I entered 2022 with a new-found appreciation for technology and how it can elevate my law firm and make our work more efficient. At the same time, I am still apprehensive in how much I want technology to take over versus the personal contact our clients seek. As a bankruptcy and family law attorney, our clients enjoy speaking with a live person and being able to have their questions answered. Would technology really help that?
The first part of our series reviews calendaring applications. Is there a calendaring application that can assist me in scheduling appointments with clients without the need for a live-person. We reviewed the platforms the applications integrate with, the cost, the benefits of the application, and the downside. We reviewed Calendly, Accuity, Doodle, Vagaro, and Monday.
Currently, Feher Law does not utilize a calendaring system for booking. We use Google Calendar to book all of our appointments. Its integration with our other applications, such as Zoom, along with management of multiple calendars, its ease, and simplicity made it our best choice at the time.
- Calendly – https://calendly.com/
Calendly is available for desktop computers, Apple products, and Android products. The application has both free and subscription models. In the free model, Calendly integrates with Zoom, Google, Office 365, Outlook, and iCloud calendars. The automation allows has the ability to remind clients of appointments.
When you use the subscription model, there are additional features for group events and metrics. Most of the features seem like they are limited based on the subscription you choose. Fancier features are not available on the free model. The subscription models start at $8.00/seat per month.
Overall, Calendly seems like it would work well with multiple users and seems very group-friendly for Law Firm Technology. This application may be a little to complex to warrant a single person/ individual (a true solo with no support staff) to use it. It seems as if it was made for small businesses and companies.
- Accuity – https://acuityscheduling.com/#gref
Accuity is also available for desktop computers, Apple products, and Android products. It is owned by SquareSpace. The application is only available as a subscription model. It integrates with Zoom, Google Calendar, Office 365 Outlook, and many other services. The automation sends automated appointment reminders.
The features I really liked from Accuity include payment and adjustment for time zones. For Law Firm Technology, that charge for consultations or if you seek pre-payment for a service, Accuity allows for payments to be made/accepted through the application itself. (Note* I have not researched or looked into the security of payments through the Accuity application). Additionally, if you work with clients or colleagues across different time zones, the schedule will automatically adjust for time zones. You can also customize Accuity’s view to your clients so that you can match your brand, colors, etc. The subscription service starts at $14.00 per month.
Accuity would also work well for business/companies outside the legal world. Accuity can allow your business to offer gift certificates, packages, or even memberships. If you deal with any HIPAA related information, Accuity will keep client information private.
Overall, Accuity is only available via a subscription model. While it is customizable with good features, it comes at a cost. But I think this might be a better option for an individual user than Calendly. It would also work well for multiple users.
- Doodle – https://doodle.com/en/
Doodle is an application I am pretty with. This was my first foray into finding an easier way to schedule things. Doodle is also available for desktop computers, Apple products, and Android products. Although there is a free version, there are no bells and whistles. There is a subscription model as well. It integrates with Zoom, Google Calendar, Office 365, Outlook, and iCloud calendars. You can also send automated appointment reminders.
The feature I really liked from the Doodle subscription model is the Booking Page. This page allows multiple parties to easily coordinate availability through Law Firm Technology. It also takes into account time-zones. If you make any changes to the event/meeting, etc., all event participants are notified of updates. Doodle Premium (the subscription models) start at $6.95 for 1 user and $8.95 for 5 users.
Because the Booking Page is such an important feature, other features are harder to recognize as anything unique. Other than the Booking Page, the calendar function is even more straightforward and simple than a Google Calendar. Overall, I think the Booking Page will make coordination very easy. I think this might be a great option for an individual user. It would also work well for multiple users.
- Vagaro – https://www.vagaro.com/
Vagaro is a new application to me. Vagaro is available for desktop computers, Apple products, and Android products. It is designed for salon, spa, and fitness business management. Vagaro works off of a subscription model. It integrates with Zoom, Google Calendar, QuickBooks, Square, Office 365, Outlook, and Apple Calendar.
Vagaro has lots of great features. You can accept payments through the application and I think you can send payments out from the application also. Although it integrates with Zoom, it also has its own video conferencing. You can import all of your client information and it claims it can do that “from any software”. You can book on Yelp, Instagram, Facebook, or booking through your webite. They do customer tracking. You can add on marketing. They have payroll through Gusto and can provide that as a service. They can help build a website and they offer credit card processing.
If you make less than $4,000 a month, Vagaro takes a flat rate. If you earn more than that, it charges a flat $10 monthly fee but reduces you per-transaction rate. You only pay for the bookable employees you have. For 3 bookable employees, the flat rate is $45.00 per month. There are no set up fees and they offer a free trial.
Overall, I loved how many features Vagaro had. I was very impressed with all of the additional tools that Vagaro had. For Law Firm Technology, it seems somewhat overwhelming because of all of the things Vagaro can do. Their customer service was very easy to chat with and they can set you up for an account in as little in 15 minutes.
- Monday – https://monday.com/
Monday is available for desktop computers, Apple products, and Android products. The application has both free and subscription models. In the free model, Calendly integrates with Zoom, Google Calendar, Microsoft Teams, Excel, LinkedIn, OneDrive, Zapier, Office 365 Outlook, Dropbox, and many other services. The automation allows has the ability to remind clients of appointments.
Under the subscription model, you could use Monday to coordinate project management, in addition to just appointments. Law Firm Technology, you can also use the subscription model to create and distribute forms, waivers, etc.
Overall, Monday works best on the subscription model. The features that come with paid models include dashboards that you could customize to each practice area of the firm. A subscription with only one dashboard starts at only $8.00 per month (per seat).
This application seems complex, but it also seems as if it could be user friendly. There is no chat feature or help tab or frequently asked questions, which leaves a lot of questions unanswered.
After reviewing Calendly, Accuity, Doodle, Vagaro, and Monday, in order to use for calendaring and scheduling as part of my upgrade for Law Firm Technology, I would most likely consider using Vagaro. It sounds like it could be the most helpful for scheduling initial consultations for our bankruptcy and family law practice. I would want more information about the credit card processing and payments. I would want to make sure I would be protected in terms of credit card security. I would also want to know what the chargeback policy would be. I would do the free trial of Vagaro and consider my options at that time.
Until we turbo-charge our technology and adopt one of these applications, you can schedule a consultation or contact Feher Law through our website HERE. You can also find more of our articles on our blog HERE. Happy calendaring!