The tools you use to schedule meetings matter. They affect the logistics of your meetings, and whether putting those meetings on the calendar is convenient, or a kerfuffle.
So in this article, we’ll evaluate the scheduling features of Google Calendar, Calendly, Doodle, Rally, and ScheduleOnce based on five important criteria:
Rallly would get fewer stars if it could because it provides no integrations. But since Rallly’s main value proposition is privacy—that’s a feature, not a bug.
ScheduleOnce and Doodle's integrations, on the other hand, both provide a little more than the minimum. They have native integrations with popular video conferencing, calendar, and CRM apps like Teams, Zoom, Outlook, Google Calendar, and Salesforce. And they both have APIs.
Calendly’s integration library includes many of the most common apps in the following categories:
Google Calendar also scores high on integrations but more so because so many tools already integrate with it.
Since you’re not the only one who interacts with your meeting scheduling app, we look at ease of use for both you and your meeting attendees.
Rallly and Calendy tie with top ratings, but for different reasons. Part of what makes Rallly so intuitive is its relative lack of features. All you can really do is create an event, tally votes, share links, and engage in discussion.
Calendly is far more powerful, with integrations for analytics, add-ons for lead generation, and much more. Yet even with its full feature set, Calendly feels lightweight and easy to learn.
ScheduleOnce is even more powerful than Calendly in terms of features and performance. And its interface isn’t bad, but non-enterprise users might find much of its functionality excessive.
Doodle is super intuitive if you’re a recipient. You just click the Participation link you were sent, enter your name, and select your availability. But for organizers, especially compared to Rallly, Doodle’s a bit more involved.
You need to configure poll settings, and with Premium, you have deadlines, automatic reminders, and other settings you may or may not want. You can try creating one for free to see what it’s like.
Google Calendar is comparable in usability to Doodle because it’s a fairly intuitive meeting scheduler. But certain specific things like connecting to other calendars and the default Google Meet setting are annoying enough to earn Google a three-star rating.
Except for Rallly, each of these apps allows you to schedule meetings from any device—PC, Mac, iPhone, Android, etc.
The only caveat is that you’re not using native desktop apps but rather integrations with popular desktop apps. (Each option—other than Rallly—does have a mobile app.)
For example, ScheduleOnce doesn’t actually have its own app for Macs or PCs. But it does have a PC Connector that allows you to connect with Outlook and schedule meetings from there. So in that sense, you can schedule meetings with ScheduleOnce on any operating system that’s compatible with Outlook.
Similarly, there’s no Google Calendar desktop app. But you can integrate it with the built-in Windows or macOS built-in calendar applications.
It’s worth noting that, of these apps, only Google Calendar can integrate with your desktop’s built-in applications. The rest rely on native integrations with Outlook to cover their bases when it comes to desktop application compatibility.
Scheduling meetings with participants in different timezones can be a major hassle. And each of these apps handle this challenge in slightly different ways.
Rally is again a negative outlier here because it doesn’t even allow you to schedule times. It’s designed to enable you to choose a date.
Even then, if you’re in California trying to schedule an event on a certain date with someone who lives in a timezone that’s 12 hours (or more) ahead of you, it’s going to be clunky.
ScheduleOnce does much better but it earns two stars here because of the extra effort involved. The app uses Booking Pages to enable you to send links for your invitees to schedule. But if you travel frequently, you have to set up multiple Booking Pages for each of your timezones.
Of course, if you only work in one timezone, this is fine. And Booking Pages do automatically convert timezones for your invitees. But the other three apps either automatically detect your timezone or allow you to change your timezone without creating a separate page.
Google Calendar enables you to change your timezone and/or configure timezones settings for individual events.
And your invitees will see everything in their own timezone. But, unlike Doodle, ScheduleOnce, or Calendly, Google Calendar doesn’t prevent the back and forth that occurs when you’re trying to schedule meetings across timezones.
Calendly works like ScheduleOnce in terms of timezones except that it doesn’t require you to set up multiple booking pages. Still, while it works great for one-on-one meeting scheduling, the lack of a polling mechanism leaves it up to you to go back and forth with your invitees to find an ideal time for a group.
Doodle automatically sets the correct timezone for you and your participants and allows you to change it manually. Plus, its polling mechanism makes finding a meeting time that works for everyone extremely easy. This combination of the reduced back and forth and easy configuration makes Doodle the clear timezone winner.
When we ask the customization question, we’re thinking about two kinds of customization: branding and integrations.
Again, Rally comes in last; what you see is what you get. Google Calendar also scores low, since you’re essentially stuck with the Google branding. Though you can do quite a bit of customization in terms of integrations.
While it only earns three stars here, Doodle is customizable enough for most teams. You can adjust the background image, color, logo and profile picture on your polls. And Doodle integrates with enough other tools that it should easily fit within your existing set.
But Doodle lags Calendly and ScheduleOnce because if you need different branding for different polls you need separate accounts. With a couple of brands, this might be feasible… but many more and it quickly becomes unnecessarily costly (and complicated).
Calendly, on the other hand, enables you to create different booking pages with custom branding for several different teams. And of course, Calendly has tons of integrations. Where Calendly comes up short (at least compared to ScheduleOnce) is its lack of branding options. All you can change is your logo, welcome message, and name.
ScheduleOnce allows heavy customization. Through their Theme Designer, Booking Editor, and Notification Template editor, you have full control over the look and feel of your meeting scheduling apparatus. And ScheduleOnce integrates with many popular apps.
Overall, on the whole, both Google Calendar and Calendly offer the most robust scheduling opportunities, although both products are quite different.
For a more hands-on approach to meeting scheduling, Google Calendar, which is part of both Gmail and Google Workspace, will be your best option.
If you want to empower others to schedule meetings with you in a simple, clean interface, try Calendly, and you won't be disappointed.