This article is part of a larger series on Appointment Scheduling.
Appointment scheduling software allows clients to view a calendar of your business’s available meeting times and self-book an appointment. It also lets business owners manage appointments, send automatic reminders, and accept deposits online.
Free appointment scheduling software can be hard to find, as many programs are simply limited versions of larger, paid services. However, we identified six programs that provide comprehensive features at no cost. The best free appointment scheduling software are:
- Picktime: Best overall software for scheduling appointments of any kind
- Square Appointments: Best for solo providers needing unlimited appointments, scheduling, payment, and SMS reminders
- 10to8: Best for robust features and multiple integrations
- Fresha: Best for beauty and wellness businesses needing inventory and POS
- Setmore: Best for gyms and businesses needing to set appointments for multiple staff members or classes
- Calendly: Best for making appointments with clients or scheduling meetings with co-workers
Free Appointment Scheduling Software Compared
Booking Page Website Integrations
Number of Free Users
Email (SMS with paid option)
Unlimited appointments; 2 classes per month
SMS and email
SMS and email
100 per month
Email, SMS, and app notification (150 free SMS per month)
✕ (with paid plan only)
Email (SMS with paid plan)
No (only with paid plan)
App notifications (email and SMS with paid plans)
Unlimited (only one event-type)
If your needs require more than a free plan can offer, consider the paid plans offered by some of these providers or any of our other top appointment scheduling software.
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Picktime: Best Overall Free Appointment Scheduling App
Picktime is a relatively new appointment scheduling app that has been growing over the last several years and receiving rave reviews from its adopters. The software offers a robust bank of free features, allowing you to add booking forms, take deposits, generate invoices or accept payments online, and send automated email reminders.
It earned an overall score of 4.46 out of 5 because of its free feature offerings and ability to support multiple staff members, classes, and calendar syncs. The app mainly lost points because of key features that are locked behind paid plans, including SMS notifications and unlimited class bookings.
When it was first introduced in 2017, Picktime was entirely free. That is no longer the case, and the software has since added several paid plans, although it still offers a robust free option that works for most small businesses. Its other two plans, Starter and Pro, include more features, allow for more users, and offer more class bookings.
- Starter: $9.99 per month
- Pro: $19.99 per month
Overall, the free plan is a great place to start, and with Picktime’s paid options, there are opportunities for the software to grow with your business.
Picktime Standout Features
- Multiple location access: Picktime supports multiple locations, allowing you to manage appointments for two branches from the same dashboard. It can also detect your client’s location to find the nearest branch.
- Three free users: Unlike most of the other software on this list, Picktime’s free plan is not limited to one or two users. Only Setmore and Fresha allow more free users.
- Customer management: Quickly access your customer data for marketing promotions and discounts, leave customer notes for your staff, and import/export customer data from anywhere. Additionally, your customers can keep track of their upcoming appointments by creating their own Picktime account.
- Video, calendar, and payment processing integrations: Picktime has tons of integrations, some free and some only in a paid plan. Its free integrations include PayPal, Jitst, Google Calendar, Outlook Calendar, iCloud Calendar, and Exchange. If you are a paid subscriber, however, you can also integrate with Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Zoom, and GoToMeeting.
What Picktime Is Missing
While Picktime offers a great menu of free features and positive reviews, the software program does lock some important features, like SMS and popular video integrations, behind its paid plans. Additionally, the free plan does not allow unlimited class bookings, and there are no customization options for your email and SMS reminders. For both SMS notifications and unlimited class bookings, try Square Appointments.
Square Appointments: Best for Solo Providers Needing Unlimited Appointments
Square Appointments is ideal for a single-person business because it gives you access to all of its main features without hiding anything behind a paywall or showing pesky ads. You can set up a webpage where clients can view your open time slots, book an appointment, and pay for their service. This webpage can even be linked to your social media accounts and integrated into your website. Every Square account also comes with a Square point-of-sale (POS) account as well as a website builder.
Another feature we like is that Square Appointments sends automatic email or SMS reminders when appointments are drawing near. With paid plans, you can also sync your Square appointments with Google Calendar, so any conflicts you have are automatically removed from your booking page. Note, however, that Square appointments will only sync with Google calendars—for Outlook or other options, consider Calendly.
In our scoring, Square Appointments earned a 4.44 out of 5 due to its rich features and easy booking capability. The program mainly lost points for its lack of video integrations and limited calendar syncing.
Square Appointments Pricing
Square Appointments scales its pricing based on the number of users and features. For its free plan, you will get a single location and all the basic features for one user. This includes an online booking page, SMS and email reminders, and payment processing.
With Square’s paid plans, you pay a monthly fee per location and get access to more advanced features. With the Plus plan, you can make multiple employee accounts, get access to no-show protection features, and sync your calendar with Google. With the Premium plan, you get all that plus advanced staff management tools and resource-appointment management.
Pricing for each plan is
- Free: $0
- Plus: $29/location
- Premium: $69/location
Square Appointments Standout Features
- SMS appointment notifications: While every one of our providers offers some kind of appointment notifications, Square includes SMS in its free plan. 10to8 is the only other plan that offers text notifications as part of its free service.
- Square Assistant: Square Appointments’ text services also utilize Square Assistant, an automated messaging tool enabling 24/7 replies concerning appointment confirmations, cancellations, or rescheduling.
- Booking page customization: Additionally, Square has great customization options for your online booking page and allows you to design a page without any Square branding. You can customize the description, duration, and pricing of your list of services and choose how they will display (as a menu or calendar, for example) on your booking site.
- POS: Signing up for Square Appointments also gives you access to Square POS, which includes tools for payment processing, customer management, and inventory tracking.
- Video, calendar, and payment processing integrations: Square Appointments’ key integrations include Google, PayPal, and Stripe.
What Square Appointments Is Missing
While Square Appointments has a lot to offer for one person, the program did lose some points for limiting its free program to a single employee. For up to three free users, Picktime is a great choice.
Additionally, with Square Appointments, there is no video integration, and calendar syncing only works with Google. If you need to host video appointments and want more calendar integration options, consider Setmore, Picktime, or Calendly.
Learn more with our full Square Appointments review.
10to8: Best for Robust Features & Multiple Integrations
10to8 is another feature-rich appointment scheduling app with extensive integration options. It offers booking for individuals or classes, calendars for multiple staff members, customizable questionnaires, payment acceptance online, and calendar sync with multiple calendars. It also offers video chat integration for virtual appointments. In fact, the software has over 1,500 integrations, making for a seamless adoption for most retailers.
With 4.25 out of 5 stars, 10to8 is excellent software for just about any small business due to its extensive free features and integrations. 10to8 lost points mainly because of its appointment and customization limitations.
Like Square Appointments, 10to8’s free plan includes all appointment scheduling features but is limited by the number of staff members it can support. Unlike Square, however, 10to8 also limits your monthly appointments, with higher appointment limits coming with larger plans. 10to8’s free plan is a great option for solo or two-person operations.
- Free: All features. 100 appointments per month, two staff members, no branding capability
- Basic ($9.60 per month): All features. 100 appointments per month, two staff members, custom branding
- Grow ($20 per month): All features. 300 appointments per month, three staff members, custom branding
- Bigger Business ($40 per month): All features. 600 appointments per month, six staff members, custom branding
- Enterprise (custom quote): All features. Unlimited appointments per month, unlimited staff members, custom branding, HIPAA tools, phone support
10to8 Standout Features
- Calendar sync: 10to8, along with Calendly, is one of the best options for calendar syncing. Unlike our other options, 10to8 syncs with all major calendars including iCal, Outlook, Office 365, and Google.
- SMS notifications: 10to8 offers SMS reminders. On this list, only 10to8 and Square provide this service.
- Video, calendar, and payment processing integrations: The software also has over 1,500 integrations, making it easy to add 10to8 to your existing systems and website. Among its video calendar, and payment processing integrations are Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google, iCal, Exchange, Office 365, Outlook, PayPal, and Stripe.
10to8 no longer offers voicemail notifications in any of its plans.
What 10to8 Is Missing
While 10to8 has a great list of offerings, it does have its drawbacks. 10to8 does not offer unlimited appointments (except with the custom Enterprise plan), and you cannot customize your messaging or booking page with the free plan. A better option for customization is Square Appointments.
Fresha: Best for Beauty & Wellness Businesses
Fresha is a very popular and highly reviewed app in the beauty and wellness industries. The software has specific programs for a variety of industries, including salons, gyms, and personal training. It allows you to book unlimited appointments for as many staff members as you wish in as many locations as you need. Fresha also has unlimited email notifications and a coinciding dashboard where you can view and manage your appointments.
Overall, Fresha earned a 4.13 out of 5 in our scoring. It stands out from most of the competition in that, like Square, it includes a POS and inventory system in its free program. It loses points, however, because some of the features offered by other free software, such as SMS text reminders, class/group bookings, and online booking, are only accessible with its unique paid plan.
Fresha’s pricing structure is a bit different from the rest. Unlike our other options that charge a flat monthly rate, Fresha charges you for transactions, plus a 20% commission fee for each new client you acquire through the Fresha marketplace. The catch? You can only list on the marketplace and process payments when you sign up for their paid plan.
- Free: Unlimited number of employees, POS, inventory
- Fresha Plus (2.19% plus 20 cents per transaction + 20% new client fee): Everything in the free plan plus online booking, payment processing, no-show protection, marketing tools, and SMS text reminders
Fresh Standout Features
- Reporting capabilities: Fresha makes it easy to manage your salon or other beauty and wellness business with unlimited free reporting.
- Unlimited locations and users: Use one account to manage multiple locations. Additionally, Fresha supports your entire team with unlimited users and in-person appointment bookings.
- POS: Fresha allows you to set up payment types for use during checkout. The platform can add tips on checkout and set payment and discount types, staff commission rates, and voucher duration.
What Fresha Is Missing
While Fresha is beloved by many of its users, it does lack some of the features that other software provides. For example, unlike Square Appointments, Fresha does not have text notifications or class or group booking options. Additionally, all of our other options provide online booking in their free plans, but with Fresha’s free plan, you can only book in person via the Fresha POS system. Online booking is only available with the paid plan.
Read our Fresha review to learn more.
Setmore: Best for Managing Staff Members & Hosting Classes
Setmore supports up to four free users and is loaded with features that make it great for managing teams. Clients can book online and see which employees are available at a particular time. Or, you can add appointments manually from the dashboard and reschedule or reassign appointments with just a few clicks. It also lets you accept payments and maintain a customer database. Additionally, Setmore integrates with mailing, sales, and CRM programs, plus a multitude of business apps.
Its rich management features and user-friendly interface earned it a 3.47 out of 5. But, it lost points as a free plan because it charges for many of the features that other scheduling software on our list offer free. (Paid features include SMS reminders, customization, and video integration.) However, its paid plans are reasonably priced, especially if you have three or more employees.
Setmore has three plans to choose from based on the features and customization that you want. The two paid plans, however, have the same offerings, with the Pro plan simply offering a better rate for larger teams.
- Free: Most features for up to four employees, payment with Square only
- Premium ($12 per user monthly): 1–2 users, includes all free features, plus SMS reminders, custom notifications, recurring appointments, Zoom, calendar sync, payment with Square or Stripe
- Pro ($9 per user monthly): 3+ users, includes all free and premium features
Setmore Standout Features
- Four free users: Other than Fresha’s unlimited user plan, Setmore’s free plan allows for more users than any of the other providers on our list.
- Social media integration: You can add your Fresha booking page directly to both your Instagram and Facebook pages so customers can book directly from wherever they find you.
- Video meetings: Offer one-on-one virtual appointments or small group sessions via Teleport video calls.
- Video, calendar, and payment processing integrations: Setmore also has a slew of integrations for your business, including Zoom (paid), Teleport, Google (paid), Office 365 (paid), Square, Stripe (paid), and PayPal (paid).
What Setmore Is Missing
While Setmore has a host of great staff management features, it hides several key abilities behind its paywall. SMS notifications, calendar syncing, video appointments, and customizations are all exclusive to Setmore’s paid plans. All of the other programs on this list offer calendar syncing in their free plans and, as mentioned above, there are options for free SMS notifications (Square Appointments and 10to8).
Calendly: Best for Scheduling Meetings & Appointments
Calendly offers a strong and user-friendly appointment scheduling system that works well for both managing in-office meetings and scheduling client appointments. With Calendly, you can send emails with your Calendly booking link or embed to let recipients see your available times, making it easier to schedule group meetings. It can also send notifications via the Calendly app and has integrations with video conferencing software.
Loaded with features for teams that deal with a high volume of appointments, Calendly lets you assign team members round-robin based on various rules or when all necessary team members are available. Unfortunately, none of these features are available with the free version of Calendly. Look to Square Appointments for a single-person free plan with all the perks and features.
Calendly got high marks from user reviewers, and our expert review gave it 3.13 out of 5 stars because so many features require a paid plan. However, should you be looking for a free program that can scale, Calendly may be a good bet.
Calendly’s pricing increases along with the number of supported users and the features and capabilities.
- Free: Calendly provides a basic version free for one user. You can only book one event type, which means you can only set up a single meeting duration, name, location, and description.
- Premium ($10 per person monthly): Two calendars per user, unlimited event types. Pooled availability, group bookings, customize notifications, 700+ integrations
- Pro ($15 per person monthly): Six calendars per user, adds online payments and SMS notifications
- Teams ($20 per person monthly): Everything in Pro, create round robin events, set admin permissions, integrate with Salesforce
Calendly Standout Features
- Calendar sync: One of our top options for calendar syncing (10to8 is another), Calendly syncs with Google, Office 365, Outlook, and iCloud calendars.
- Website integration: Embed Calendly in your website or add it via pop-up or widget so visitors can book with you without leaving the site.
- Meeting booking and management: Calendly allows you to customize your booking link for easier sharing, create meeting polls where employees can vote on different meeting time options based on their preferences, and set up automated event notifications.
- Video, calendar, and payment processing integrations: In addition to Slack and Google Meet, Calendly has a host of other integrations, including Zoom, WebEx, Google, Office 365, iCloud, Outlook, PayPal, and Stripe.
What Calendly Is Missing
While there are a lot of great features for managing both meetings and appointments with Calendly, the free scheduling program does lack some key features. Unlike Square Appointments or Fresha, Calendly restricts you to one meeting type. Additionally, there are no email of SMS notifications for your clients and no class/group bookings in the free plan.
How We Evaluated Free Appointment Scheduling Software
For free appointment scheduling software to work for your business, it needs to account for all the nuances that go into booking an appointment. For example, some businesses charge clients during the booking process or need clients to fill out a questionnaire before confirming their appointment. Others need support for multiple employees or may want video integration that automatically adds meeting links to the confirmation email.
To evaluate free appointment scheduling software, we looked carefully at all of these features, noting which are available for free versus which require a premium upgrade. The last thing you want is to get all set up and then find out you need to pay a monthly fee to access one essential feature. We also evaluated each software’s quality, ease of use, and customer support.
Picktime was our top scorer with a 4.46 out of 5 as its final score. It offers nearly every feature we looked for and works for multiple users—all for free. Click through the tabs below for our detailed evaluation criteria.
30% of Overall Score
A free plan means nothing if you can’t use it. We favored plans that don’t make you pay for their most useful features. We also considered whether they limited the number of users or appointments you can book.
30% of Overall Score
Tools evaluated include a page where customers could make their own appointments and fill out intake forms or questionnaires, options for classes, selecting specific groups of employees, and syncing with calendars. We also considered video chat integration for virtual meetings.
20% of Overall Score
Can you take payments through the software itself? Does it integrate with other software? Are there appointment reminders or a customer database for marketing? We considered all of these capabilities.
20% of Overall Score
In addition to our own evaluation of the features and value, we looked at reviews from actual users posted on trusted review sites for software. Every calendar software we considered had excellent reviews—4 out of 5 stars and higher—on Capterra and/or G2.
Free Appointment Scheduling Software Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Click through the questions below to get answers to some of your most frequently asked.
What is appointment scheduling software?
Appointment scheduling software provides a platform where businesses can manage their appointments and clients to make new appointments. Many appointment scheduling software will also process payments so that customers can pay when they book.
How do appointment scheduling apps work?
Appointment scheduling software work by providing an online booking page where customers can view your business’s schedule and book appointments based on your availability. Then, your schedule updates as new appointments are made and customers receive notifications to remind them of their appointments as the time approaches. Good appointment scheduling software will also include payment processing so that you can collect payments.
Why do I need appointment scheduling software?
Appointment scheduling software allow you to stay on top of your schedule, give customers an easy way to make appointments, streamline your operations, and automate your appointment notifications.
Who uses appointment scheduling software?
Appointment scheduling software is used by all types of businesses that rely on appointments. That means anything from a salon, to a therapist, to a gym, to a spa. There are countless applications.
Appointment scheduling programs make it easy for you and your clients or co-workers to manage your schedules and book appointments and meetings without the hassle of the back and forth. There are a ton of great free options available for appointment scheduling apps, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Our top pick for free appointment scheduling apps is Picktime for its range of features, ease of use, and excellent customer reviews.