The 7 Best Alternatives to Doodle to Enhance Your Meeting Experience

The 7 Best Alternatives to Doodle to Enhance Your Meeting Experience

Portrait of Ivee Yang Lark's Author
Portrait of Ivee Yang Lark's Author

Ivy Yang

June 24, 2024

6/24/24

Jun 24, 2024

6/24/24

14 min read

Doodle alternatives meeting schedulers
Doodle alternatives meeting schedulers
Doodle alternatives meeting schedulers
Doodle alternatives meeting schedulers

Double bookings? Scribbled out schedules? Missed meetings?

Without ‌good scheduling software, your calendar becomes a headache. You’re never sure who’s available for a meeting, bookings fall by the wayside, and everything seems completely disorganized.

While tools like Doodle help organize your booking schedules, you might find that their limited functionality leaves you without the tools to manage complex team meetings. Instead, you’re flicking between tools to determine where the appointment will be held and what time you’ll be there.

In this article, we’ll discuss some alternatives to Doodle that work better to keep you on track and facilitate inclusive, productive meetings.

What is Doodle?

Doodle is an online scheduling tool that helps you organize one-on-one and group meetings.

It aims to simplify meeting scheduling with customizable booking pages and team availability polls.


Doodle meeting booking dashboard

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Its best feature is group polling for meeting times, where everyone can select their availability preferences. Other key features include event sign-up sheets, video conferencing links, automated reminders, and calendar integration.

It’s a popular tool with around 30 million users. Most users are small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) and freelancers with online service-based companies.

Doodle is so popular because it offers basic scheduling in a simple-to-use way. Coordinating meeting times easily is straightforward, even for those without an account. This is very helpful for companies that need to organize meetings with external clients and stakeholders.

But, while it’s a useful tool, it’s not right for everyone. Plenty of other worthwhile alternatives exist if you need advanced features or a more integrated solution.

Why should you consider a Doodle alternative?

Doodle is a standard scheduling tool. While it offers some useful features, it does have a few drawbacks.

Here’s why other scheduling solutions might be more suitable.

Ads on the free version

Doodle’s free version includes ads. These are annoying and distracting. Not only do they slow down the scheduling process, but they also give clients using the tool to book meetings with you an unprofessional experience.

Confusing new interface changes

Recent updates have made Doodle's user interface (UI) less intuitive than it used to be.

In particular, users complain that logging back in is tricky, as adding more than one email address at a time is difficult.

Overall, the UI feels a little unclear. Users click on many different buttons before they find what they need.

Difficulty using the mobile app

Doodle's web version is far more user-friendly than its mobile app.

The problem isn’t even reduced functionality. The app’s interface is so unclear that organizing meetings on the go becomes tough.

For busy professionals who rely on mobile scheduling solutions, Doodle gets the thumbs down.

No longer completely free

Doodle used to be a free tool. Now, many of the best features are behind a paywall.

Many other tools offer similar or better features in their free packages, making Doodle’s free version feel very basic.

Missing duplication features

Doodle doesn’t have a duplication feature for events.

Instead, you do the same repetitive tasks to create recurring meetings.

What should you look for when browsing for alternatives to Doodle?

Looking for a Doodle alternative? Consider these factors to find a scheduling platform that matches your needs.

Versatility and flexibility

Your meeting scheduler software should ‌be versatile and flexible to accommodate the different types of meetings you’re trying to arrange.

Look for software with a polling tool and customizable booking forms tailored to your company’s business model.

Integrations

For friction-free scheduling, your tool should integrate easily with the other apps and tools you use. This is especially true for calendar synchronization.

Consider an all-in-one scheduling tool like Lark that combines communication and project management features. This way, you won’t need to switch between different applications.

Ease of use

Tools with intuitive interfaces are easier to get on board with. Your team will start getting value from the platform quicker, allowing them to schedule meetings almost immediately.

AI and automation features

AI and automation can save time, improve accuracy, and streamline the user experience.

Consider advanced features such as AI-powered meeting transcriptions, real-time translations, recurring events, and automatic reminders.

Cost

Think carefully about your budget and needs.

If you just need basic software to organize your schedule better, try a free tool with limitations. If you need something more complex, you’ll have to plan to pay for more advanced tools.

Remember to consider scalability.

If you start on a free plan and your company grows, what’s the jump to the premium plan? You don’t want to have to switch tools because upgrades are too expensive.

The 7 Doodle alternatives that simplify scheduling meetings and more

Doodle is a great basic tool, but many alternatives have far more to offer. Try these alternatives for smooth scheduling.

1. Lark: Best overall alternative


Lark Calendar meeting scheduler


Lark goes above and beyond your regular scheduling app.

It’s an all-in-one suite to organize your team and collaborate on projects and tasks without switching between apps.

With Lark Calendar, you have full visibility over your and your team’s calendars to organize meetings at a time that suits everyone. You can compare your team’s calendars side-by-side, send group invites, and prepare your team in advance by sending instructions, information, and documentation through the Chat functionality.

Plus, Lark Meeting enables you to host 1:1 or group meetings for a powerful collaborative experience.

Participants can share and work on documents together, while meetings are automatically translated and transcribed, so everyone can focus on the task at hand and still have a record of events later.

Organizing in-person meetings? No problem. Lark Rooms helps you create meetings, invite attendees, book and manage meeting rooms, and coordinate check-ins.

Key features:

  • Team calendar visibility — manage your team’s calendar in one place

  • In-app video conferencing with mobile optimization

  • Chat and doc-sharing for meeting prep. Get notified in chat about document comments

  • AI-powered meeting translation in real-time with dual timezone support

  • Automatic transcription and collaborative note-taking

Who it’s best for: It’s especially useful for teams tired of flicking between different tools. If you’d rather coordinate all meetings and project workflows in one place, Lark gives you the functionality to create meetings, share documentation, collaborate remotely, and tie this back to your project workflows. And remember, if you have a globally distributed team that speaks multiple languages, Lark's auto-translation capabilities make it simple for teams to collaborate, no matter their native language.

Pros:

  • Easy to set up 1:1 and group meetings that suit everyone

  • No need to switch between tools to host meetings and take notes

  • Automatic note-taking means teams can focus in meetings

  • Auto-translation creates highly-inclusive meetings

  • Doc sharing prepares everyone for meetings beforehand

Cons:

  • There are lots of features, so there’s a bit of a learning curve

  • Some features are limited in the free package

Pricing: Lark has three plans:

  • Free Starter plan for up to 50 users

  • Pro plan for $12 per user per month

  • Enterprise plan with custom pricing

Free trial: Lark offers a free trial for its Starter plan, which includes 60 minutes of meeting duration, unlimited chats, and full context of message history.

Reviews: G2 rating: 4.6/5

“It helps us run meetings (both internally and with clients) better than I have seen in any other tools, which helps greatly with our workplace communication.” Cody H, CEO/Founder

“With this tool, the need to ask colleagues for availability to coordinate meetings is eliminated. With a simple glance at participants' calendars, appointments can be scheduled without complications.” Jesus Antonio O, Recruiter


Lark Customer Feedback on G2

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How it compares to Doodle: Lark is an all-in-one tool that allows you to schedule meetings and run highly collaborative meetings where participants can chat, share docs, and make notes without having to switch tools. Thanks to the side-by-side calendar feature, there’s no need to poll workers — you can simply pick a time that suits everyone and organize meetings immediately.

2. Calendly: Best free alternative for solopreneurs


Calendly meeting scheduling dashboard

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Calendly is a popular scheduling tool that enables you to create booking pages and generate scheduling links to organize meetings across different applications.

Offering various event types, participants can pick the type of meeting they need via a booking page or link via chat or email. Booking pages are customizable, and teams can create automated workflows to continue conversations after each meeting.

Key features:

  • Customizable booking pages and scheduling links

  • Different types of bookings based on event type

  • Automatic appointment follow-up

  • Auto-reminders

  • Rescheduling functionality

Who it’s best for: If you’re an individual freelancer or solopreneur, Calendly offers a free package to help with basic scheduling and automate event notifications.

Pros:

  • It’s free for individuals

  • Organizers can offer various meeting types for the participants to choose from

  • Attendees can reschedule easily

  • Pre-built email template library

Cons:

  • No in-app video conferencing features, only scheduling

  • Free package only includes one meeting type and one calendar

Pricing: Calendly has a free package for individuals, with paid packages starting at $10 per user per month.

Free trial: You can trial the Teams package for free.

Reviews: G2 rating: 4.7/5


Calendly G2 customer feedback

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How it compares to Doodle: This tool is great for setting meetings with people outside your organization who don’t have access to your calendar. However, it’s not great for group meetings as it doesn’t offer functionalities to see other calendars or poll groups for their ideal time.

3. Picktime: Best for booking management


Picktime scheduling dashboard

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Picktime is a low-cost scheduling app to manage bookings, staff, and services.

It's an all-in-one solution to manage any kind of booking, whether it’s room management, class signups, or equipment hire.

Key features:

  • Customizable booking forms and pages

  • 24x7 online booking

  • Automated reminders and notifications

  • Built-in payments and invoicing

  • Recurring bookings

Who it’s best for: Picktime works best for SMBs on a budget that need to manage bookings. It suits companies that book clients, like salons, tutors, and therapists. It’s also a great solution for those who need to manage bookings for space and equipment, like co-working hubs or vehicle hire companies.

Pros:

  • Comprehensive free version and very low-cost paid packages

  • Integrates with popular video meeting tools like Zoom and Google Meet

  • Supports in-app payments through your calendar

  • All packages have an unlimited appointment booking

Cons:

  • Learning curve for setting up and using all features

  • Doesn’t support all currencies

Pricing: Picktime offers a free version with essential features, while paid plans start at $2.25 per user monthly.

Free trial: There’s a free version to trial the features.

Reviews: G2 rating: 4.8/5


Picktime G2 review

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How it compares to Doodle: Picktime is more intuitive for all different types of bookings, whereas Doodle focuses on traditional meetings. Plus, Picktime allows you to make payments through the app.

4. Zoho Bookings: Best for round-robin scheduling


Zoho Bookings meeting booking dashboard

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Zoho Bookings helps you manage appointments efficiently to reduce scheduling conflicts and missed meetings.

Its round-robin features make it perfect for sales and support teams who need to fairly distribute appointments without over-committing.

Key features:

  • Round-robin scheduling

  • Customizable booking pages

  • Two-way sync with Google Calendar, O365, and Zoho calendar

  • Automatic language translation and time zone conversion

  • Online payments processing

Who it’s best for: Zoho Bookings is ideal for teams that need reliable, flexible scheduling and distribute appointments on a round-robin basis. For example, say you’re a sales team that assigns all incoming inquiry appointments at random — Zoho Bookings makes sure everyone gets appointments on a fair schedule.

Pros:

  • Can book online and offline meetings

  • Advanced reporting to assess profitability

  • Customizable booking pages

  • Three different types of booking pages

Cons:

  • Interface is a little cluttered

  • Limited customization options

Pricing: Zoho Bookings offers a Basic plan starting at $6 per staff member per month.

Free trial: There’s a 15-day free trial.

Reviews: G2 rating: 3.8/5


Zoho Bookings customer feedback

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How it compares to Doodle: Zoho Bookings offers round-robin booking, whereas Doodle doesn’t. It also allows you to take payments within the scheduling system.

5. Setmore: Best for unlimited bookings


Setmore booking dashboard

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Setmore is an online appointment scheduling software with a sleek calendar system and personalized booking pages.

Customers can book appointments and pay for services 24/7, with unlimited bookings in every paid package.

Key features:

  • Personalized booking pages and website widgets

  • Seamless integration with video conferencing apps

  • Automated email and text reminders

  • Secure payments with most payment processors

  • Recurring appointments and class booking options

Who it’s best for: Setmore is the perfect alternative for service-based businesses that take many appointments across a wide range of platforms. If you book customers on your website, socials, and via email or text, Setmore allows you to integrate your booking pages for a seamless experience.

Pros:

  • Unlimited meeting bookings

  • Easy-to-use interface across multiple devices and platforms

  • Can display reviews to encourage more bookings

  • QR codes for booking pages

  • Automated confirmation messages to reduce no-shows

Cons:

  • No way to apply discount codes to online payments

  • Can’t offer services on specific days

Pricing: There’s a free limited version, and paid plans start at $5 per user per month.

Free trial: Setmore provides a free version to trial the tool.

Reviews: G2 rating: 4.5/5


Setmore G2 review

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How it compares to Doodle: Setmore offers more advanced features for managing unlimited meeting bookings, a wider range of integrations, and secure payment processing.

6. SimplyBook: Best for ease of use


SimplyBook booking software

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SimplyBook is a simple yet comprehensive scheduling software designed especially for service-based businesses.

Clients can book appointments online 24/7 and will receive SMS or email reminders to reduce no-shows.

Key features:

  • Easy-to-use online booking system

  • SMS/email appointment reminders

  • Integration with payment processors and accounting tools

  • Customizable booking forms and client intake forms

  • Event booking and waiting lists

Who it’s best for: SimplyBook is created for service providers. If you need an easy-to-use appointment scheduling software with a comprehensive free package, this is a great choice.

Pros:

  • Free plan with extensive features

  • Easy integration with multiple platforms

  • Supports online payments and deposits

  • Works for individual and group bookings and events management

Cons:

  • Some users find the interface confusing

  • Limited language options

Pricing: SimplyBook offers a free version, and paid packages start at $9.50 per user per month.

Free trial: SimplyBook offers a 14-day free trial of its paid plans.

Reviews: G2 rating: 4.4/5


SimplyBook online customer review

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How it compares to Doodle: SimplyBook is as easy to use as Doodle but offers a wider range of features, such as payment processing and direct booking across multiple channels.

7. Square Appointments: Best for e-commerce Square users


Square Appointments dashboard

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Square Appointments is designed to integrate seamlessly with Square’s POS (point of sale) system.

Customers can access your availability and book appointments online 24/7. It’s a great way to streamline the customer experience and attract new customers after hours.

Key features:

  • Individual, class, and resource booking

  • Square Assistant for auto-replies to clients

  • Waitlists

  • Automated text and email reminders

  • Free business directory listing

Who it’s best for: If your ecommerce business already uses Square, this is a great integrated solution for scheduling, payments, and business management.

Pros:

  • Seamless integration with Square POS

  • Ability to charge no-show fees

  • Integrated client management tools

  • Access to team management tools

Cons:

  • Very expensive compared to other scheduling platforms

  • Requires additional consent for SMS messaging

Pricing: There’s a free basic package. Paid plans start at $29 a month per location.

Free trial: There’s a free trial for its paid plans.

Reviews: G2 rating: 4.3/5


Square Appointments G2 review

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How it compares to Doodle:

While Doodle focuses on finding mutually available times for meetings, Square Appointments is more customer-focused. It helps Square users integrate bookings into its customer journey for a better buyer experience.

How Lark can help you beyond your meetings

Lark is more than just a meeting scheduler.

It’s an all-in-one tool that combines collaboration, project management, and workflow automation in one streamlined platform.

Here’s how Lark can boost your business beyond booking meetings.

All-in-one collaboration and communication

Lark’s suite has a range of tools to improve communication and collaboration.

Lark Messenger and Email tools allow you to integrate communications and conduct conversations in diverse formats. Messenger allows rich text formatting, screen capture annotations, and emoji reactions, while its auto-translation feature facilitates discussions in various languages in real time.

Lark Meetings, a powerful video conferencing tool, offers real-time translation for smoother meetings across global and diverse teams. This allows participants to communicate effectively regardless of their native language. Lark’s global calendar support means that your team can collaborate and meet regardless of time zone.

For teams that need to collaborate on projects, Lark Docs lets you co-edit and comment in real time. You can also share docs and manage permissions within the Messenger tool.

To manage collaborative efforts, Lark Calendar helps you schedule and synchronize your team’s time (even across different time zones) with side-by-side calendar views and the ability to subscribe to public calendars.

Where teams need to seek ‌approval to move projects forward, Lark streamlines this process with its Approval tool to automate and accelerate interactions with senior staff members.

Project management and workflow builder

Don’t just book meetings about your work. Build automated workflows and manage projects with Lark Base.

With Lark Base, you can create unified workflows, assign and manage tasks, streamline operational processes, and track task completion. You can also track inventory, draw actionable reports, and manage resources and requests.

With multiple dashboard views, including Kanban, Gantt, and List, it’s easy to manage workflows and keep your whole team on task.

OKR tracking

Lark's OKR (Objectives and Key Results) tool helps you turn strategy into measurable results.

This tool is ideal for creating organizational focus and a culture of transparency by aligning individual and team goals.

You can build, align, and track goals, updating them directly in Docs for an integrated experience.

Template library

Lark offers a comprehensive template library with all kinds of resources. From forms to plans to workflows, the template library speeds up process creation and helps standardize practices across your organization.

Schedule, interact, and track in one place

It’s one thing to schedule meetings. It’s another to organize and facilitate effective, focused meetings that include everyone to their full capacity.

While Doodle can certainly help you organize your meeting or booking system a little better, its limited functionality means you’re constantly switching between tools.

Instead, Lark offers a comprehensive suite of collaboration and communication tools that allow you to schedule meetings easily and conduct those meetings in an interactive and conclusive way.

What’s more, your team can focus on those meetings rather than translating participants or taking notes. Lark does it all for you.

Ready to give it a go? Try Lark now.

Keep reading

Keep reading

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