time tracking, scheduling, and leave.
Reviewers have commented on its excellent reporting functionality and especially love the newsfeed feature which allows you to post updates and news directly to the application for all employees to see. That said, users are less enthused that the setup is tricky, manager approval for shifts is not instant, and the wage reporting function can be buggy at times.
Price: Starts at $3 per user/month
7. 7Shifts — 5/5 stars (29 reviews)
This one is a bit more specific. 7shifts is a software designed specifically for restaurant scheduling. If that’s not you, you won’t love it, but if it is, this might be a good choice.
Reviewers appreciate the strong franchise tracking — they say that 7shifts handles multiple location scheduling very well. They also love the built-in performance tracking. However, reviewers say that scheduling takes time, as there are no quick click options, and pulling hours for payroll is totally manual. And again, if you’re not in the foodservice industry, 7shifts probably won’t work for your needs.
Love 7Shift or hate it, tell us in a review.
8. CakeHR — 4.5/5 stars (20 reviews)
CakeHR is a fully cloud-based human resource management system designed for small and mid-sized businesses. It handles scheduling, time off, and even some employee benefits.
Reviewers rave about the extensive admin customization options, and the innovative blackout date system, where employees can be blocked from taking certain days off (super useful if your company is one with busy seasons). Less favorite features reviewers have mentioned are the lack of mobile options, absence of an archival system (old records are simply deleted), and how difficult it is to plan more than one day at a time.
Price: $4 per user/month
9. EmpXtrack — 4.5/5 stars (20 reviews)
EmpXtrack software is an HR management system that encompasses scheduling, attendance, employee expenses, and awards.
Reviewers’ favorite features are the basic, easy-to-learn UI for both admins and employees, and the wealth of customization options for appearance, reporting, etc. They also love that EmpXtrack backs up the system automatically.
And the not-so-favorite features? Reviews state the analytics are not particularly robust, and while customization is deep, the vendor builds each program unique to their order, so the more customized, the longer you’ll wait for your installation. The company is based in India, which may cause time difference issues for customer service.
Price: $1.25 per user/month
Strong feelings about EmpXTrack? You can review it here.
10. ScheduleAnywhere — 4.5/5 stars (18 reviews)
ScheduleAnywhere is a web-based, real-time scheduling program. It handles time off, schedules, shift rotations, and overtime.
Reviewers list the clear setup, easy integration process, in-system email and mass-texting options as their preferred features. They also mention that ScheduleAnywhere is perfect for frequently changing and updating schedules. However, they note that the text is small, so readability is low on mobile in particular. The software also lacks an auto-scheduling function, and requires a lot of navigation to view different day schedules.
Have you used ScheduleAnywhere? Review it now.
What’s on your schedule?
Do you use one of these? Have you found other top-rated scheduling software? Tell me about it in the comments.
And, hey, this is all based on user reviews, so if you’ve used a software (love it or hate it) you should totally give it a review so I know what’s good and what’s… not so good.
Looking for Employee Scheduling software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Employee Scheduling software solutions.