TidyCal vs. Calendly: which is the best scheduling app?

As more businesses move online, it’s becoming increasingly important to have an efficient online appointment scheduling tool. A plethora of scheduling software is available, one of the most prominent of which is Calendly.

Used by over 10 million people worldwide, Calendly is easily the most popular appointment-scheduling software. Even the most well-known and best Calendly alternatives, like Acuity Scheduling, can’t compare when it comes to worldwide users.

I’ve already written an article on Calendly vs. Acuity. Here, I want to give a smaller outfit a chance to shine against Calendly.

One of Calendly’s essential features is its completely free plan. Calendly’s free plan is great for small businesses looking for a scheduling app that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, with scheduling tools like online scheduling, group scheduling and group meetings, automatic reminders, and more.

However, Calendly and its free version aren’t immune to competition.

A relatively unknown name in the scheduling software niche, TidyCal is another free-forever appointment-scheduling software and a great Calendly alternative. As Calendly alternatives go, TidyCal is a heavily underrated appointment scheduling software with a robust feature set that keeps it competitive with the big names.

Tidycal and Calendly may be in the same category, that being scheduling apps, but that doesn’t mean they’re the same; each online scheduling tool has its own strengths and weaknesses.

If you’re looking to choose a reliable automated scheduling tool, doing so without information on both platforms may lead you to make a bad choice.

To make sure you’re properly informed, I’ll walk you through the main differences between TidyCal and Calendly, including their target audience and appointment scheduling features so you can find the appointment scheduling tool that is right for you.

Without further ado, this is Tidycal vs. Calendly.

What is TidyCal?

tidycal vs. calendly

TidyCal is one of many Calendly alternatives that includes all of the scheduling tools you could ever need; the only reason why it isn’t as widely used is that it is fairly new in relation to the most popular scheduling tools.

To exemplify this, the TidyCal domain has been registered for around two years and three months, as where Calendly’s domain has been registered for ten years and two months.

TidyCal’s claim to fame is its affordability, as many Calendly alternatives (like Acuity Scheduling) require you to pay per seat monthly, and might not even offer a free plan like TidyCal does.

On that topic, TidyCal only has two plans: a free plan and one paid plan. TidyCal’s free plan offers users their own booking page, unlimited bookings, multiple booking types, custom day availability, embeds on any site, customer support, and more, which is more than other Calendly alternatives can say their free plans offer.

As for TidyCal’s paid plan, for a one-time payment of $29, you can get features like multiple calendars, custom email reminders, the ability to coordinate group meetings, advanced integrations with Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Bookings, and Google Calendar, automatic time zone adjustments, and much more.

What is Calendly?

Calendly is an incredibly popular, but fairly traditional appointment management tool that gives businesses and clients a blissful online booking experience using automation.

It’s main claim to fame is its simplicity; quite literally anyone can use the platform to schedule meetings effectively with its intuitive user interface and minimal learning curve.

On top of that simplicity, Calendly allows users to create automated workflows with custom notifications and automatic reminders so meeting scheduling can stay as clear as possible while avoiding scheduling conflicts.

Additionally, it offers integrations with popular external calendars like Google Calendar, Outlook, and Apple, making it easy for users to manage their schedules in one place.

Calendly offers five plans: a free plan, an Essentials plan, a Professional plan, a Teams plan, and an enterprise plan; the Teams plan is where Calendly starts to offer team schedule management capabilities. Each plan offers various features, of course, with the free plan having the most limited features.

TidyCal vs. Calendly at a glance

Below is a comparison table that outlines the main differences between TidyCal and Calendly. I’ve written a more detailed comparison between the two below if you want to skip the table, but here is an at-a-glance comparison:

Ease of UseIncredibly lightweight, functions entirely as neededIncredibly simple and user friendly
Scheduling FeaturesPersonal booking page, multiple booking types, availability preferences, group bookings/team scheduling functionality, and paid bookingsCalendar with automated scheduling, payment processing
IntegrationsCalendar integrations (e.g. Google Calendar and Apple Calendar) with free plan, Zapier (5,000+ more integrations), Zoom, Google Meet, and API with paid planZoom, Slack, Salesforce, + 98 more
Customer SupportEmail support 24/7 with both free and paid plan, simple chat widget with user submission function, and a knowledge base to help users solve basic problems by themselvesHelp center access w/ free plan, 24/7 email & chat support available w/ any paid plan
PricingFree plan available, paid plan is a $29 one-time paymentFree version available; paid plans start at $8/seat/mo

TidyCal is an all-rounder

What makes TidyCal one of the best Calendly alternatives is that scheduling appointments is made incredibly easy for anyone who uses it, regardless of their meeting-scheduling use case.

The user interface is so simple that the key features stand out immediately. For example, you can see all of your bookings, your contacts, app integrations, and TidyCal’s director which you can advertise your services on.

tidycal, tidycal vs. calendly

On the dashboard pictured above, you can see the three example meeting durations that come with your account: a 15-minute meeting, a 30-minute meeting, and a 60-minute paid meeting. To have paid meetings, however, you have to pay for the tool. This allows you to both offer paid meetings on your website and advertise your services on TidyCal’s director to schedule as many meetings as possible.

The variety in meeting types between free and paid meetings makes TidyCal great for both internal and external scheduling respectively. The ability to switch between free and paid meetings with a few mouse clicks helps users schedule appointments with team members or consult customers as they please.

Additionally, the TidyCal mobile app allows users to schedule and take meetings from wherever they please. Plus, the integrations with apps like Zoom and Google Meet let you use video conferencing as a part of those meetings.

Overall, TidyCal is built for small business owners and growing businesses who need an affordable scheduling tool but are looking for a Calendly alternative.

Calendly is better for internal scheduling

While TidyCal can do internal scheduling very well, if you’re looking for a dedicated internal scheduling app with a non-existent learning curve and no extra fluff, then Calendly is definitely the better choice for you.

As mentioned, Calendly’s user interface is extremely simple. On your home page, you can see your scheduled meetings and event types, and you can navigate through tabs to see your upcoming schedule, automated workflows, and routing forms.

Calendly home page, Calendly vs. Acuity

On the topic of routing forms, Calendly enables users to create bespoke forms with powerful routing logic to direct customers to an event type, custom message, or custom URL.

These forms are incredibly easy to set up and are a great way to pre-qualify leads or let your leads schedule the amount of time they need with you.

Additionally, Calendly offers more points of access to the app, like browser extensions and iPhone/Android apps.

On G2, Calendly users rate the app at 4.7/5 stars, with almost no one or two-star ratings.

Overall, Calendly is a better solution for people looking to schedule internal meetings, for example with your team or subordinates as opposed to external meetings like client appointments.

Conclusion: TidyCal vs. Calendly?

When comparing TidyCal vs. Calendly, it’s clear that both options offer similar features and pricing options. However, there are some key differences in price structure, free features, and target audience.

TidyCal is incredibly lightweight and beats other Calendly alternatives out in bang for your buck, but Calendly is a more robust platform with more in-depth features. This likely appeals to more established businesses with an internal structure already set up, as where TidyCal would appeal more to small business owners.

Both options offer easy-to-use interfaces and scheduling features that can save businesses time and improve their scheduling processes.

Ultimately, the choice between TidyCal and Calendly will depend on the specific needs of a business.

If you’re a solopreneur business looking primarily for a simple, lightweight, and easy-to-use all-purpose scheduling app, then TidyCal is definitely the best choice for you.

If you’re a larger outfit looking to schedule internal meetings and group events with your sales teams and others, then Calendly is the scheduling solution for you.