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!

Table of contents
  1. Our Top Picks
  2. What Every Scheduling Program Should Offer
  3. Top 8 Scheduling Programs For 2023
  4. Quick Comparison Table Of The Top Scheduling Programs 
  5. What are scheduling programs?
  6. How does a scheduling program work?
  7. The benefits of scheduling programs
  8. How much do scheduling programs cost?
  9. FAQs
  10. The Bottom Line on the Best Scheduling Programs of 2023

Different businesses require scheduling programs for different reasons. From scheduling appointments with clients to employee scheduling, check out the following list to determine which scheduling program will help you schedule the way you need to.

More likely than not, you are wasting way too much time on employee scheduling. In fact, you are probably spending somewhere between 2 to 12 hours per week scheduling your employees’ shifts, jobs, and tasks.

It doesn’t matter if you’re distributing shifts to employees or booking clients. A scheduling program can stop scheduling from taking up hours of your day-to-day.

Scheduling programs vary in both their pricing and capabilities. The question is: which solution is the best fit for your business model?

For example, do you need this kind of software to schedule meetings with team members? Do you need payment software integrations or time-tracking capabilities? Do you need to send out reminders to clients? 

The following list answers all these questions, and much more. Check out what each scheduling program includes so you can make the best-informed decision for your scheduling needs.

Our Top Picks

1. Connecteam – Best all-in-one scheduling program

2. Wrike – Good for remote teams

3. Humanity – Good for healthcare workers

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From customizing schedules and managing availability to recurring shifts and easy mobile access – make your scheduling processes easier with Connecteam.

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What Every Scheduling Program Should Offer

When choosing your ideal scheduling program, there are some key features and qualities to look out for. These are:

  • Relevant scheduling features: Your scheduling program should include all the scheduling features you need. These could be for setting appointments with clients, scheduling meetings with groups, or scheduling employees for specific jobs and shifts.
  • Ease of use: You should have a scheduling program with visually attractive tools that both managers and employees can easily use.
  • Employee collaboration: The more interactive your schedules are, the better prepared your business will be. Users should be able to add comments and confirm availability.
  • Third-party integrations: Your scheduling program should be able to integrate with software solutions that handle other areas of business. These include payroll software and internal communication apps, amongst others.
  • Scalability: Your scheduling program should provide only what you need at this stage of your business’s journey. As you grow, the software should grow with you, so you can upgrade to plans with more advanced capabilities.

With this information in mind, let’s take a look at the best scheduling programs that include these features and qualities, including other employee management features that could positively impact your business.

Top 8 Scheduling Programs For 2023

Best all-in-one scheduling program

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android
Capterra rating: 4.8

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. 

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 $29/month for the first 30 seats

  • 14-day free trial

  • Free plan: For up to 10 users, without limitations

The #1 Online Scheduling Program

14-day free trial, no credit card required!

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Good for: Remote teams

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android, Windows, Mac

Capterra rating: 4.3

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. 

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

Good for: Healthcare workers

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android

Capterra rating: 4.3

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.

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

Good for: Restaurant managers

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android

Capterra rating: 4.7

7Shifts scheduling program user interface

An employee scheduling software 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.

7shifts is an effective employee scheduling software 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)

Good for: Retail stores

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android

Capterra rating: 4.4

Paycor scheduling program user interface

Paycor scheduling is a useful employee scheduling software 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. 

Paycor is a useful scheduling tool 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 paid plan costs $99 per month (plus $5/user per month)

  • Free trial: No

  • Free plan: No

Good for: Freelancers

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android, Windows, Mac

Capterra rating: 4.8

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).

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

Good for: Security guards

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android, Windows, Mac

Capterra rating: 4.3

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.

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

Good for: Hospitality businesses

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android

Capterra rating: 4.6

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. 

Homebase is an ideal app for small business owners, 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: $0

20 employees: $29

50 employees: $39

 

14-day

Start Trial

Yes, for the first 10 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

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: $0

20 employees: $29

50 employees: $39

 

Free Trial

14-day

Start Trial

Free Plan

Yes, for the first 10 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

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.

What are scheduling programs?

A scheduling program is a type of software that helps companies build schedules for their employees, distribute shifts, as well as manage appointments, tasks, and bookings. Typically speaking, these solutions include time tracking capabilities, integrations with other employee management software, cloud backups, and more. 

Scheduling programs help to automate the scheduling process, while also managing other areas of business such as online payment management, booking cancellations, and internal communication, among others.

How does a scheduling program work?

Scheduling programs allow admins to create schedules for any purpose, typically in a calendar view. Through this format, admins can click on their date and time of choice, and fill in the details of their scheduled appointment, shift, meeting, or any other event. Also, these programs usually allow admins to intuitively move events around in a drag-and-drop motion. 

Scheduling programs can be both web-based and mobile-based. Meaning that admins can create their schedules from desktop and users can access their schedules from desktop or mobile, making schedules easy to manage from any location. 

The benefits of scheduling programs

There are many benefits that come with using a scheduling program for business matters. Such as:

  • It improves collaboration and reduces conflicts: Scheduling programs put all calendars and schedules in one centralized place, where admins and users can make changes in real time, to keep all parties on the same page. With this type of software, users can collaborate better (and from any place) to ensure that scheduling conflicts are kept to a minimum.
  • It boosts productivity: Managers and employees alike can waste a lot of time simply making sure that their schedules are taken care of. With a scheduling program, you eliminate the need for late-night, last-minute phone calls, and the need to completely rewrite paper-based schedules. This means that everyone in the business can spend more time on their actual jobs, boosting productivity in the process.
  • It prevents miscommunication: With scheduling programs, you can instantly notify employees about any last-minute changes to the calendar. This prevents the likelihood of two employees showing up for the same shift, or no one showing up to a shift at all.

How much do scheduling programs cost?

Many scheduling programs provide a free trial or plan that offers a limited range of features and capabilities. With that said, they may also include more expensive plans that offer more advanced features to help you scale your business.

One of the cheaper options on this list is Humanity. While it does include a free trial and plan, its starter plan costs $3.50 per user/month, albeit with a minimum required payment of $100 per month.

Other solutions on this list are more expensive and can be priced by location. An example of this is 7Shifts, whose Appetizer plan costs $19.99 per location/month for up to 20 employees. 

We recommend choosing a scheduling program with the most affordable pricing and the widest range of features. Connecteam ticks both of these boxes and provides rich value for businesses with a Basic pricing plan of just $29 per month for the first 30 users.

FAQs

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 2023

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. 

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