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Top 5 scheduling software options for 2021

Managing staff is never easy, but add alternating shifts into the mix and you’re dealing with a task that can quickly become a real headache. With scheduling software, you can reduce the stress with automated processes. Whether you’re a salon that requires appointment scheduling software or a freelancer looking to sort out their timetable with job scheduling software options, here’s how to find the perfect small business solution for your needs. 

1. Best free scheduling software: Google Workspace

Google sheets, docs, and email may not have been made specifically for scheduling, but don’t underestimate them. As far as free scheduling software is concerned, Google Workspace is an excellent choice. Letting you create work documents in one centralized space, Google Drive can be the single source of truth for your scheduling needs, and everyone can edit as needed for total collaboration. Again, this solution isn’t specific to scheduling, so you’ll need to do a lot of the heavy lifting on your end to get a collaborative document up and running. However, if your team is small and your scheduling needs relatively simple, Google Workspace is a great – and more importantly – free place to start.

2. Best appointment scheduling software: Setmore

Setmore is great for businesses that need scheduling to include both staff and customers, such as beauty salons or dental practices. Setmore has paid and free options, so even the most cash-strapped startup may find it to be an excellent choice for appointing scheduling software. Setmore sends emails to both staff and customers when appointments are made, as well as reminders via email and SMS. Staff can view a group calendar to ensure no-one’s left at a loose end or clashing with other appointments, and client history can be viewed so you know who your most frequent customers are. Setmore also integrates with a wide range of other software including Slack, Zendesk, QuickBooks, and Wix, making it a seamless addition to your current suite of software.

3. Best employee scheduling software: Humanity

Easy to use and with a smartphone option – so scheduling can be done any time, any place – Humanity is a great choice for employee scheduling software. Using a drag-and-drop interface, it’s highly accessible to all users. Humanity lets you set shifts based on each employee’s skill levels, and allows for easy shift swapping. Employees can set their availability and request time off online. There’s even the option to set up email and text alerts so employees don’t forget when it’s time for their shift. Humanity has several pricing tiers, as well as a custom pricing plan that’s flexible to your needs.

4. Best calendar scheduling software: Outlook 365

Another free scheduling software option from a big name, Microsoft Outlook is ideal for small businesses that need a shared calendar, but don’t necessarily need to stay on top of varied shifts. Outlook provides multiple features, including email, calendar, tasks and profiles. You can create a group calendar that shows everyone’s tasks in tandem, while you can also enter items into your own and other user’s calendars. As a job scheduling software option, Outlook is perfect for freelancers and sole proprietors who have various tasks on the go. Outlook is a viable option for calendar scheduling software and small teams, although it’s a less versatile option for businesses with bigger teams and variable shifts. 

5. Best for staying in touch: WhatsApp

WhatsApp isn’t designed specifically for scheduling, but it can do just that. Staying connected is vital to making sure your team is in the right place at the right time. Email is all well and good, but when it comes to the inevitable hiccups that come with any workplace – i.e., lateness, sickness, etc. – immediate contact is essential. Start a work chat on WhatsApp so you have one central place to communicate, so everyone is always in the loop. Communication is key for engaging employees, which means that WhatsApp should be an essential part of your digital arsenal. Combine this with job scheduling software like Humanity and you’ll always know where your team is and if they are on track.

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