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When you work with a large team or company, you need a scheduling tool that everyone can get on board with easily. Calendly and Microsoft Bookings are both popular appointment scheduling choices for teams. But beyond some shared functionalities, they fit into your workflow very differently.
Let’s compare Calendly vs Microsoft Bookings to help you decide which is right for your team and business scheduling needs.
Calendly overview — who is it for?
Calendly is a hub for scheduling and managing meetings efficiently. It has the essential features your meeting scheduling software needs, like one-click booking. There are also integrations and workflows, making it a solid choice for cross-functional teams.
There is a free plan and small business options for Calendly, but if you’re considering it alongside Microsoft Bookings, chances are you work on a team. That’s good news: Calendly integrates with Microsoft products, so if you’re a 365 user, Calendly is still on the table. Calendly’s platform security and compliance are designed specifically for large teams.
Calendly is great for teams who:
Use a variety of tools. We’ll explore Calendly integrations later in the post. For now, just know you can use Calendly alongside a wide variety of tools, including Zoom, Salesforce, Hubspot, and Slack.
Need a solution that’s easy to spin up. According to G2, Calendly is the #1 easiest to use online appointment scheduling software because of its intuitive design.
Want to create automated meeting workflows. Most meetings require more work than just setting a date and time. Automate tasks like meeting reminders and follow-up emails using Calendly’s Workflows to help you save time and accomplish more.
Microsoft Bookings overview — who is it for?
Microsoft Bookings is the online scheduling arm of Microsoft 365, previously called Microsoft Office. If your team already has a paid version of 365, you may already have access.
Microsoft Bookings is an option for teams who:
Already pay for business or enterprise Microsoft 365. If you’re in one of those camps, you can begin using Bookings immediately.
Want simple scheduling software. Microsoft Bookings integrates with the Outlook calendar and Office suite for simple booking. It won’t automate your meeting workflow, but you can schedule appointments one at a time.
Scheduling usability and features for Calendly vs Microsoft Bookings
Now that we’ve reviewed Calendly and Microsoft Bookings from a high-level, let’s compare them feature-to-feature starting with the meeting scheduling process.
Microsoft Bookings works only with your Office calendar. Your booking page only shows available times based on your linked calendar. You can customize appointment duration and how far in advance customers can book appointments.
If you or your team wants to work across calendar apps like Microsoft, Google, and Apple, Calendly is the easier choice. You can connect multiple calendars simultaneously to manage availability. This way, your sales meeting on your work calendar can’t interfere with the doctor appointment on your personal Apple calendar.
Calendly and Bookings both let you add meeting buffers, which automatically builds in breathing room before and after events to avoid back-to-back bookings.
Calendly offers a few ways for invitees to choose an available time from your calendar. You can share your scheduling link or use the Calendly Outlook add-in to embed available meeting times directly into an email from your inbox. Invitees will automatically see your available times in their time zone. You also have the option to distribute meetings across the team or route invitees to the correct team member automatically.
With Calendly you’ll never forget to include a videoconferencing link again, because it integrates with Zoom, Webex, GoToMeeting, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams. With Microsoft Bookings, well, hopefully you like using Teams’ video conferencing because that’s your only option.
How you interact with meetings set up through Microsoft Bookings depends on your role and access level. If you set up appointments, you’ll use the Bookings app to create events and share the scheduling link with attendees. If you only need to see your scheduled meetings and not make them, you’ll view and join them from your calendar.
If you work internationally, keep in mind that the booking page uses the host’s time zone and language. There are also limited features for customizing your appointment web pages.
Nobody wants to waste time with no-show appointments, so Calendly and Microsoft Bookings have meeting confirmation and email reminders. Bookings users in the U.S. and Canada can also enable SMS text notifications.
Calendly’s follow-up settings are highly customizable, allowing you to choose who receives what email or text message minutes, hours, or days before and after an event. There are also confirmations if someone cancels an event.
Teamwork usability and features for Calendly versus Microsoft Bookings
Both Calendly and Microsoft Bookings share some essential features, like scheduling pages that prevent double booking. They begin to diverge when you consider workflows and collaboration. Here’s how both tools stack up for teams.
Team member management
Calendly knows there are many ways your staff members work together, so you can choose from several types of team scheduling. You can create a Round Robin event for product demos or discovery calls that any sales team member can pick up. Or perhaps you need to coordinate a panel interview with multiple team members. You also can create group appointments like webinars or trainings, where multiple invitees can book the same time slot.
Microsoft Bookings also allows you to distribute appointments to a group, but there's no way to ensure equal distribution or cap the number of appointments a single team member is assigned.
With Calendly’s automated Workflows, you can design a meeting process from front to back one time and use it over and over.
For example, you can send every sales prospect a recording of the demo after an event automatically. Or, you can send the same branded follow-up reminders at consistent intervals before events. There’s also a Calendly and Zapier integration you can use to create tasks from new events, send Slack messages with new calendar invites, and more.
These workflows ensure your organization delivers a consistent experience across the board and frees up time and mental energy for your team.
Microsoft Bookings doesn’t have workflow automations at this time, but you can create reusable appointment types.
If you want insights into your teams’ meetings, you’re in luck, because both Calendly and Microsoft Bookings have reporting.
Microsoft Bookings reports include four months of data at a time. You can download information like event type, duration, and price in a TSV file.
Calendly Analytics offers live, built-in dashboards with insights to help you make better business decisions: popular meeting days, top performers, in-demand meeting types, and more.
Integrations for Calendly vs. Microsoft Bookings
Chances are you aren’t starting from scratch with your tech stack, so you need a scheduling app that works with your other tools.
Since Microsoft Bookings is part of the Office 365 suite, it only integrates with other Microsoft tools, like your Outlook calendar and Microsoft Teams. This works well for teams who exclusively use Microsoft apps.
If you want to integrate appointment scheduling with tools — both Microsoft and others — across your tech stack, Calendly integrations offer more options.
Some of the tools with native Calendly integrations include:
Multiple calendars including Google Calendar, Outlook 365 Calendar, and iCloud Calendar
Calendly vs Microsoft bookings: Choose scheduling software that fits your tech stack and priorities
Microsoft Bookings is a simple, built-in appointment scheduling option for teams already working in and paying for higher-tier subscriptions of Microsoft 365. It’s a good choice for teams who only use Microsoft apps, but offers limited automations, integrations, and workflows.
Calendly, on the other hand, has options for everyone, from small businesses to enterprise organizations. Meeting workflows and collaboration are customizable, and integrations with apps like Zoom, Salesforce, and Microsoft products make it fit seamlessly into your existing tech stack and processes.
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