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Using Calendly

Using Calendly

Calendly vs. Doodle

Calendly and Doodle let people vote on preferred meeting times. Which tool is better?

Thad Thompson

Thad Thompson
Dec 10, 2021

12 min read

Calendly vs Doodle HERO

One of the biggest challenges in scheduling a meeting among several people is finding when everyone is available to get together — not to mention finding everyone’s preferred times.

Polling tools have emerged to make it easy to know when everyone is available. Invitees can now use digital tools to surface available options and vote on their favorites, letting the host schedule the meeting for the time that works best for the most people. 

Calendly and Doodle are the front-runners in appointment scheduling management. Which one is right for you? Use this guide to review the features and functionality of each, their pros and cons,  and what types of users they tend to serve best. You’ll find direct feature comparisons below, but first let’s explore some of the high-level differences between Calendly and Doodle.

What is Calendly?

Calendly is an intuitive platform that automates scheduling, removing the back-and-forth so you can choose the best time quickly and with less hassle. Its core functionality was developed around scheduling, and has grown to support the entire meeting lifecycle. Over 10 million users worldwide rely on Calendly to plan meetings and appointments, as well as customize scheduling workflows and automate meeting communications.

How does Calendly work?

Using Calendly is easy. Just specify your appointment preferences, such as how long you want meetings to be and how much time you want between them, and then tell Calendly when you’re available.

‌Calendly takes this information and creates an interactive customized calendar. Then you can send that calendar link to clients, colleagues, friends, and anyone else you need to meet with. You can even add the link to your website or social media. And it doesn’t matter where they are — Calendly shows your invitees when you’re available in their own time zone, so there’s no worrying about someone booking the wrong time.

When someone clicks on the link, they choose a time and date and enter their contact information. Once the meeting is scheduled, Calendly notifies both you and the invitee via email. There are additional options for follow-up, depending on your subscription level (more on that later).

If you need to set up a meeting between three (or more!) people, it’s just as easy. Using the Meeting Polls feature, you can send your invitees a survey on their preferred times to get together. Once they vote, you can see the most popular times in the responses and book the meeting — all from the same platform.

Poll invitees see a screen where they can select the times that work for them.
Meeting invitees share their preferences by selecting the times that work for them.

What are Calendly’s key features?

  • Support for one-on-one and group meetings

  • Integrated preferred time polling and scheduling for group meetings

  • Team scheduling and round robin meeting capabilities 

  • Automatic time zone detection and adjustment

  • ‌Automated confirmation and reminder messages

  • ‌Event comment fields and attachments

  • ‌Metrics and reporting to track meeting engagement

  • ‌Embedded payment collection (Stripe and PayPal)

  • ‌iPhone and Android apps

  • ‌Numerous integrations including Zoom, GoToMeeting, HubSpot, and Salesforce

  • Time saving extensions with Firefox, Chrome, Gmail, and Outlook

  • Enterprise security and admin management capabilities

What is Doodle?

Doodle was first developed as a polling tool, and has evolved to include appointment scheduling functionality. It lets you set up an availability calendar that informs people when you’re free. They can then use a customized link to that calendar to set up a meeting time.

Doodle booking screen
Doodle's calendar for selecting available times.

How does Doodle work?

Doodle has four basic interfaces:

  • ‌A bookable calendar in which people can choose a time to meet with you

  • ‌A one-on-one scheduler (for paid users only)

  • ‌Group polling to assess availability

  • ‌A survey builder for questions that aren’t “Which time works for you?”

‌‌Each interface stands alone, which can be inconvenient when you’re trying to save time. For example, you can send out a survey to determine the best meeting time for your group, but Doodle won’t automatically turn that time into a calendar invite.

‌There’s more manual work involved with Doodle, but there’s also plenty of flexibility in how you use it.

What are Doodle’s key features?

  • Polling for invitees’ preferred meeting times

  • Syncing with Google calendar, Office 365, and iCal

  • ‌Easily shareable links

  • ‌Time zone detection

  • ‌Automated reminders

  • ‌iPhone and Android apps

  • ‌Integrations with Zoom, Google Meet, and Slack

Are Calendly and Doodle suitable for businesses?

Both tools work for business and personal users. But, as a dedicated meeting lifecycle management platform, Calendly offers more team and enterprise functionality. It’s ideal for busy professionals and teams who want to be more productive, save time, and make a good impression through a technology-enhanced method of scheduling meetings and appointments.

Calendly’s business support

Calendly focuses on streamlining the scheduling process for small businesses and enterprises alike. It’s also a convenient way to show people outside your organization when you or your team are available, enabling you to share your calendar anywhere you can paste a link.

Integrations with the tools your team uses and loves

Calendly has a broad selection of integrations designed to support business users at all levels, from small and medium-sized businesses to enterprise organizations. For example:

  • A Salesforce integration automatically creates a new contact, lead, or opportunity when you schedule a prospect meeting.

  • ‌A HubSpot integration also creates new contacts and activities, or updates existing ones, so you can track your conversations with leads and customers.

  • ‌Integrations with Google Analytics and Meta Pixel (formerly Facebook Pixel) track engagement and records appointments as conversions, allowing you to more effectively track marketing and sales campaign successes.

  • ‌Webex, Zoom, and GoToMeeting integrations let you add video conferencing details to your meetings.

  • ‌PayPal and Stripe integrations let you collect full or partial payments when someone books an appointment with you.

  • SSO and SCIM support secure onboarding and user management.

‌‌Plus, Calendly’s API lets you set up custom integrations with your native product, so it works seamlessly for you and your customers.

Calendly for Teams

Calendly has robust team scheduling that simplifies setting up internal and external meetings. Team scheduling features include:

  • ‌Auto-assigned meetings that match invitees with available team members

  • ‌A team member selection option that lets invitees choose which team member they want to meet with

  • ‌Team-wide availability displayed on a single page

  • Reporting and analytics so admins can track scheduling activity

‌Calendly's Teams plan also includes centralized billing and account management.

Webinar: How high-performing teams use Calendly to automate scheduling

Webinar: How high-performing teams use Calendly to automate scheduling

See how teams like yours use Calendly to streamline their scheduling process and achieve their scheduling goals.

Doodle’s business support

Doodle works for business users as well, but its design and features are targeted primarily toward casual users. The interface is functional, the polls are simple to set up and answer, and anyone from a group can log in to view people’s responses. 

However, Doodle’s free subscription includes ads — including videos that auto-play — on every screen, which can be distracting and unprofessional for business users.

Doodle poll screen with ads
Doodle’s free subscription delivers ads to invitees on every screen.

Doodle integrations

Doodle uses several integrations to simplify communications:

  • The Doodle Bot for Slack lets you automatically start a Doodle poll inside a Slack conversation.

  • ‌Zoom and Google Meet integrations allow you to add video conferencing links from those platforms to appointments you schedule on Doodle.

  • ‌Outlook, Teams, Google Calendar, Office 365, and Microsoft Exchange make it easy to add Doodle meetings to your personal calendar.

‌Doodle’s integrations aren’t quite as robust as Calendly’s and don’t scale well for enterprise needs. For example, there is no support for popular CRMs like Salesforce. However, the integrations are easy to use even if you have minimal experience.

Who uses Calendly and Doodle — and why?

Both Calendly and Doodle simplify and streamline scheduling, no matter what type of meeting you want to organize. However, they cater to different types of users and, accordingly, provide different levels of functionality to achieve those users’ goals. 

Who uses Calendly

Calendly has designed its tool as a comprehensive solution for individuals and teams of all kinds:

‌These are some of Calendly’s most common user types, but it’s also useful across industries and with private individuals. It’s great for scheduling shareholder meetings, but it’s just as convenient for scheduling coffee dates and home services visits.

Who uses Doodle

Doodle is geared toward non-business users, but companies and organizations of all kinds still use it to align calendars on a basic level:

  • Sales and marketing teams use it to schedule one-on-one meetings with prospects.

  • ‌Recruiting and staffing teams schedule one-on-one, group, or video conference meetings. The “find a time” feature streamlines scheduling for interviews that involve multiple team members or interviewees.

  • ‌Consultants and freelancers communicate and schedule with clients and colleagues.

  • ‌Clubs, sports teams, faith groups, and community groups plan regular meetings and special events, make group decisions, and onboard new members.

How much do they cost?

Calendly and Doodle both have multiple pricing tiers, each with different features.

Calendly’s subscription options

Calendly has four pricing tiers. The prices below apply to accounts with annual billing, which can save you up to 20% per user per month.

Free

  • One Google Calendar, Office 365, or Outlook calendar connection

  • ‌One active Event Type for unlimited one-on-one events

  • ‌Meeting Polls for finding group availability

  • Personalized Calendly link

  • ‌Automatic event notifications

  • ‌Video conferencing integrations

Standard: $10 per user per month

  • Everything in the free plan

  • Customized email reminders and follow-ups

  • Integrations with HubSpot and Mailchimp for easier email marketing

  • Integrations with Stripe and PayPal payment processing, so you can take online payments at the time of booking

  • Collective events that factor in multiple co-hosts’ availability

  • Group events that offer multiple time slots for webinars, tours, or trainings

  • Actionable analytics and insights, including popular meeting days, top performers, and in-demand meeting types

Teams: $16 per user per month

  • Everything in the Standard plan

  • Round Robin scheduling to automatically assign new appointments to team members

  • Managed Events that let admins standardize scheduling across the team

  • Calendly Routing: Instantly, automatically route clients or customers to the right team member’s scheduling page based on form responses 

  • Standardized branding across your team

  • Integrations with CRMs and marketing tools like Salesforce and Marketo

Enterprise: Custom pricing

Custom pricing is available for larger organizations that need advanced security, control, and support. It includes everything in the Teams subscription, plus: 

  • SAML (SSO) and SCIM provisioning

  • Expedited member support via email and live chat

  • Dedicated Calendly account partner

  • Onboarding and implementation support

  • Adoption and outcome guidance

  • Security review and MSA support

‌Calendly’s free trial gives you access to all Teams features for 14 days. Afterward, you can subscribe to any of the paid options or default to the free plan.

Doodle’s subscription options

Doodle has a free plan and three Premium options. While costs are shown at monthly rates, they are billed annually. Per-user pricing is not available.

Pro: $6.95 per month

  • One user

  • ‌No ads

  • ‌Calendar syncing and integrations

  • ‌Options to request email, phone, and address

  • ‌Reply deadlines and automatic reminders

  • ‌Personalized scheduling URLs

  • ‌One-on-one meeting scheduling

  • ‌Custom branding

  • ‌Zapier integrations

Team: $8.95 per user per month

The Team plan includes the features of the Pro plan as well as the tools to manage multiple user accounts, including access and permissions.

Enterprise: Custom pricing

The Enterprise plan is designed to suit the needs of companies with more than 20 users. It features:

  • ‌Custom billing and terms

  • ‌A dedicated customer success manager

  • ‌Priority support and guaranteed response times

  • ‌Onboarding and user training

Doodle has a 14-day trial that lets you try out all Premium features before buying.

Calendly vs. Doodle: Which is best?

For business users, Calendly is by far the better choice. It offers more support for different meeting types and more business-friendly integrations and pricing structures. It also provides automated, customizable Workflows that help you manage the entire meeting lifecycle, creating a better user experience.

Here is a quick overview of how Doodle’s and Calendly’s features compare:

Calendly also has several major advantages across more general use applications. Here are a few more things to consider when determining whether Calendly or Doodle suits your needs:

  • Meeting types: Paid Calendly users can create an unlimited number of meeting types. Doodle doesn’t offer the option to create multiple meeting types, though you can describe a meeting when you send an invitation.

  • Team use: Calendly offers teams multiple options for scheduling one-on-one and group events under one billing umbrella. Doodle doesn’t offer these features, though the Team plan offers user permission management.

  • Scheduling ease: Calendly adds new events to your calendar automatically (even at the free level) and prevents double-booking.

  • Integrations: Calendly has a larger selection of built-in, enterprise-ready integrations, additional integrations available through Zapier, and a custom API.

  • Billing: Calendly charges per user across all subscription types, so it’s easier for businesses and organizations to find the right plan for their size.

  • Support: Doodle and Calendly have Help Centers and direct access to support, but only Calendly has live chat for paid levels. Doodle restricts dedicated support and a guaranteed 6-hour response to Enterprise clients.‌

Getting started

Both Calendly and Doodle offer free trials, so don’t hesitate to try them out yourself. Both trials default to the free service tier after 14 days and neither requires a credit card, so you don’t risk forgetting to cancel and getting charged.

If you do decide to go with a paid plan, be certain of how flexible you need your choice to be. Doodle only lets you downgrade at the end of the year, while Calendly allows you to change your plan at any time with just a few clicks.

Get started with Calendly
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Ready to make scheduling easier than ever?

Thad Thompson

Thad Thompson

Thad is a former Content Marketing Manager at Calendly. When not sharing scheduling and productivity insights, you’ll find him hiking trails with his family or thumping a bass with a power pop band.

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