Preparing schedules with Excel or pen and paper is inevitably going to lead to shift conflicts, confusion and overstaffing in your business. Let’s take a look at the very best scheduling software for small businesses to simplify scheduling processes.

Employee scheduling is a crucial, yet time consuming, part of being a manager. Keeping track of time-off requests and scheduling preferences while making sure each shift is staffed appropriately is a balancing act. 

Fortunately, scheduling software for small businesses can simplify and streamline the process, allowing small business owners to focus on other essential aspects of running their companies.

In this article, I’ll review the best small employee scheduling software and how it can help business owners save time, increase productivity, and improve overall efficiency.

If you don’t have the time to read through our research, jump down to our quick comparison table.

Our Top Picks

  1. Best all-in-one scheduling software for small businesses

  2. Good for scheduling recurring jobs

  3. Good for managing time off requests

Why trust us?

Our team of unbiased software reviewers follows strict editorial guidelines, and our methodology is clear and open to everyone.
See our complete methodology


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How I Chose the Best Scheduling Software for Small Businesses

There are many scheduling software solutions on the market, so here are the key features and functionalities I looked for while doing my research:

Important core features

  • Automated scheduling: You should be able to duplicate schedules and automate shift reminders.
  • Auto-scheduling: This feature automatically generates schedules based on availability, preferences, and business needs to speed up the scheduling process and eliminate manual scheduling.
  • Time clock: An intuitive time-clock employees can access directly from their phones to clock in and out of their shifts.
  • Integration with payroll: To streamline operations, scheduling software should automatically enter employee working hours into time sheets and integrate with your payroll software.
  • Scheduling templates: The software should ideally come with scheduling templates that you can use to make your own schedules to save time. You should also be able to create your own.
  • Forms and checklists: Including shift-specific checklists, notes, and documents ensures employees have all necessary information to do their jobs. 
  • Internal communication: The ability to message other team members and managers directly from the mobile app to discuss shift swaps or scheduling conflicts.
  • Advanced notifications: Managers should be able to automatically notify users with all schedule-related matters, like shift requests, new open shifts, manager approvals, etc.

I looked for usability features like:

  • User friendliness: A simple, user-friendly interface with the ability to drag and drop employee names into a customized digital scheduler or premade templates.
  • Mobile access: A mobile app, allowing employees to view their schedules, trade shifts, and approve shifts on-the-go.
  • Affordability: The software should offer multiple pricing plans, allowing small businesses to choose the best option for their needs.
  • Scalability: The software should grow with your company and allow your business to scale.

The 7 Best Scheduling Softwares of 2024

  1. Connecteam — Best all-in-one scheduling software for small businesses


    • Easily spot scheduling conflicts

    • Quickly plan and dispatch teams

    • Manage multiple locations/departments

    • Intuitive and user-friendly

    • 100% free plan for up to 10 users


    • Needs internet or wifi access to work

    Connecteam is an all-in-one small business scheduling software designed for simple schedule creation and management.

    Why I chose Connecteam: Both small business owners and managers benefit from its ease of use, simple interface, and advanced features. It has an incredibly customizable drag-and-drop scheduling tool and allows you to attach tasks, checklists, forms, images, and whatever else you need to individual shifts.

    Let’s take a closer look at how Connecteam can benefit your business:

    Smart scheduling saves time and effort

    Connecteam offers a range of features to make the scheduling process easier and more efficient. Connecteam’s employee scheduler allows you to create fully customizable schedules with single or multiple shifts or duplicate existing ones and set them to repeat using personalized templates. 

    You can assign shifts based on your team members’ availability and qualifications, ensuring that the right employee is assigned to the right task. Employees can also drop shifts and pick up open ones with or without manager approval.

    Auto-scheduling to eliminate manual scheduling

    Connecteam’s auto-scheduling feature allows you to make employee schedules in seconds. You can predefine in the app how many staff you need per shift as well as which roles, and the auto-scheduler will create the schedule for you, taking into consideration employee availability, preferences, skillsets, and business need.

    You can also easily make any changes manually if you need, drastically speeding up the scheduling process.

    🧠 Did You Know?

    Connecteam integrates with Google Calendar so your employees can transfer their shifts right from the app into their personal calendars.

    Spot scheduling inconsistencies early

    Connecteam alerts you immediately if there are scheduling conflicts and inconsistencies. For example, if you’re creating your weekly schedule and mistakenly schedule the same employee for two different roles, the system flags it right away so you can correct the issue. 

    Shift details

    Set your staff up for success and provide employees with pertinent information to maximize their productivity by including shift-specific notes, tasks, digital forms and checklists, or documents. 

    Automatic notifications

    Automated notifications are a great way for small business owners to ensure employees are alerted of important details. Connecteam allows you to send notifications to employees to accept or reject shifts, complete shift tasks, or if they don’t punch in or out of their shifts on time. Employees are also alerted when schedules are published, with scheduling updates, changes, open shifts, or requests.

    Time clock with geofencing

    Connecteam’s employee time clock makes it easy for employees to clock in and out directly from their phones. Geofencing sets a GPS parameter around each employees’ worksite, ensuring they clock in where they’re supposed to. This reduces buddy punching and inaccurate clock-in times. Then, working hours are automatically recorded onto digital timesheets, where they can be reviewed and integrated with payroll. 

    In-app chat

    Connecteam’s online team chat feature is easy to use right from your phone and incredibly efficient. It’s accessible directly from employee schedules so your team can instantly connect from anywhere. Managers and employees can easily message each other privately, publicly, or in job-related groups to discuss scheduling changes or conflicts, simplifying work-related communication.  

    And so much more…

    In addition, Connecteam offers excellent customer service, a user-friendly interface, robust workforce management tools, and complete customizability. 

    Connecteam’s paid plan starts at just $29 per month for up to 30 users, and small businesses with fewer than 10 users can access the app completely free

    Connecteam also offers a free for life plan – Get Started Now!


    Free-for-life plan availablePremium plans start at $29/month for 30 users

    14-day free trial, no credit card required

    Start your free trial
  2. mHelpDesk — Good for scheduling recurring jobs

    Screenshot of the mHelpDesk webpage

    Key Features

    • Schedule and dispatch
    • Drag and drop calendar
    • Recurring jobs
    • Access schedule information
    • Workflow/job management
    • Offline access


    • Good customer support
    • Integrates with multiple apps


    • Training can take a long time
    • Reporting needs work

    This powerful software provides a range of features designed to streamline workflows, automate processes, and improve customer satisfaction.

    Why I chose mHelpDesk: With mHelpDesk, small businesses can not only manage employee scheduling, but other aspects of their businesses too, like invoice creation and payroll management. The software also includes a mobile app so field technicians can access information and update job statuses on the go. 

    By utilizing mHelpDesk, small businesses can significantly reduce paperwork, streamline communication, and eliminate unnecessary manual tasks. Despite its high price tag, this small business scheduling software is an excellent solution.

    Learn more about mHelpDesk


    Contact vendor for price Trial: No Free Plan: No

  3. Wrike — Good for managing time off requests

    Screenshot of the Wrike webpage

    Key Features

    • Shared team calendars
    • Absence request forms
    • Schedule templates
    • Automated scheduling


    • Ideal for team collaboration
    • Easy to use


    • User interface is unattractive
    • Poor customer support

    Wrike is a great option for small business managers who want a simple, customizable solution to time tracking and project management.

    Why I chose Wrike: Wrike makes it easy to automatically log work hours, create and lock timesheets and is an excellent tool for tracking billable hours and interdepartmental collaboration. It can also be tailored to each users’ reports and workflow needs. 

    While Wrike does not offer a drag-and-drop scheduling tool, it can be incredibly useful for managing larger or multiple teams who work on more complex projects. The company also offers a limited free plan so small businesses can try it out before purchasing. 

    Learn more about Wrike


    Starts at $9.80/user/month, for 2-25 users Trial: Yes Free Plan: Yes

  4. 7shifts — Good for auto-scheduling with AI integrations

    Screenshot of the 7shifts webpage

    Key Features

    • Drag & drop scheduler
    • Customizable schedules and templates
    • PTO requests
    • Shift trading


    • Functional and attractive
    • Good customer support


    • Unable to edit reports
    • Can't customize notifications

    While 7shifts is marketed as a restaurant management solution, it can actually be used by any small business that works in shifts.

    Why I chose 7shifts: It comes with complete scheduling capabilities, including time tracking, communication, and task management. Workers can easily access schedules from mobile devices and managers can monitor schedules on the go. 

    7Shifts includes some other great features, too. You can consolidate all applicant and new-hire information on the app, upload training documents, and even manage payroll and tip out employees from the app. 

    Learn more about 7shifts


    Starts at $29.99/month/location, up to 30 employees Trial: Yes — 14-day Free Plan: Yes — Up to 1 location & 30 employees

  5. Deputy — Good for allowing employees to swap shifts

    Screenshot of the Deputy webpage

    Key Features

    • Automated scheduling
    • Shift trading
    • Leave management system
    • Flag missed or unscheduled breaks


    • Customizable timesheets
    • Easy to manage time off


    • Integrating payroll apps can be difficult
    • Doesn't sync with calendar apps

    Deputy comes with a digital time clock, time and attendance tracking tools, and labor compliance features, making it incredibly easy to manage your employee schedules.

    Why I chose Deputy: Employees can swap shifts with a click of a button, creating a seamless workflow, reducing the need to go through management. Deputy also integrates with a variety of payroll tools and is compatible with both iOS and Android.

    Another plus is that small business owners report that its user-friendly and intuitive interface makes it a great option for less techy employees. It’s easy for your team to set up and use on a daily basis.

    Learn more about Deputy


    Starts at $4.5/user/month, for Scheduling or Time & Attendance Trial: Yes — 31-day Free Plan: No

  6. Jobber — Good for small businesses with dispatch needs

    Screenshot of the Jobber webpage

    Key Features

    • Scheduling and dispatching
    • Drag and drop calendar
    • Job alerts and reminders
    • Employee availability management


    • Attractive and easy to use
    • Quick to learn how to use


    • Lack of customization
    • Poor customer service

    Jobber’s scheduling and dispatch capabilities allow managers to create jobs and assign them to their teams with only a few clicks.

    Why I chose Jobber: The progress indicator provides constant oversight of tasks and assignments, and the ability to personalize calendars with color coding and filters makes it easy to locate job-specific details, such as crew-availability. 

    Jobber also integrates with many other apps, like Stripe, Square, and Mailchimp, and is compatible on both mobile and desktop. 

    Learn more about Jobber


    Starts at $42/month, for 1 user only Trial: Yes — 14-day Free Plan: No

  7. Skedulo — Good for analytics and detailed reporting

    Available on

    Screenshot of the Skedulo webpage

    Key Features

    • Automated scheduling
    • SMS and push notifications
    • Communication built into shifts
    • Customize schedules


    • Attractive and easy to use
    • Easy integration with multiple apps


    • No attendance reports
    • Pricing lacks transparency

    With Skedulo, businesses can automate scheduling, assign tasks, and track employee hours, reducing manager workload.

    Why I chose Skedulo: One of Skedulo’s strengths is its analytics and reporting features, helping small businesses make important decisions and fast compliance reporting based on real-time data.

    Skedulo comes with built-in dashboards to track metrics and KPIs, helping managers to analyze team performance, track operational trends, and monitor customer satisfaction. It also offers real-time collaboration and the ability to track team location and project status.

    Learn more about Skedulo


    Contact vendor for price Trial: No Free Plan: No

Compare the Best Scheduling Softwares

Topic Start for free
Starts at just $29/month for the first 30 users
Contact vendor for price
Starts at $9.80/user/month, for 2-25 users
Starts at $29.99/month/location, up to 30 employees
Starts at $4.5/user/month, for Scheduling or Time & Attendance
Starts at $42/month, for 1 user only
Contact vendor for price
Free Trial
Free Plan
Free Up to 10 users
Up to 1 location & 30 employees
Use cases
Best all-in-one scheduling software for small businesses
Good for scheduling recurring jobs
Good for managing time off requests
Good for auto-scheduling with AI integrations
Good for allowing employees to swap shifts
Good for small businesses with dispatch needs
Good for analytics and detailed reporting
Available on
Web, iOS, Android, Windows, Mac

What Is Scheduling Software for Small Businesses?

Scheduling software for small businesses helps business owners create and manage employee schedules in a digital format. It’s also useful for time tracking and attendance, managing shift swaps or changes, notifying employees when schedules are published, and automating other administrative tasks related to scheduling.

It’s especially useful for small businesses with employees working at different locations, like manufacturing companies, trucking companies, cleaning services, and homecare businesses. With scheduling software, managers can create schedules quickly and easily, communicate with employees about changes or updates, and ensure that there is adequate coverage during peak hours or busy seasons.

How Does Scheduling Software for Small Businesses Work?

Small business scheduling software provides a digital interface for managers to create employee schedules, approve changes or swaps, track time and attendance, and automate other scheduling-related tasks. Most scheduling softwares include a mobile app so employees can view their schedules, release or pick up shifts, request time off, and communicate with team members directly from their phones. 

Scheduling software may also include a time clock, allowing managers to set overtime limits and employees to clock in and out from their phones. Hours are often processed into timesheets, which can be exported to payroll software.

The Benefits of Scheduling Software for Small Businesses

There are countless benefits of using small business scheduling software, including:

  • Saves time: Scheduling software saves small business owners significant time by automating scheduling processes. Managers no longer need to manually write schedules, but can complete the process much faster with a drag-and-drop scheduling tool. 
  • Improved accuracy: Creating schedules manually can lead to inaccuracies and errors. Scheduling software automatically monitors the scheduling process, flagging inconsistencies or mistakes. It can also ensure adequate coverage and accurately track employee work hours.
  • Increased efficiency: Ditching pen and paper and moving towards a digital scheduling solution streamline the process and allows managers to quickly create schedules and make changes as needed. As a result, small businesses run more efficiently and effectively.
  • Enhanced communication: Most digital scheduling tools allow employees and managers to easily chat directly from the app, consolidating all scheduling-related communication to one place. 
  • Saves money: By automating scheduling tasks, small businesses avoid overstaffing or understaffing leading to unnecessary labor costs or lost revenue.
  • Employee flexibility: Instead of having to speak directly with a manager, scheduling software allows small business employees to request time off, swap shifts with other employees, or adjust their work schedules directly from their phones. 

How Much Does Scheduling Software for Small Businesses Cost?

Scheduling software can vary in price, with some tools falling on the higher end of the spectrum. For example, Wrike and 7Shifts cost $490 and $1649.50 per month for 50 users, respectively. However, other scheduling systems are much more affordable, such as Jobber, which costs $180 per month for up to 30 users.

Additionally, some scheduling apps don’t advertise their pricing information on their websites, in which case you’ll need to contact a sales representative.

Connecteam is the best choice for scheduling software. It offers a free-forever plan and premium plans start at only $29 per month for the first 30 users

Get started with Connecteam for free today!


Is scheduling software for small businesses expensive?

The cost of scheduling software for small businesses can vary dramatically depending on the number of employees, the needs of the business, the features and functionality of the software, and the pricing model. Connecteam, for example, is an incredibly affordable solution costing only $29 for small businesses up to 30 employees. Some employee scheduling solutions also offer free trials so businesses can test out solutions before committing to purchase.

While it may require an initial investment, small business scheduling software can ultimately save businesses time and money in the long run by automating scheduling processes, reducing errors, and optimizing labor costs. 

How do I choose the best employee scheduling software?

Choosing the best employee scheduling software for your small business all depends on your specific needs. Consider how many employees you have, your budget, and what features will streamline your operations, such as: a time clock, automated scheduling, shift swaps, PTO requests, integrations, shift notes, and more. Then, choose a software that aligns best with your needs. 

How does small business scheduling software benefit deskless workers?

Scheduling software is particularly beneficial for deskless workers because they can check and manage their schedules from anywhere. An online scheduling solution means that workers no longer need to rely on emails, texts, phone calls, or even going into the office to check their schedules. Instead, as soon as the schedule is published, they’ll have a clear view of their upcoming shifts directly from their phones. This makes it easy for deskless workers to manage their time better and reduce scheduling conflicts.

The Bottom Line On Scheduling Software

Small business scheduling software is a valuable tool for managing employee schedules, streamlining operations and efficiency, and reducing business costs

When choosing the best scheduling software for your business, it’s important to consider factors such as features and capabilities, compatibility with your business model, customer support, cost, and security. With the right scheduling software, small businesses can optimize their scheduling processes and focus on growing their business.