Best calendaring software for your business in 2021
Understand the basics of calendar software, our top picks for the best calendaring tools, and how to select the perfect one for your business.
12 April 2021 · 9 min read
It’s the digital age, and leveraging online tools to boost productivity and save you time is simply the smart way of doing things. Yes, there are so many tools to choose from, many of which you can probably do without.
However, a reliable calendaring software is not one of them. You absolutely need this online tool if you want to stay on top of your time management and automation requirements. The only thing left is to decide which one to use for your small business.
At the end of this article, you’ll understand the basics of calendar software, our top picks for the best calendaring tools, and how to select the perfect one for your business.
What is calendaring software?
Simply put, calendaring software is a digital version of the traditional calendar. It’s got way more features than merely tracking calendar events and dates on a screen through. For instance, a calendar software can streamline your project management through automated appointment scheduling, time tracking, and even document management.
What’s even better is that any electronic agendas created or sent and received can be accessed by team members. As a business owner, you can immediately see how this feature can make your processes more efficient. For one, you can use your calendaring software for tracking task assignments, completions, and overdue tasks.
It can also do analysis and generate reports on how much time is being allocated to different tasks. This allows the organization to be on the same page regarding scheduled events, milestones, and long-term goals.
Calendar softwares are evolving
Newer versions boast more advanced features, such as real-time updates, automatic reminders, enhanced file sharing, and many more. There have also been major updates designed to make the tools more user-friendly and cater to more unique organizational demands.
You can usually obtain calendaring software as a standalone product installed on your computer or mobile device. However, they are more commonly included as part of a larger time management or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) suite.
It’s also not uncommon to come across these tools in the form of a mobile app, thereby allowing business owners and team members to get work done on the go.
Some common features of calendaring software include
As expected, these tools feature user-friendly calendars that consist of days, weeks, and months of the year. But you can also drill down to the hours and minutes within the day and even down to the time zone of a particular region. When used at an organizational level, these calendars can also allow users to publish relevant information (e.g. Zoom meeting link) for specified calendar events.
This is a much-needed feature since there’s no need to run after people to manually remind them about upcoming events, meetings, or tasks. If you’ve used Google Calendar before, then you know it usually sends reminders 30 minutes before a scheduled event.
Users wanting to attach files that may be useful for events, such as appointments and webinars can easily do so on calendaring software. This is extremely useful when these attachments are to be used by all participants in that event. For instance, an account manager might need to attach the monthly performance report on the tool for a client call, so there’s no need to email it to them separately before the meeting.
What good is an automation tool if you can’t immediately access your list of contacts and working groups? With an integrated address book feature, you can schedule appointments faster and even streamline your communication process.
What makes a great calendar software tool?
There are so many things to consider when choosing the right calendaring software for your business. Whichever tool you choose, it should be able to offer more than the usual calendar functions. It should also provide clarity about how your time and other resources are being spent so you can make informed business decisions.
That being said, there are a number of features that are prominent in any great calendar software. Let’s look at a few:
- Easy to use — A calendar app should be user-friendly and intuitive. There shouldn’t be so much navigation, and clicking involved just to set up an event or collaborate on any given task.
- Designed with an intended purpose — Whatever the designated purpose, the calendar app should be able to fulfill it without hassles. This way, you simply choose the tool that best fits your current and long-term needs.
- Simple scheduling setup — Simplified appointment scheduling is one of the primary reasons calendar apps exist in the first place. Using the scheduler tool should be a straightforward process.
- Packed with customizable features — Your business will have different needs at different stages. A great calendar software allows you to customize its features to suit these needs every step of the way.
- Easy collaboration and sharing — When using online calendars for business, you want to be able to quickly collaborate with team members and easily share important info, such as availability, invitations, and relevant documents in real-time, all within the app.
- Cross-platform compatibility — Not everyone uses the same platform when getting their work done. Chances are your potential clients may not be using the same platform(s) as you either. As such, cross-platform compatibility is a huge plus when looking at calendaring software. For example, does the tool have a mobile app? Is it available to both IOS and Android users?
- Automatic syncing and seamless integrations — Auto-syncing is a great way to save time in your business. It syncs any updates you make to your shared calendar tool across all users’ accounts without them having to do it manually.
Seamless third-party integration is also important. Sometimes, you want to customize your calendar app, but the feature is not available within the tool. So you need to integrate with other tools. For instance, you want to utilize your calendar software for better task management to integrate a project management tool, complete with process templates and simplified workflows into the calendar app.
Our top picks for best calendaring software for small businesses
This selection is based on the considerations outlined above, and then some. In any case, you can simply select the calendaring software that best caters to your business needs in the most efficient way possible.
Google Calendar is a web app that was designed for easy collaboration among team members and external clients. This integrated online calendar works in any browser and can be accessed on a computer or mobile device.
You can get Google Calendar as a standalone tool or as part of the many tools included in G-Suite. This all-in-one package includes other useful apps, including Gmail, Google Drive, Contacts, Hangouts, and Google Sites, which can seamlessly integrate with Google Calendar.
Features we love
- Easy to manage scheduler
- Allows for the creation of detailed agendas
- Ability to manage multiple calendars
- Organized contact information management
- Quick chat messaging and video meetings through Hangouts
- Automatic calendar syncing across all devices and browsers
Microsoft’s very own Outlook Calendar definitely deserves its spot on this list. This free service helps small businesses stay on top of their calendaring needs and get things done faster, thanks to nifty features and extensive integration capability.
Outlook is also great for managing emails, especially among Windows 10 users. For instance, you use the Sweep feature to automate your email organization. What is perhaps Outlook’s most appealing feature, however, is that it is available on different platforms, including IOS and Android. You can also connect your Outlook Calendar to your LinkedIn account.
Features we love
- Free to use
- Easily Integrates with Windows and Microsoft Office apps
- Clean, simple interface with user-friendly settings
- Streamlined email management
- Includes relevant info, such as weather
This scheduling tool can save you much time and effort when it comes to calendaring for your small business. It is packed with a number of features designed to streamline the appointment scheduling process and automate many of the repeatable stuff like reminders and meeting setups.
Calendly has a free version, though if you’re using it for your business, you’re better off with a paid option. Pricing ranges from $8 to $15 per user per month. The app allows for a wide range of integrations with popular time tracking and project management software, including CRMs and video conferencing platforms.
Features we love
- User-friendly tool
- Ability to schedule multiple meeting types
- Easily set meeting preferences, collaborate with team members and automate reminders (email and SMS)
- Dedicated support (email and live chat)
Microsoft Exchange Server
This email client service is packed with great features for streamlined communications and business tools organization. Its calendar app is quite robust with features that allow you to create events, add reminders, and set schedules easily. The calendar is also available on both desktop and mobile devices.
With the Microsoft Exchange Calendar, you can set up new appointments and meetings and add new items to calendar events. Because Microsoft Exchange Server is an all-in-one platform, the calendar tool is just one of many important business management solutions.
Features we love
- Mobile productivity
- Full suite of customizable tools
- Easy email client service
- Affordable pricing — $4 to $12.5 per month
- Allows for collaboration
B12 bookings is a scheduling software for companies looking to automate their appointment scheduling so they can spend their time actually growing their business. This tool integrates with your business website without the need for third-party apps.
With B12 bookings, you can do everything from setting and updating your availability details to canceling and rescheduling calendar events, all without leaving your website. The tool continues to work even when you’re offline, so you never miss any leads and important correspondences. It is also one of the easiest tools on this list. There’s even no coding required!
B12 offers a wide array of digital marketing solutions with a core focus on professional web design and development. In addition to its calendar software, B12 also offers easy web management solutions, such as online payments processing, copywriting, and logging among others.
Features we love
- User-friendly scheduler interface
- Transforms your website into a one-stop shop for lead generation and processing
- Simple, customizable controls
- Real-time notifications about calendar events
- Ability to flawlessly integrate with your business website
- Allows for easier organization appointments, reschedules, and notes
- Doesn’t require third-party tool integrations
Clio Legal Calendaring Software
Clio is a legal practice management software with a lineup of tools, including a powerful calendar app that does more than just scheduling. The legal calendaring tool is designed for quick information surfacing and integrated workflows for more efficient case management tasks.
It allows a law firm to stay on top of their legal calendar — share appointments with clients, update case milestones, keep tabs on your schedules, and many more. It’s also useful for keeping things organized, such as scheduling multiple deadlines with court rules and keeping clients updated. This saves time when scheduling court dates and can help the law firm stay ahead of legal deadlines.
Features we love
- Robust platform with different legal management solutions
- Can be used for tracking billable hours
- Access your Clio calendar on the go
- Free trial with no credit card requirement
- Can sync with other calendars such as Outlook and Google Calendar
- Ability to work collaboratively
How do I choose the best calendar tool for my business?
It all comes down to your business needs. For instance, if you’re a small business still looking to gain a share of the market, you may be looking for something robust that allows you to automate your scheduling and meeting events without involving too many third-party integrations. Remember, many of these integrations cost money.
If you find yourself in this situation, B12 bookings makes for a great choice. There is no need to worry about having to sign up for multiple accounts to schedule and manage your bookings or appointments. Everything can be done from your website.
Get started with B12 bookings today!
You’re a few clicks away from leveraging the power of B12 bookings for your business. Simply sign up with your email address to get started. B12 also offers a dedicated support system for members via live chat, email, or phone call, so you can always reach out if you have any questions or require professional assistance with the setup of your calendaring software.