Managing a daily schedule is a headache for coaching professionals: It can be easy to lose track of last-minute meeting time changes, or accidentally overbook, leading to troublesome phone calls or emails.
Online software allows coaches to have an automated scheduler available to clients at their convenience. It also lets coaches keep better track of what a day or week will look like, in real time, as well as safely block out sections of the day for travel or cushioning.
But what piece of software works best? Or should coaches use a combination of systems? Below, 10 members from Forbes Coaches Council talk about what works for them, and why. Here’s what they have to say:
From top left to right: Tara Padua, Virginia Franco, John O’Connor, Erin Kennedy, Kitty Boitnott, Cori Burchell, Tina Forsyth, Cheryl Lynch Simpson, Kelly Meerbott, Susanne Biro.
Calendly allows you to customize your event, like a 45-minute coaching session. When you share it with your clients, it only shares your availability. Once a client schedules, it sends you an update with a new event notification and adds the event to your calendar. At the end of the month when you need to track your client hours, just do a search in your calendar. – Tara Padua, NextFem
2. You Can Book Me
You Can Book Me‘s free software works with Gmail, allows you to schedule across time zones, and lets you customize the look and language of your booking page. For just a few extra dollars, you can send email and text reminders. The best part? Their customer service is excellent — with responses in hours! – Virginia Franco, Virginia Franco Resumes
Many people overlook the new user interface on LinkedIn. But make no mistake: LinkedIn possesses a powerful way to track and set reminders, take notes on key individual clients, observe daily actions and stay current on those clients, their representative companies and their brands. Under every person’s profile you can take client notes. – John O’Connor, Career Pro Inc.
We use vCita to schedule client appointments: An easy-to-use pop-up opens when they go to your website. It’s simple, and clients love it. However, my favorite tool for client management is Basecamp. You can add your client notes to it and then add any other team members to contribute. For us, it is our writers, proofreaders, coaches and admin staff. There is never any confusion about who is doing what or when. – Erin Kennedy, Professional Resume Services, Inc.
5. Coaches Console
There are a lot of tools out there that coaches can use for managing clients and keeping up with scheduling, but I personally love The Coaches Console. It is a “one-stop-shop” solution, especially for coaches who are just starting out. You may house your website there, manage your calendar and email list, and it even provides a shopping cart. I highly recommend it for new coaches just starting out. – Kitty Boitnott, Boitnott Coaching, LLC/Teachers in Transition
I’ve tried Acuity and Calendly and both are very good, but I prefer Acuity. It gives me more options, more calendars and the ability to send questions and forms to my clients before our sessions. – Cori Burchell, Dear Miss Millionaire
Infusionsoft is the hub of my business, so when it came to scheduling tools I wanted to find one that integrated with Infusionsoft and would keep all client info in one place. When a client books an appointment via AppointmentCore, it is automatically added to their record in Infusionsoft. I then keep track of conversations and progress via the Notes feature in their Infusionsoft client record. – Tina Forsyth, Tina Forsyth
For client management, I rely on CoachAccountable for tracking coaching sessions, paperwork, communications, and programs. I also use it to manage coaching groups and classes. Although it includes a scheduling component, I find that Acuity offers me more options. The combination of these two tools packs a powerful and systematized punch. – Cheryl Lynch Simpson, Executive Resume Rescue
9. Google Drive
We don’t use any coach-specific software or apps. We keep a simple system using a combination of Google Drive, Dropbox and Calendly. These programs seamlessly integrate with each other and enable our clients to access the drives remotely or on their smartphones. – Kelly Meerbott, You: Loud & Clear
10. Schedule Once
I use Schedule Once and can’t recommend it more highly. I provide clients (and even friends) with my link and they simply add themselves to my calendar as needed. They can easily reschedule themselves via the link and it handles all time zone conversions. I can tailor everything about the tool, including the look and feel. Cost is only by month. One of the best investments I ever made. – Susanne Biro, Susanne Biro & Associates Coaching Inc.