English
English

Software

Software

Calendly vs. Microsoft Bookings: Which is right for you?

READ TIME: 7 MINUTES

Steph Knapp

Steph Knapp
Jul 21, 2022

calendly-vs-microsoft-bookings-which-is-right-for-you-header

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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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. 

  3. 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:

  1. Already pay for business or enterprise Microsoft 365. If you’re in one of those camps, you can begin using Bookings immediately. 

  2. 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. 

Manage calendars

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. 

Create meetings

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, Microsoft Teams video conferencing is 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.

Send reminders

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.

 eBook: How to implement modern scheduling for high-performing teams

E-book: How high-performing teams achieve even more with scheduling automation

Whether it's sales revenue, recruiting pipeline, or customer retention, learn how scheduling automation can help your team save time and hit your goals.

Team and collaboration features for Calendly vs. 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. 

Screenshot of the "Create New Event Type" page in Calendly showing Event Types: Group, Collective, and Round Robin.
Calendly's team scheduling Event Types include Round Robin, Collective, and Group meetings.

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. 

Workflows

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. A Total Economic Impact study conducted by Forrester Consulting found that Calendly saved organizations more than 9,000 hours booking external meetings over three years.

Microsoft Bookings doesn’t have workflow automations at this time, but you can create reusable appointment types.

Reporting

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.

The Total Economic Impact™ of Calendly

A study conducted by Forrester Consulting found that Calendly provided customers a 318% ROI over three years. Read the full study for real customer insights about the benefits of using Calendly.

[eBook] The Total Economic Impact of Calendly (TEI)

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.

Native Calendly integrations include:

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.

Ready to see Calendly in action? Sign up for free today.

Get started with Calendly

Ready to make scheduling easier than ever?
Steph Knapp

Steph Knapp

Steph Knapp is a freelance B2B + SaaS content marketer that loves educating and empowering curious humans. When she's not typing away, you'll find her volunteering at the animal shelter and obsessing over a new hobby every week. 

Don't leave your prospects, customers, and candidates waiting

Calendly eliminates the scheduling back and forth and helps you hit goals faster. Get started in seconds.

Calendly eliminates the scheduling back and forth and helps you hit goals faster. Get started in seconds.