Top 9 Scheduling Programs In December, 2021 (Free Plans Included)

Business Management
Josh Plotnek December 6, 2021 10 min read

Preparing employee schedules is super hard, especially when there are changes to be made, and shifting employee availability to be accounted for! The days of manually scheduling your workforce are over; here are the best employee scheduling programs for you!

manager using a scheduling program

Quick Guide

    So you’re losing your mind scheduling your team the “old school” way? Me too.

    I’m also tired of going back and forth with my employees about availability and manually scheduling their shifts. It leads to so many errors.

    This explains why you’re here – you’re looking for a scheduling program for your company. “But which one is best for my business needs?” We hear you loud and clear.

    These days, many scheduling programs do so much more than just, well, scheduling! They assist managers with time management, communication, task management and many other benefits.

    Thankfully, you’re in the right place. We’ve put together some solutions that will digitize your scheduling game – and improve it forever! 

    In a Hurry? The Best Scheduling Program for December, 2021

    We understand that you don’t want to waste any more time on cluttered, error-filled schedules. So after much research, we believe that the best employee scheduling app on the market right now is Connecteam

    Here are some reasons to use Connecteam:

    • Your employees will never miss a shift again, as managers can set auto reminders and notifications. 
    • Prepare job schedules quickly and easily, and in a variety of ways – and save time and effort while doing so. 
    • You can do all of this from the comfort of your phone. 

    Sure, we have also found other online scheduling programs that have some useful features. However, they just don’t compare when you consider Connecteam’s all-round functions. 

    If you’re in a hurry, jump to our comparison table to compare the scheduling programs we’ve hand-picked for you.

    What Every Scheduling Program Should Offer

    You’re probably looking for a dynamic scheduling program that performs multiple purposes. But it’s important to make sure that your chosen solution includes the bare minimum features expected from this kind of app.

    Here are some features you need when choosing an online scheduling program:

    • Alerts/notifications for certain actions
    • Automatic overtime and conflicts alerts
    • Shift swapping/claiming
    • Reporting/analytics
    • Syncs with a time clock

    Our detailed research has resulted in the following list, including some of the best online scheduling programs available today. These apps will save you time, money and help you get the best out of your team. 

    And if you want to take a deep dive into scheduling programs, in general, check out our guide on how to create the perfect work schedule for your team.

    Top 9 Scheduling Programs For December 2021

    Connecteam is an all-in-one online scheduling program that ensures both you and your employees alike are always aware of when and where they are working, saving you time, stress and money in the process.

    • You’ll have 100% shift coverage with easy planning, allocating and monitoring of your employees’ work schedules in just a few clicks. You’ll even be able to send automatic and push notification alerts and reminders to keep employees in the loop, especially if things change. 
    • With just a couple of clicks, you’ll save so much time and effort. Create various types of shifts – including ongoing shifts, recurring shifts, and even templates.
    • The app’s online time clock automatically syncs with your schedule, allowing your employees to easily clock in and out directly from their shift at just the click of a button!
    • Enjoy much more efficient and seamless team communication, especially when it comes to shift scheduling. Employees can chat directly with you from their shift schedule, in order to ask questions and clear up anything shift-related. 
    • Employees have easy access to all of their required shift information, including dates, times, locations, important documents, read-and-sign forms, and even attachments like images and videos. 
    • Employees can accept, reject and claim shifts depending on availability. That massively cuts down your time on chasing people and reorganizing the entire schedule whenever something changes! 

    Gone are the days of creating shifts with pen and paper (and then having to redo these every time edits are needed!). No longer do you need to chase your employees via call, text and email. And your employees can access their schedule information and updates wherever they are, at any time. It’s the holistic, connected solution your business has been searching for. 

    For Whom?

    Connecteam is the ultimate online scheduling program for businesses (small, medium and large), deskless workers and remote teams, to name a few. Businesses from over 90 industries benefit from this all-in-online app – including security, cleaning, construction, hospitality, retail, and homecare.

    Key Features

    Real-time scheduling overview

    Create, drag & drop templates

    Recurring, ongoing and duplicate shifts

    Open shift claiming

    Automated scheduling

    Internal chat, updates & employee directory

    Quick reference employee availability

    Automatic reminders and notifications

    Attach notes, files and shift-tasks

    Scheduling conflict notifications

    Overtime notifications

    Access via desktop or mobile

    Pros and Cons

    All-in-one scheduling program

    Easy to use

    Quickly access all schedule information

    Easily schedule all employees

    Quick-to-respond customer support

    Affordable solution 

    Limited integrations

    Pricing

    Premium plans starts at $39/month for the first 50 seats

    14-day free trial

    Free plan: Yes

    The #1 Online Scheduling Program

    14-day free trial, no credit card required!

    Start For Free
    Wrike scheduling program user interface

    Wrike is an online scheduling program that allows managers to easily customize schedules and for employees to quickly access. This app makes it simple for employees to request vacations, sick leave and PTO. It’s easy to see when and where workers are supposed to clock in and out and they can easily set their availability. It integrates well with apps such as MediaValet and Gmail, making this all sound like a top choice… but if you’re looking for a cheap or even a free scheduling program, this is not the solution for you. 

    For Whom?

    Wrike is an ideal scheduling program solution for businesses of all sizes, and especially teams with 20 employees or more. Remote teams will also benefit from its features.

    Key Features

    Calendar management

    Real-time chat

    Create shift templates

    Automated scheduling

    Employee directory

    Pros and Cons

    Based on customer reviews

    Easy to use

    Quick to set up 

    Expensive online scheduling program

    Poor customer service

    Pricing

    Professional plan costs $9.80/user per month (up to 200 users)

    Free trial: 14-day

    Free plan: Yes

    Humanity scheduling program user interface

    Humanity is a scheduling program that makes it easy for managers to check their employee’s availability (reducing absenteeism in the workplace) and to manage their schedules. They can also manage overtime and employees can trade shifts, directly from their phone, and even chat about it due to the team communication feature. Humanity integrates with many apps, including Quickbooks and Oracle.

    For Whom?

    Humanity is an ideal healthcare staff scheduling software solution. It is also used by companies of various sizes, from other industries such as hospitality and transportation.

    Key Features

    Drag & drop shift templates

    Manage attendance and availability

    Automated scheduling

    Shift notifications and reminders

    Internal messaging

    Access on mobile and desktop

    Pros and Cons

    Based on customer reviews

    Attractive and easy to use

    Expensive solution for large teams

    Shift trading is prone to crashes

    Settings can be overwhelming

    Pricing

    Starter plan costs $3.50/user per month ($100 monthly minimum)

    Free trial: 30-day

    Free plan: No

    7Shifts scheduling program user interface

    An employee scheduling program that improves multiple areas of shift-making, 7shifts helps managers with employee availability and time tracking, amongst other things. Edit and monitor shift schedules on the go and easily access schedules from the safety of a mobile device.

    For Whom?

    7shifts is an effective employee scheduling program for businesses that involve shift-based work. It is specifically designed for restaurant owners to make shift scheduling more efficient (especially important when it comes to preventing expensive payroll mistakes).  

    Key Features

    Notifications and reminders

    Automated scheduling

    Employee database

    Group scheduling

    Internal messaging

    Pros and Cons

    Based on customer reviews

    Good customer service

    Easy to use

    Slow loading times

    Unable to show shifts across departments

    Pricing

    Appetizer plan costs $19.99/location per month for up to 20 employees

    Free trial: 14-day

    Free plan: Yes (Up to 10 users and 1 location)

    Paycor scheduling program user interface

    Paycor scheduling is a useful employee scheduling program business tool that helps owners save money and increase workplace productivity. They can accept sick leave, vacation and PTO from workers, create shift templates and get useful shift hour insights from the app’s reporting feature. 

    For Whom?

    Paycor is a useful scheduling program from SMBs and large enterprises. It is also an ideal for scheduling retail staff, manufacturers and healthcare workers.

    Key Features

    Automated scheduling

    Automated reporting forecasts expenses

    Set real-time availability updates

    Manage PTO

    Pros and Cons

    Based on customer reviews

    Quick training

    Easy to use

    Poor customer service

    Lack of pricing transparency

    Regular delays

    Pricing

    Basic plan costs $99 per month (plus $5/user per month)

    Free trial: No

    Free plan: No

    When I Work scheduling program user interface

    A useful online scheduling program, When I Work helps managers create shifts, duplicate them and even create templates. Despite its limited scheduling time frame, the app has many helpful features. Not only is it a great mobile internal communication tool, but managers can also use it to track time across multiple sites.

    For Whom?

    When I Work is a useful online scheduling program for NGOs, SMBs and especially businesses where teams are on the move (fire departments, for example).

    Key Features

    Drag & drop feature

    Customizable templates

    Activity feed

    Automated scheduling

    Reminders for clocking in and out

    Calendar management

    Employee database

    Pros and Cons

    Based on customer reviews

    Intuitive and easy to use

    Free option for first 75 users

    Only short-term shift scheduling

    Poor customer support

    Limited customization

    Pricing

    Small business plan for scheduling and messaging features costs $2/user per month (up to 100 employees).

    Free trial: 14-day

    Free plan: No

    Google Calendar scheduling program user interface

    While other schedule maker apps on this list are specifically designed to help managers schedule shifts more efficiently, Google Calendar still qualifies as an effective online scheduling program. Managers can easily create employee shift calendars, add events and reminders and share with their team. Users can also view their schedules in various formats (daily, weekly, monthly and yearly).

    For Whom?

    Google Calendar is a useful scheduling program for remote employees, freelancers, companies and even households. It works especially well for businesses where scheduling meetings is a big part of daily operations. 

    Key Features

    Integrates with other apps

    Event reminders

    Address book

    Sync with contacts/events

    Task management options

    Pros and Cons

    Based on customer reviews

    Calendar easily shareable with other users

    Compatible with iOS and Android

    Syncs with all Google software

    Not user-friendly

    Limited integrations with other calendars

    Prone to crashes

    Pricing

    Business plan costs $5/user/month

    Free trial: 30-day

    Free plan? Yes

    Skedulo scheduling program user interface

    Skedulo makes scheduling more efficient, and helps employees get to the right location at the right times. Managers can dispatch shifts with SMS and push notifications and manage their teams’ availability and various kinds of leave (sick, vacation, paid time off, etc). Skedulo also allows managers to collaborate with members of all departments in real-time.

    For Whom?

    Skedulo is used by security guards, healthcare companies, real estate agents, nonprofit organizations and large enterprises. It is also a popular scheduling option for deskless workers and frontline workers.

    Key Features

    Customizable schedules 

    Shift reminders and notifications

    Availability management

    Data & productivity tracker

    Cross-department communication

    Pros and Cons

    Based on customer reviews

    Attractive and easy to use

    Integrates with multiple apps

    Pricing lacks transparency

    Poor customer service

    Unable to produce attendance reports

    Pricing

    Skedulo is priced by feature and number of users. Contact a representative for pricing.

    Free trial: No

    Free plan: No

    Homebase scheduling program user interface

    Homebase has a range of useful staff scheduling features, allowing managers to stay organized from all devices, stay on top of employee availability and track time off. Some of the most relevant features include its drag & drop tool, shift trading, and automated scheduling. Homebase can be integrated with various solutions such as Toast, Clover, Square and Upserve, to name a few. 

    For Whom?

    Homebase is an ideal small business app, especially for those companies in the retail and hospitality industries.

    Key Features

    Automated scheduling

    Drag & drop tool

    Shift trading

    Schedule templates

    Overtime notifications

    Track time off

    Pros and Cons

    Based on customer reviews

    Track employee hours easily

    Easy to use

    Cheaper plans lack useful features

    Setting availability can be complicated

    Takes time to train employees

    Pricing

    Essentials plan costs $19.95/month per location (unlimited users)

    Free trial: 14-day 

    Free plan: Yes, with limited capabilities

    Quick Comparison Table Of The Top Scheduling Programs 

    Summary

    Monthly Price

    Free Trial

    Free Plan

    Connecteam’s all-in-one online scheduling program keeps workers updated with when and where they are working, saving time, stress and money in the process.

     

    10 employees: $39

    20 employees: $39

    50 employees: $39

     

    14-day

    Start Trial

    Yes, for the first 50 users

    Wrike is an online scheduling program where managers can easily customize schedules and employees can request sick leave, vacations and PTO.

     

    10 employees: $98

    20 employees: $196

    14-day

    Yes

    Managers can easily edit and oversee schedules, manage trade shifts, overtime and employee availability.

    10 employees: $100
    20 employees: $100
    50 employees: $175

    30-day

    No

    7shifts is a scheduling program that managers can use to easily oversee schedules. Employees also have quick access to all relevant information.

     

    10 employees: $19.99

    20 employees: $19.99

    50 employees: $76.99

    14-day

    Yes, up to 10 users and 1 location

     

    Paycor is a useful scheduling program that reduces business costs and increases productivity.

     

    10 employees: $99
    20 employees: $99
    50 employees: Must speak to sales representative

    No

    No

    With When I Work, managers can manage PTO, employee availability and trade shifts with just a couple of clicks.

     

    10 employees: $20

    20 employees: $40

    50 employees: $100

    14-day

    No

    Managers can share events and reminders with employees. Through shift calendars, employees can view their schedules in variety of formats.

     

    Business plan:
    10 employees: $50
    20 employees: $100
    50 employees: $250

    30-day

    Yes

    Skedulo is a scheduling program that eradicates manual scheduling makes it easy to match workers with relevant jobs and shifts.

     

    Skedulo’s prices vary by feature/number of users. Contact a representative for pricing.

     

    No

    No

    Homebase is an ideal scheduling program for small businesses. Automated scheduling, schedule templates and overtime alerts.

     

    10 locations: $199.50
    20 locations: $399
    50 locations: $997.50

    14-day

    Yes, with very limited capabilities.

    Summary

    Connecteam’s all-in-one online scheduling program keeps workers updated with when and where they are working, saving time, stress and money in the process.

     

    Monthly Price

    10 employees: $39

    20 employees: $39

    50 employees: $39

     

    Free Trial

    14-day

    Start Trial

    Free Plan

    Yes, for the first 50 users

    Summary

    Wrike is an online scheduling program where managers can easily customize schedules and employees can request sick leave, vacations and PTO.

     

    Monthly Price

    10 employees: $98

    20 employees: $196

    Free Trial

    14-day

    Free Plan

    Yes

    Summary

    Managers can easily edit and oversee schedules, manage trade shifts, overtime and employee availability.

    Monthly Price

    10 employees: $100
    20 employees: $100
    50 employees: $175

    Free Trial

    30-day

    Free Plan

    No

    Summary

    7shifts is a scheduling program that managers can use to easily oversee schedules. Employees also have quick access to all relevant information.

     

    Monthly Price

    10 employees: $19.99

    20 employees: $19.99

    50 employees: $76.99

    Free Trial

    14-day

    Free Plan

    Yes, up to 10 users and 1 location

     

    Summary

    Paycor is a useful scheduling program that reduces business costs and increases productivity.

     

    Monthly Price

    10 employees: $99
    20 employees: $99
    50 employees: Must speak to sales representative

    Free Trial

    No

    Free Plan

    No

    Summary

    With When I Work, managers can manage PTO, employee availability and trade shifts with just a couple of clicks.

     

    Monthly Price

    10 employees: $20

    20 employees: $40

    50 employees: $100

    Free Trial

    14-day

    Free Plan

    No

    Summary

    Managers can share events and reminders with employees. Through shift calendars, employees can view their schedules in variety of formats.

     

    Monthly Price

    Business plan:
    10 employees: $50
    20 employees: $100
    50 employees: $250

    Free Trial

    30-day

    Free Plan

    Yes

    Summary

    Skedulo is a scheduling program that eradicates manual scheduling makes it easy to match workers with relevant jobs and shifts.

     

    Monthly Price

    Skedulo’s prices vary by feature/number of users. Contact a representative for pricing.

     

    Free Trial

    No

    Free Plan

    No

    Summary

    Homebase is an ideal scheduling program for small businesses. Automated scheduling, schedule templates and overtime alerts.

     

    Monthly Price

    10 locations: $199.50
    20 locations: $399
    50 locations: $997.50

    Free Trial

    14-day

    Free Plan

    Yes, with very limited capabilities.

    Frequently Asked Questions On Scheduling Programs

    1. Will an online scheduling program take up storage space on my employees’ phones?

    Many online scheduling programs use cloud-based technology to use up minimal storage space on users’ devices. Unlike other apps that save information, using up tons of memory and wasting huge amounts of data in the process, Connecteam continues to run quickly and barely affects storage on phones and desktops.

    2. Are there free schedling programs?

    As you can see from many of the listed examples, there are plenty of free business tools available to schedule your team. Connecteam happens to be the most effective free option on the market. And here’s why. After the 14-day free trial is over, users have the option to either use Connecteam’s free plan or subscribe to one of the premium plans. The free plan doesn’t include all of the features experienced in the free trial, but it’s still an option worth considering.

    Connecteam scheduling program user interface

    3. What does an employee scheduling program do?

    An employee scheduling program allows business owners and managers to easily create schedules, manage them and add multiple employees to them depending on their needs. Connecteam is an ideal employee scheduling program that saves business owners time and money, while also giving employees all of the information they need in one place.

    The Bottom Line on the Best Scheduling Programs of December 2021

    We are confident that at least one of these online scheduling programs is going to tick the boxes that meet your company’s needs. Whether you already use a scheduling program (but it’s too expensive), or you have been manually creating schedules and are considering going digital, one of these scheduling programs is bound to solve your problems either way.

    As previously mentioned, we believe that Connecteam is the very best option on this list, and for a variety of reasons. This all-in-one scheduling program is the logical alternative to pen and paper planning, eradicating needless scheduling problems and errors in the process. Going back and forth with employees about availability will be a long distant memory.

    Also, Connecteam boasts many other essential features for your business, improving time management, task management and internal communication in the process.

    Before you make your choice, we recommend that you play around with some of these scheduling programs. If they have a free trial, try them out. This will help you narrow down the very best candidates for your business. 

    Save Time And Effort With Your Online Scheduling Program

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