Square Appointments is an appointment scheduling platform that comes with a fully integrated online booking page, payment processing, a website-building tool, and even a point-of-sale (POS) system. Square also offers a mobile app to manage your calendar on the go, and automated SMS and email notifications so your customers never miss an appointment.
Overall, Square Appointments scored 4.04 out of 5 in our review of the best free appointment scheduling software. Square is the perfect solution for solopreneurs, offering any single user a full-featured Square Appointments account completely free.
Who Should Use Square Appointments
Offering a fully-featured free plan for single users, Square is a perfect solution for a solopreneur; it is one of our top free appointment scheduling software. It also offers scheduling tools specifically geared toward salons and beauty businesses, fitness locations, and home repair services.
Square also helps businesses that want to sell merchandise, as every Square account comes with an online store builder and a fully integrated POS system.
Finally, Square is a great fit for businesses on a budget, as even its most expensive plan is only $69 per month, per location.
When to Use an Alternative
Although Square Appointments has a lot to offer, it does lack video integrations, so you cannot host virtual appointments—Picktime is better for this. If you want a customer-facing app, Fresha is better for listing your services on a third-party booking app.
And if you don’t use Google Calendar, you won’t be able to sync your appointments with Square; Calendly is a better option, as it syncs with nearly every platform.
Square Appointments earned a 4 out of 5 in our evaluation of its pricing. Its program scales its pricing based on the number of users as well as features. With Square’s 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 will pay a monthly fee per location and get access to more advanced features, plus unlimited staff accounts and locations. Additionally, in-person payment processing rates are slightly lower for paid subscribers.
Square Appointments Plans
Monthly Subscription Fees
$29 per location
$69 per location
Payment Processing Fees*
Square Appointments is part of the larger Square ecosystem. Every person who signs up for Square Appointments will automatically have access to all of Square’s basic tools via their Square account, including Square’s POS system, website builder, and payment processing.
You can always upgrade any of your Square tools, like Square POS and Online, to a paid plan that offers premium features.
There are also add-on features that you can fully integrate with your Square account. Add-ons give you access to specialized tools to help you manage tasks like payroll and marketing. Square’s add-on features include:
- Square Payroll: Track hours, pay employees faster, and automate your tax filings all in one place to streamline payday. Starting at $35 per month + $6 monthly fee per person paid.
- Square Marketing: Unlimited email sends, automated email campaigns, Square Assistant, and campaign performance reporting. Paid subscription starts at $15 per month for 0–500 contacts.
- Square Loyalty: Quick customer sign-up, automated rewards notification via text messaging, and the ability to apply rewards at checkout. Paid subscription starts at $45 per month per location for up to 500 loyalty visits.
- Square for Retail: A specialized set of POS tools to equip you with all the retail tools you need for selling online and in-store, like inventory management, returns and exchanges, and reports. Free plan available; paid plan starts at $60 per month, per location.
- Square for Restaurants: Manage your restaurant with ease with menus and table management for the front of the house, kitchen displays and delivery for the back of the house, advanced POS features, Square Kitchen Display System (unlimited devices), and Team Plus. Free plan available; paid plan starts at $60 per month.
With every account, Square users receive one free contactless mobile card reader. There are, however, no hardware requirements to operate Square Appointments. The program is app- and web-based, so it can run on your desktop computer and your Android and iOS devices. This gives you the flexibility to manage your business without having to adopt new programs or even when you are on the go.
If you are interested, however, Square offers a host of other hardware options that you can easily use to house your Square tools. Square’s hardware options include:
$799 or $39/month for 24 months
$299 or $27/month for 12 months
$149 or $14/month for 12 months
Best for: Busy businesses with a storefront
Best for: On-the-go payments
Best for: Businesses that already have a tablet
Tap-to-pay on iPhone is now available for Square Appointments; staff members can collect contactless payments from anywhere, with no additional hardware needed.
Square Appointments comes with a rich bank of scheduling features that makes it easy for both you and your clients to schedule and manage appointments. Overall, it earned a 4.13 out of 5 for its appointment booking tools.
The biggest area where Square lost points was its lack of video integration, intake forms, and limited calendar sync options. While Square isn’t ideal for every type or size of business, it has tons of booking tools to help run your beauty, fitness, or service business.
Square Appointments’ scheduling tools are at the core of this software’s operation. Every Square user can access and manage their schedule either from their online account or through the Square Appointments app. Paid subscribers will also be able to sync their appointments with their personal Google Calendar, and view live scheduling updates from there.
The calendar management features include:
- Square App and Online Account: Access and manage appointments from your Square app or any computer via your Square Appointments login.
- Appointment acceptance: Manual and automatic appointment acceptance modes.
- Advanced calendar viewing: Customize your viewing options by filtering your calendar according to time frame, staff, or location.
- Availability management: Manage your daily schedule better by blocking personal events and marking these as “busy” when you sync your personal Google Calendar.
- Calendar syncing: Sync your appointment schedule with your Google Calendar.
- Resource booking: Allows you to assign resources (like chairs, rooms, or supplies) to certain appointments so that they get booked when their corresponding appointments are created.
- Multiple time zone syncing: Sync all your appointments with the correct time zones so that no one forgets a booking.
- Cancellation and no-show protection: Set a cancellation window and protect against no-shows with a deposit system (paid plan only).
Square Appointments lets you provide your customers with different ways to book appointments online. These are automatically synced to both your Square and Google calendars, so your calendar stays up to date at all times. You can choose from the following options based on varying technical skills and business requirements:
- Online booking page: Set up a free online booking page that you can share with your clients via text or email. This page is customizable, so you can make it fit your brand and desired customer experience.
- Booking page embed: Embed your online booking page into your existing website.
- Booking widget or button: Add a booking widget or button to your existing website. Your widget and button are also fully customizable and you can get help setting these up with Square Support.
- Social media integration: Add a booking button to your Instagram and Facebook.
- Google listing: Add a booking button to your Google listing.
- Square website: Create a custom website and online booking with Square Online at no extra cost.
Square Appointments allows you to connect with clients through SMS and email messaging tools. You can send personalized notes from the moment clients make their booking, to when service has been rendered and payment is completed.
With Square Appointments, you can:
- Send appointment confirmation messages as soon as clients book, so that they have all their appointment information in an easy-to-find place.
- Set automatic appointment reminders so that your clients never miss an appointment.
- Send digital receipts and survey forms after their appointments so that clients can give feedback about your business. Square also lets you respond directly to survey responses, making it easy to fix any problems and maintain customer loyalty.
- Use Square Assistant, a smart messaging tool that comes free with Square Appointments. It allows clients to confirm, cancel, or reschedule appointments via SMS at any time of the day in response to your automated appointment reminders. It will automatically respond and update your calendar so that you can do more working and less worrying about managing your schedule.
Paid subscribers can customize payment requirements and cancellation policies to protect their businesses from no-show clients. Access the settings from your appointments dashboard, then choose between letting clients book without adding their credit card information, and requiring credit card details either to hold a reservation or for prepayment.
If you opt to require a client to enter credit card information to hold a reservation, you can specify the cut-off time for cancellation and the corresponding charges for canceling beyond your stipulated deadline. You can also set the fee either as a dollar amount or a percentage of the total cost of the canceled service.
Your clients will receive an email notification once you approve the cancellation. It will include details of the canceled appointment, along with the corresponding fee, and your cancellation policy.
If a client doesn’t show up for a scheduled appointment, you can use the Waitlist feature to fill in the resulting gap in your calendar, avoiding idle time for your staff and potentially lost revenue for your business. The Waitlist is essentially a list of clients that you can invite to your shop for an impromptu appointment in the event that a scheduled appointment is canceled.
Besides adding clients to the list, you can note their preferences for availability and services.
Not only did we evaluate Square Appointments based on its appointment booking features, but we also made sure to look at its back-office management. Square earned a 3 out of 5 in this area; it equips business owners with staff management features, a POS system, tons of customization features, and other unique management tools—like inventory and retail management.
The only area where Square lost any points was its lack of calendar integrations—it will only sync with Google calendars.
Square Appointments allows you to create and customize your list of services. Each service will have a description, specified duration, and pricing option. You can also assign specific resources to your services so that their availability is updated with appointment bookings.
For pricing your services, you can either set a fixed price that customers can pay directly online at checkout or a variable price that is determined after the service is complete and paid at checkout. You can also add variations and a block transition time between services.
Once you have your list of services, you can customize how they appear on your booking page—whether that be as a menu or on your actual calendar.
While Square Appointments’ free plan is only for a single user, you can also adapt Square for additional staff members. If you do so, the program comes with rich team management tools so that you can stay on top of all your employees and their schedules.
Each staff member receives a unique login where they can access and manage their own calendar from any desktop or the Square Appointments mobile app. Each profile can be customized by specifying location, offered services, and bookable hours. There’s also a biography section where you can add information about staff members’ availability, specialization, and other offered services.
With administrator access, you can manage your staff’s booked appointments and control what they see by assigning permissions. You can also set custom permissions so employees can change only certain items on their schedule. Additionally, you can specify multiple wage rates, assign unique commission rates, disable booking, split tips, or delete a staff profile altogether. Users also get regular timecards and labor vs sales reports.
When you sign up for Square Appointments, you will also receive a free Square POS system where you can process payments and keep track of your inventory, appointment activities, and client information. The Square POS system lets walk-in clients view your list of services, book, and check out. You also have the ability to issue a refund for an entire appointment or per individual service item.
It is important to note that while the Square POS system works well with Square hardware, you can also use Square POS with your existing equipment. Square does work best, however, with a tablet device.
Additional tools for customizing point of sale include:
- Issue professional invoices
- Perform quick checkouts with customer card-on-file
- Process keyed-in payments
- Accept split payments
- Apply appropriate sales taxes
- Apply rewards as discounts
- Allow custom tipping
- Redeem loyalty rewards
- Accept gift cards
- Contactless payment compatible
- Data security (PCI) compliance
- Reporting on sales
With Square Appointments, you can save detailed customer information to your Square Dashboard. Additionally, if you have an existing customer contact list, you can import their information into Square as a CSV file. Each client profile contains their personal details, credit card info, appointment schedules, and purchase history. You can even add personalized notes to each client profile to remind you of their preferred services.
Square also offers communication tools to improve client relations. When a new client gets added to your dashboard, Square allows you to send custom messages to welcome your new customer. You can also send email and text reminders for their appointments, and send soft copy contracts if you require a client’s signature before performing a service. Client management also lets you create client groups for marketing campaigns.
Square Appointments can combine service and retail for blended businesses. While Square for Retail is a better option for businesses with thousands of SKUs or complex inventory needs, Square Appointments’ POS has a built-in inventory management feature that is great for service-based businesses with smaller inventory needs. Square Appointments’ inventory system is easy to use and includes features like:
- Inventory organization: Stock unlimited inventory, customize products with categories, and use an item search tool during checkout.
- Inventory tracking: Track stock levels in real time and set low stock email alerts when items are running low.
- Barcode scanning: Ring up sales through barcode scanning with a barcode scanner or your iPad’s camera.
- Sales allocation: Monitor retail sales and attribute it to the correct employees automatically, enabling you to handle commission payouts for said transactions efficiently.
- Social media Integration: Integrate your inventory to Instagram and make a storefront where customers can shop right from your social media page.
Learn how to use Square’s inventory management tools.
While you can opt to use all the native features in the Square system—from building your website to managing your inventory to booking appointments—Square also has several integration options. This lets you adopt Square into existing systems without having to worry about compatibility issues or switching providers.
The following third-party integrations are compatible with Square Appointments:
- Wix Bookings
- Google Calendar
- Acuity Scheduling
Third-party integrations are limited for Square Appointments, which most critics consider a major downside of the platform. The biggest shortcoming is the lack of native intake form capabilities and that the calendar only syncs with Google. Competitor products, like Picktime and 10to8, offer integration with other calendar applications such as iCal, Office 365, and Outlook.
While Square may lack some integrations, the software is overall easy to use and loved by its users—earning it a high score in our expert evaluation.
Square Appointments lets you manage your business from your Square Dashboard, or on the Square Appointments app if you are on the go. You also have the Square Assistant app that automates your booking procedure. Square makes it easy to update your booking page and reorganize how your services are displayed so you can have your most popular services, promos or bundles, and specialty services at the top of the list.
Documentation for Square Appointments in the help center is somewhat limited, but it does have a comprehensive start-up guide for first-time users. You’ll need to log in to your Square account in order to access customer service. Live phone support operates on extended hours, which is Mondays through Fridays, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Pacific time.
What Users Say in Square Appointments Reviews
While users and critics do have some reservations about Square Appointments, the software still gets an overall positive review. Users laud Square Appointments for its range of features and customization options, while most of the negative feedback centers around the lack of integrations and video capabilities.
Other popular third-party review websites rated Square Appointments as follows:
- G2: 4.3 out of 5 based on about 30 reviews.
- Capterra: 4.4 out of 5 based on more than 170 reviews.
Here are the trending positive and negative feedback throughout the reviews:
|Users Like||Users Don’t Like|
|Convenient and easy to use||Lack of widget and brand customization options|
|Services and booking customization, plus automation features||QuickBooks integration is an add-on|
|Option to require for prepayment of services||Some learning curve for setting up integrations|
|Google Calendar integration||Lack of integrated forms|
How We Evaluated Square Appointments
To evaluate the best free appointment scheduling software, we considered four main factors: any limitations of the free plan, appointment booking tools, back-office features, and our expert score.
We weighed Square Appointments on its features for both your customers and your business, ease of use, customization capabilities, and whether the tool can grow with your business.
Click through the tabs in the box below to view our full scoring criteria.
30% of Overall Score
A free plan means nothing if it’s severely lacking in functionality. We evaluated whether the POS system’s key features were locked behind a paywall, despite the presence of a free plan. We also considered whether they limited the number of users or appointments you can book. Square Appointments did fairly well here because it has a forever-free plan; however, this plan only supports one user.
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. Square Appointments includes some of these tools but has only limited calendar syncing, no video integrations, and no native intake forms.
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. Square Appointments did well here as you can accept payments through the software, and it has a good amount of automation—particularly for sending reminder and confirmation messages to clients.
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. Square Appointments scored excellently here—the interface and dashboard are easy to use, and it has high user reviews and great value for money (whether in the free plan or the paid plans).
Square Appointments Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Yes! You can create an online booking page, manage your calendar, send appointment reminders, and process payments.
First, set up a booking page where customers can make appointments based on your specific services and availability. Those appointments will appear on your calendar as they are booked, and Square will send out SMS and email reminders to keep your customers informed.
You can learn more with our Square Appointments setup guide.
Square Appointments offers three plans at $0, $29, and $69 per month, per location. The plans vary by the number of users and locations they can support, as well as premium feature offerings. There is also a completely free Square Appointments app.
Square’s ecosystem makes Square Appointments one of the most versatile appointment scheduling software on the market. It offers the ability to combine service with retail and a range of automation features so that you can book and manage appointments 24/7. Updating services takes only a few clicks, while upgrading and downgrading plans is automatic, so it becomes easy to hire seasonal employees and offer seasonal services.
Ready to try Square Appointments? Visit its website for a fast sign-up process. It’s free, and there’s no commitment or credit card required—so you can cancel anytime.