What is Calendly? [Everything You Need to Know]

Keelan Balderson
Keelan Balderson

Updated · Oct 13, 2022

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Scheduling meetings can be a hassle whether you’re an individual or in charge of a team. Today, let's look at Calendly, a web-based appointment scheduling platform that syncs with your and your invitee’s personal calendars. 

What is Calendly?

So, what is Calendly? Simply put, it is a central hub for scheduling meetings and other appointments with team members, vendors, customers, or clients. It aims to eliminate the time spent on manual emails and other correspondence. 

Most importantly, it integrates with all the popular calendar software that you or your invitees might use on your computer or phone. It also integrates with all the leading conferencing tools.

The web-based software has over 10 million users, including large brands like L’Oreal, Lyft, Ancestry.com, and eBay. In this Calendly review, you’ll learn how it can benefit you, your business, or organization.

Main Features

Below is a rundown of all its core functions, including Calendly Pro features

Calendar Connections

Depending on your plan, you can connect a maximum of 6 calendars to your Calendly account. These can be personal or business calendars, spanning Google, Outlook, Microsoft Office, and iCloud. 

Availability Preferences

Just because you don’t have a meeting doesn’t mean you are free. Calendly provides comprehensive availability settings, so you can lay out your schedule as needed. You can set caps on the number of meetings you take per day or week, buffer time between meetings, and completely block out time.

You can share your availability with a simple link or embed code. 

Embeds

For flexibility and branding purposes, Calendly lets you embed your schedule and event forms on your own website. Customers and clients can choose an available time slot that suits them or simply respond to a pre-scheduled meeting in a couple of clicks.

There’s zero learning curve as you get a single embed code and any style settings are configured via an intuitive editor.

When a user books an appointment, it seamlessly syncs with their chosen calendar and the calendars you yourself have connected to Calendly. Once a slot has been taken, your schedule is updated accordingly. 

The intelligent scheduler can cross-check all connected calendars to avoid double bookings. Only your available times are displayed to visitors. 

Routing Forms

On the professional plan upwards, routing forms let you request information from your meeting invitees. Based on the information you get, you can then route them to the right type of meeting with the right team member. E.g., your sales or marketing department. 

Design your form, and then set the routing logic. This will save you time organizing your workflow. Once set up, routing works on autopilot, giving everyone the space to get on with more important work.

Workflows

Calendly workflows put routine confirmations and reminders on autopilot, so you minimize no-shows without lifting a finger.

Automated correspondence can be sent by email or SMS.

Messages are fully customizable, so they fit your brand and event type. 

Payments

Calendly supports paid events and bookings via integration with PayPal and Stripe. Simply choose the cost and payment processor when creating a new event. The payment fields will be added to your booking forms. You can also customize payment terms and cancellation policies to build trust with your customers.

Automated workflows let you capture shipping info and send out receipts.

Tracking

Analytics are available with the first premium plan, and you can also integrate Google Analytics.

You’ll need UTM parameters to track conversions natively. Attach these to your scheduling links to monitor where your traffic is coming from.

Integrations

As well as popular calendars, conferencing, and payment solutions, Calendly integrates with nearly 100 other tools. You will have no trouble including it in your current stack.

Integrations cover: 

  • sales and CRM
  • marketing
  • recruiting
  • analytics
  • email and SMS
  • and more

It also provides access to the API for more complex integrations.

Mobile

If you’re on the go or have a remote team, the Calendly mobile app is the perfect companion to the standard web dashboard. It's highly rated, with a 4.7/5 on Google Play and a 4.8/5 on the Apple App Store.

Calendly mobile app interface

The app has all the core features that allow you to: 

  • create events
  • set your availability
  • check schedules
  • and share links

If you have the associated apps, you can even handle meetings right there on your smartphone.

Browser Extension

You might not always have Calendly open, but you can still carry out scheduling from within your web browser. The Calendly extension is available for Chrome and Firefox, giving you one-click access to all your events.

It also provides built-in sharing options when you visit Twitter, LinkedIn, and other sites.

The Gmail integration is particularly useful for quickly sharing links and embeds while composing an email.

Calendly Security

Calendly is a trusted platform with a strong security policy. It uses encryption at all times to protect the data you send, process, and store. Moreover, integrations benefit from a secure OAuth connection.

How Does Calendly Work?

Calendly is very easy to use. It has a clean and intuitive interface, and everything takes just a few clicks. Here’s how it works.

Setting up Your Account

Calendly setup is easy thanks to a step-by-step wizard. If you are using a Google account, you will first be prompted to sign up through Google. You can then immediately opt to sync with your Google Calendar.

If you are trying the free plan, you get just one calendar connection. So if you don’t use Google Calendar, you should skip this step or change the settings for Office 365, Outlook, or iCloud calendars.

Next, it prompts you to choose your Calendly URL in the form of Calendly.com/yoursite, as well as confirm your time zone. 

The wizard then allows you to set your weekly availability; you can always change this later.

The final step is to check what purpose you will be using Calendly for in case you need to contact support. The options are:

  • Customer success + Account Management
  • Leader + Entrepreneur
  • Sales + Marketing
  • Interview Scheduling
  • Education
  • Freelance + Consultant
  • Other

Calendly's dashboard homepage

That’s all there is to it. You will be taken to the dashboard homepage right away, where you can begin creating new events. Those on premium plans can also begin to assign roles and permissions to team members.

At this stage, it’s a good idea to download the Calendly app for Android and iOS if you or your team plan to use the platform on the go.

Adding an Event or a Meeting

Creating events or meetings is easy with Calendly. You can do it on the homepage of the dashboard, located under the ‘Event Types’ tab. Here, you can see all your event cards and start a new one by clicking the ‘New Event Type’ button. 

Creating events or meetings on Calendly

  • One-on-One – For singular personal meetings where the invitee can select an available time from your schedule. 
  • Group – Create an event involving multiple invitees. This is a fixed time — invitees can confirm their attendance. You may set a limit on the number of invitees.
  • Collective – The same as group events except you host it along with another team member. You must choose your host from people already invited to your Calendly account.
  • Round Robin – This is a group team event with hosting privileges shared between attendees. You must choose your hosts from people already invited to your Calendly account.

Calendly recurring meetings are also available and can be booked based on your schedule.

Whichever event type you choose, the setup process is similar. You give the event a name, location, description, and a custom URL, which is then shared with invitees. You can also choose the color scheme to match your branding.

The description box supports basic formatting, such as: 

  • bolding
  • italics
  • underlining
  • lists
  • and hyperlinks

Out of the box, Calendly integrates with: 

  • Google Meet
  • Zoom
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Webex
  • GoTo Meeting

Select these via the location dropdown button. You can also set a physical address location or phone number.

If you want an invitee to choose the location, select the ‘Ask Invitee’ option. If the meeting is a bit more complex, you can enter ‘Custom’ location details manually

Meeting Poll – This is a feature for group meetings. It lets invitees vote on the time the meeting should take place. 

How to Share Events?

To share events or otherwise invite people to meetings, all you need to do is decide which event you want to share and click the share button. It presents you with 3 different ways to share the link.

Firstly, you can just copy and paste the special Calendly link and use it in any way you see fit. This could be in an email, SMS, or literally any other means of correspondence. 

You can make this link expire after the first booking. That way nobody else can use it except for your chosen individual recipient. 

The second option is called ‘Add times to email’. This lets you pick and choose the dates and times you’re available. Invitees can then select from these time slots to set up a meeting that fits their own schedule.

Click the ‘Copy Times to Clipboard’ button. When you paste this into the invitation window, they become actionable links and will sync with calendars when the invitee makes their choice.

Copy Times to Clipboard button chosen

Thirdly, you can embed the booking into your website. Choose from inline, widget popup, or text popup. Whichever you choose, professional or higher tier users get an editor where you can customize background, text, and link colors, with the embed code displayed on the right. Just paste this into your site and you’re good to go.

How to Share Your Calendar?

To share your booking page with all your events at once, simply click the gear icon. Then ‘Copy link’ or get the embed code to include it on your website. This has all the same options as the event-sharing editor.

You can also share your calendar view if you need another team member to see your whole schedule for a project timeline or other purposes. 

For Calendly Google Calendar integration, hover over your chosen Google calendar and click the three dots. Then click ‘Settings and Sharing’. Here you can add individuals by email address or set a permissions level. These are ‘see only free/busy’ times, ‘see all event details’, ‘make changes to events’, and ‘make changes and manage sharing’.

You can generate a shareable link or make it available to the public.

The Calendly Outlook plugin works automatically under Outlook’s ‘My calendars’ section. Simply choose the calendar you wish to share. Then there is a ‘Share’ button at the top right where you can enter an email address or assign an access level. This is either viewing only or editing. 

To share an Apple calendar, you can do so from: 

  • the web
  • desktop app
  • or iOS

This involves going to iCal, selecting the calendar, and choosing the ‘private’ or ‘public’ URL. The private option lets you add individuals, while you can use the public one to copy a link and share it with anyone freely.

Calendly Pricing

You can choose from one of 3 premium plans, with a 14-day free trial before you are billed. There is also a scaled-back free forever option. More Calendly features are available as you move up each tier.

  • Basic Free – Comes with 1 calendar connection, integration with common calendars, mobile app access, 1 active event, customizable booking links, and automated event reminders.
  • Essentials $10/mo or $8/mo (billed annually) – For 2 calendar connections, unlimited active events, group events, manual email reminders, cancellation policies, add links to confirmation pages, and analytics.
  • Professional $15/mo or $12/mo (billed annually) – For 6 calendar connections, collective one-offs, customization of email reminders, SMS notifications, automated workflows, confirmation redirects, team routing forms, and co-host events.
  • Professional $20/mo or $15/mo (billed annually) – For Round Robin events and other team features.

Larger enterprises can also negotiate a plan with sales, which will include advanced reporting, single sign-on, and automated employee onboarding.

Calendly Support

If you experience any technical issues with Calendly, the site has an extensive help center. Here you will find guides to get you started, mobile help, and more. The video tutorials are handy for visualizing how to get something done.

If you can’t immediately find what you’re looking for, the search bar can pull up everything related to your issue.

Calendly also has a live chat feature, though you will have to navigate through a series of automated questions before being put through to a member of staff.

Alternatively, you can submit an ‘email request’ to Calendly customer service on the contact page. But there’s still an automated assistant to get past before you can send your query.

Fortunately, Calendly is a straightforward tool, and you are unlikely to run into any major problems.

Wrap Up

If you’re bogged down with scheduling, Calendly is a simple yet powerful solution. It’s a great time saver, integrates flawlessly with your current tools, and has plans to suit users of all capacities.

FAQ.


Does Calendly adjust for time zones?

Yes, Calendly time zone adjustment is automatic. It will detect a user’s time zone and display availability accordingly. Once scheduled, their own event will show up in their calendar according to their local time zone settings.

Moreover, the user can use the simple dropdown menu to manually select a time zone.

How to join a Calendly meeting?

To join a Calendly meeting, all you have to do is follow the link shared with you by the event organizer and click ‘Join’ on the page that loads. This may come in an email or other form of invitation. 

A meeting cannot be joined until it’s ready to go live on the date and time set. Invitees will receive an initial confirmation and reminder notification closer to the time of the meeting.

How to change availability on Calendly?

On Calendly, you can set availability via the ‘Availability’ tab at the top of the dashboard. If you have more than one schedule, select the one you need from the tabs. E.g., ‘Weekend Hours’ or ‘Team Hours’.

Hit ‘List View’ and then use the checkbox to select which days you are currently available.

How to cancel a Calendly appointment?

To cancel a Calendly appointment, go to the ‘Scheduled Events’ tab from the main dashboard and scroll down to the appointment in question. Click ‘Details’ and hit the ‘Cancel’ button.

Invitees can also cancel an appointment via the confirmation and reminder notifications sent out to them. There is a clear cancellation button displayed with every notification.

How much is Calendly per month?

Now you know what Calendly is. But is Calendly free? It comes with several different premium plans and a free forever plan with just the basics. Pricing ranges from $8/mo to $16/mo, billed annually. Check the pricing information above for details on each plan.

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Keelan Balderson

Keelan Balderson

A qualified journalist and longtime web content writer, Keelan has a passion for exploring information and learning new things. If he's not writing or pushing his own brands, you'll find him watching pro wrestling or trying not to rant about politics online.

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