Time Management
These availability calendar apps will simplify your scheduling process

These availability calendar apps will simplify your scheduling process

Judy Tsuei
August 10, 2021
Updated on:
March 27, 2024

These availability calendar apps will simplify your scheduling process
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It’s no surprise that at Clockwise we’re all about adding precious hours back into your week — it’s why we’re here! And it’s also why we searched high and low for the best availability calendar tools that’ll help you schedule meetings without the dreaded back-and-forth. Time is precious and these four user-friendly scheduling tools will help you leverage it.

Whether you’re a solopreneur or a member of a large enterprise, this post will take the guesswork out of deciding if a scheduling tool is the best pick for your (and, if applicable, your team’s) needs. Below, find the best availability calendar tools for booking appointments!

What is an availability calendar?

When you think of “availability calendar,” your brain probably conjures up an image of a color-coded monthly calendar — free days in green and booked days in red. (Not unlike the templates found here.)

But despite its name, an availability calendar can do more than simply show availability — whether that’s yours or the availability of your teammates. It can also be a scheduling app that allows people to book meetings and appointments with one another — usually in just a few clicks.

5 benefits of using an availability calendar

Take a look at some of the advantages an availability calendar can give you:

  • Simplified scheduling. With all of your available time slots on a shareable booking page, clients and colleagues can easily select a time slot that works for them. Say goodbye to back-and-forth emails, and hello to frictionless scheduling for both parties.
  • Elevated brand image. Whether you’re representing yourself or a company, an availability calendar helps convey professionalism to whomever you’re booking with. It communicates that you’re organized and efficient, which fosters trust and credibility. Many availability calendars also provide options for customized branding.
  • Greater control over your time. You get to choose which time slots are made available on your booking page, giving you autonomy over your schedule. Plus, when you choose an availability calendar like Clockwise, you use AI to optimize your schedule for more focus and productivity.
  • Prevention of double-booking. When it comes to traditional manual scheduling, double-booking is bound to happen. An availability calendar helps automate some of that process, reducing the risk of scheduling conflicts.
  • Seamless integration. By integrating with your calendar and video conferencing apps, the best availability calendar tools fit into your existing workflows effortlessly. This way, you get all the benefits of an availability calendar without needing to upend your current routine.

4 best availability calendar apps

Like most apps, the best choice for you depends on your unique situation. Once you know what you’re looking for, compare the options below to see which one best suits your needs.

Calendly: Best availability calendar for 1:1 meetings

Simplify the way you book 1:1 meetings with Calendly. Calendly creates a booking page for you to link via email, your website, social media profile, or anywhere else you can share a link. All it takes is a free Calendly account plus the following information:

  1. Your availability
  2. Your custom “event types.” For example, if you work in customer onboarding for a software company, you might list “30-minute demo” as an event type.

Presto! You’re all set to share your link with anyone who wants to book time with you.

Calendly booking page
Sample Calendly booking calendar

Calendly connects with your calendars in Google, Office 365, Outlook, and iCloud. Other handy features include embedding options and integrations with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, and Slack. If you upgrade to their premium plans, you can access features that cater more to teams such as group scheduling and a booking page that host’s team events.

Pricing levels:

  • Free for just one link
  • $8-$10/mo for Premium
  • $12-$15/mo for Pro
  • Contact for Enterprise plan

Clockwise: Best AI-powered availability calendar

Find the best time, not just the next time

Whereas most availability calendars help users find the soonest available time, Clockwise Scheduling Links helps you schedule meetings at their ideal time. This scheduling tool uses AI to understand your unique preferences, then suggests meeting times that create your ideal day. 

One way Clockwise does this is by optimizing your day for more Focus Time, aka long blocks of free time that are perfect for deep work. When you share your scheduling link with another person, whether that be a team member or external guest, you can tell Clockwise to suggest available time slots that preserve your Focus Time.

Plus, you can create an unlimited number of scheduling links with Clockwise for absolutely free. Sign up to try it out.

Clockwise also works with your favorite apps, including Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, Zoom, Google Meet, Asana, and Slack.

To create your booking page:

  1. Sign up for your free Clockwise account using your work Gmail or Microsoft Outlook email address. 
  2. Navigate to your Scheduling links dashboard.
  3. Click + Create a link.
  4. Enter the details for your meeting type. Here, you can connect your Zoom or Google Meet account.
  5. Click Create Link in the top-right corner.

Voilà! You can now share your link with anyone who’d like to schedule time with you. 

Pricing levels:

  • Free for an unlimited number of links
  • $6.75/mo (paid annually) for Teams plan
  • $11.50/mo (paid annually) for Business plan
  • Contact for Enterprise plan

Doodle: Best group availability calendar

If your greatest pain point is coordinating with multiple people, then we’d like to introduce you to Doodle. With this app, you can find times that work for everyone. All you need to do is create a free Doodle poll by following these steps:

  1. Give the event a name (i.e. Project Kickoff Meeting).
  2. Select dates and times to present to your invitees as options.
  3. Choose your settings (i.e. limit how many options an invitee can vote for, make the poll “hidden” so that only you can see the names and results — and more!).
  4. Provide your name and email address (so that invitees know who you are).
  5. Send out your poll either through email or a shareable link.

Take a look at the results, and voilà, you now know the best time for your group meeting! Note that the shareable link does prompt the recipient to book time with you (like Calendly), but rather, invites them to respond with their best availability.

Create a doodle for availability
Sample Doodle poll for a group meeting

As mentioned, Doodle polls are completely free. There are no limits to the number of polls you can create or how many recipients you can invite to vote. But, if you upgrade to one of Doodle’s paid plans, you can access features like integrations with Google Calendar, Office 365, and iCloud Calendar; the option to set voting deadlines; and a scheduling feature called Booking Page, which works similarly to Calendly’s booking link. Check out Doodle’s website for a more comprehensive look at its premium features.

Pricing levels:

  • Free to create Doodle polls
  • $6.95/mo (paid annually) for Pro
  • $8.95/user/month (paid annually) for Team
  • Contact for Enterprise plan

Google Calendar: Best availability calendar for convenience

When you don’t want another app on your proverbial toolbelt, why not maximize what you already have? If you’re a Gmail user, you likely use Google Calendar to some degree — especially considering the way that Google Calendar syncs with iCloud Calendar (previously iCal) and even the events in your inbox. (Got an email for a flight confirmation? Expect that to show up in Google Calendar!) Not to mention that this app offers amazing calendar view options that go beyond the standard daily, weekly, and monthly formats.

When it comes to coordinating availability, Google Calendar’s shareable calendar feature makes it a breeze. Let’s say you and a team member, Nat, need to jump on a call next week. The following steps are all it takes to arrange the perfect time:

  1. Share your calendar with her, either by adding her or sending a shareable link. Or she can share hers.
  2. Find an available time, create an event, and invite!

Don’t fret — with shareable calendars, you can choose how much is visible to other people. Let them see the details of your schedule or simply whether you’re “free” or “busy.” Either way, you can say goodbye to back-and-forth emails!

Calendar sharing options in Google Calendar

Pricing levels:

  • Google Calendar is free for personal use
  • For business use, subscribe to Google Workspace, which starts at $6/user/month

Going forward

So, which one of these calendar apps will you choose? Don’t forget to add your smart calendar assistant, Clockwise, to your arsenal of time-saving tools. Clockwise automatically reschedules conflicting meetings, frees up blocks of uninterrupted time for you to focus, and factors in your preferences — so that you’re always in charge of your time!

About the author

Judy Tsuei

Judy Tsuei is a Simon & Schuster author, speaker, and podcast host. She’s been featured in MindBodyGreen, BBC Travel, Fast Company, Hello Giggles, and more. As the founder of Wild Hearted Words, a creative marketing agency for global brands, Judy is also a mentor with the Founder Institute, the world's largest pre-seed accelerator. Judy advocates for mental and emotional health on her popular podcast, F*ck Saving Face. Follow along her journey at

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