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Taking the email ping pong out of scheduling meetings has gone from a “nice to have” to an essential — especially for professionals who book a lot of external meetings, like those on sales, marketing, and customer success teams. Google noticed, and recently launched an appointment schedule feature in Google Calendar.
Both Calendly and Google Calendar offer links where people can look at openings in your calendar and book 1:1 meetings with you. Both let you automate confirmation emails to reduce no-shows, and build in meeting buffers so you aren’t stuck in endless back-to-back meetings.
Aaand … that’s about where the similarities end. Essentially, Google’s offering for 1:1 meetings operates much like Calendly did in 2014. Today, Calendly’s functionality goes way beyond just a scheduling link, with features designed to help teams earn more revenue. So let’s look more closely at your needs, and which of these apps is the right fit for you and your business.
Overview: Google Calendar vs Calendly
Google Calendar’s biggest advantage is that it’s big. The appointment schedule feature is already built-in for 500 million users (although the new feature is only available for certain types of paid accounts).
This makes Google Calendar the easiest and cheapest tool for people who:
a) exclusively use Google Calendar
b) have a paid Google Workspace plan, and
c) only need a simple way to schedule appointments with one person at a time.
“As is, Calendly’s free offering is significantly more powerful than the service Google is charging for.”
With Calendly, you do have to take the time to download the app and connect your calendars. But Calendly lets you mix and match if, say, you use an Outlook account at work, and an iPhone calendar for your family. Your scheduling link isn’t helpful if people can avoid your work conflicts, but double book you during your child’s birthday party.
This means Calendly’s free Basic plan is already more feature-rich than Google’s paid appointment scheduling product.
How Google Calendar and Calendly are different
Calendly integrates well with other apps
Calendly’s compatibility with other apps is one of its main differentiators from in-app calendar features within huge software like Google. Calendly supports you through the entire meeting lifecycle, in harmony with your existing tech stack.
For companies and teams, Calendly’s neutrality is a huge boon. Calendly serves multiple departments by offering integrations with the software you’re in all day. Examples include:
Why is this important? Let’s use the Salesforce CRM as an example. When sales reps schedule meetings with new prospects using Calendly, Salesforce automatically creates a new lead, contact, or opportunity. If the prospect already exists in Salesforce, the event is simply added to the existing record.
Sales reps love using the integration because less data entry means they can speed up their sales pipeline to close more deals. Sales managers love that Salesforce data is always accurate so they don’t have to chase down reps for updates. With the Calendly+Salesforce integration, it’s all automated and reps never need to leave Salesforce.
Compatibility with other apps matters for individuals, as well. Say you’re doing consulting or tutoring. You can embed a Calendly link on your website, create a meeting type where the Zoom link populates instantly, and configure Stripe to require a downpayment online before your meeting. Setting up these automations is easy, shrinks your to-do list, reduces no shows, and ensures you’re compensated for your valuable time.
Appointment scheduling features beyond the 1:1 meeting link
In addition to Calendly’s free plan (that will stay free forever), Calendly offers paid plans that make group scheduling easier. These plans support users through the entire meeting lifecycle. By contrast, Google’s appointment schedule feature only addresses one aspect of the meeting experience.
“Within the first month of using Calendly, we jumped from 30% to 61% of leads scheduling a call.”
Calendly provides a wealth of features to help you close more deals faster and provide seamless customer service to increase your ARR:
A collective event pools team members' availability and only shows invitees appointment slots when all hosts are available. This is ideal when, for example, a customer wants to schedule a technical support call with their CS rep and an engineer. Or when you need to schedule a smooth customer handoff from sales to CS. This feature also is helpful for scheduling kickoffs and regular check-ins that involve external people like customers and vendors.
If you’re hosting something like a webinar or class, this feature lets multiple invitees reserve a spot for the same event. You can integrate video conferencing like Zoom or Webex, so the link is automatically included in the event invite.
Round Robin scheduling
Say you’ve got a ton of leads coming in and you need to respond quickly with intro calls and demos. Round Robin automatically connects prospects with your next available sales rep. You can even weight each sales rep, so you can route more calls to your staffers who have the most room in their portfolios. This is also a great tool for connecting existing customers with your support team.
Workflows streamline communications across the meeting lifecycle. Examples of tasks you can automate in workflows:
Email reminders containing pre-call questionnaires
Post-call follow-up links with surveys
Using workflows, you can apply meeting best practices automatically across your team. This increases engagement and ensures consistent, professional communications with your prospects, customers, and job candidates.
Pricing: Calendly vs. G Cal
While we’d be remiss not to mention pricing here, it’s an apples-to-oranges comparison, since the core offerings of Google Workspace (formerly the G Suite, which includes Calendar, Drive, Gmail, Docs, etc.) are fundamentally different from Calendly’s scheduling automation platform.
Chances are, if your organization has “gone Google,” it’s done so for other reasons, and whether Google Calendar’s scheduling tool will work for you depends on the complexity of your needs. Still, for the sake of thoroughness, here are the links to Google Workspace pricing and Calendly pricing.
"Ease of use" is another somewhat fraught comparison — if you’re already set up with Google Workspace, both its scheduling tool and Calendly’s are similarly straightforward. If you aren’t all-in on Google, though, the likelihood you would choose it for its scheduling functionality in comparison with Calendly is low.
Calendly vs. Google Calendar: Choose according to your priorities
Google Calendar’s appointment schedule feature is a simple approach for people who have paid Google accounts and just want to save some time scheduling one-on-one meetings. This is the practical choice for people who work exclusively in Google Workspace, and don’t need their scheduling software to connect to tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Slack.
But businesses, teams, and entrepreneurs who need real financial outcomes can’t waste time when prospects express interest, or when customers need answers. Calendly is more than just a scheduling link: It’s a time-saving ecosystem that’s proven difficult for others to match.
At Calendly, scheduling automation isn’t an afterthought feature, but a strategic part of your tech stack, designed to drive more revenue and delight more customers.
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Sarah is a Managing Editor at Calendly, the perfect home for her obsession with words and compulsion to organize. Hobbies include spoiling her rescue dog and soaking up Nashville's live music scene.
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