MassageBook vs Mindbody vs Acuity Scheduling vs Vagaro vs Schedulicity

The dawning of this new decade has brought new challenges for which none of us could have planned: a global pandemic, nationwide protests, and Mother Nature introduced her murder hornets. But, as massage therapists, we are quite used to pivoting and being flexible, so we have been eager to streamline our businesses to make sense in the new landscape.

One of the easiest ways to make your business run smoother and more efficiently is to start using a scheduling app for massage therapists. Scheduling apps automatically sync to your mobile devices with Google calendar, allowing you to see your day easily and from anywhere. Additionally, they save you time from playing phone tag with potential and current clients. Most importantly, they allow your clients to schedule their appointments when it makes sense for them, decreasing the chance of no-shows.

The bottom line: Scheduling apps automatically sync to your calendar, save you time, and decrease the chances of no-shows.

But if you’re tired of googling the differences and price comparisons, you’re not alone. We field this question quite often! Without further ado, we’ve broken down each of the five most popular tools and ranked them in terms of tools, resources, payment plans, and ease of use.

Psst… if you want to cut to the chase and avoid the deep dive, you can also scroll down to view our Tool Takeaways table.

#1: MASSAGEBOOK

Yes, we’re ranking ourselves first. But let’s be honest: if we thought another tool was better, we’d probably go work for that company. We think once you’ve reviewed the features and pricing of the other tools, you’ll agree!

Unlike the other guys, MassageBook was created specifically for independent massage therapists (not yoga studios, salons, multi-location spas, etc.) by a former massage therapist.

And as we’ve grown, we’ve only added more integrated tools and resources to make every step of your practice easier — from finding new clients, to creating and selling gift certificates and promotions, to SOAP notes that write themselves.

Let’s get back to scheduling! Not only is MassageBook’s online booking software easy to learn (we’re talking minutes, not months) and use, its offers are robust.

Here’s how it works:

  • Clients choose the date and time that works for them

  • MassageBook syncs to Google Calendar so you can get the full picture of your schedule

  • Expanded client view brings up details, including SOAP notes and booking activity

  • Integrates with your website and Facebook page (Psst… you get a free website with any MassageBook plan, or you can just add a scheduling button to your current site.)

  • Add additional staff for FREE!

Free for a year features:

  • Easy-to-use mobile app

  • Listing on MassageBook search directory to help get you new clients

  • Online booking syncs with Google Calendar

  • Automated appointment confirmation emails (for you & clients)

  • Basic digital SOAP notes

  • Card payments processing

  • Reserve with Google to help get you new clients

  • Membership plan management

  • Reviews collection, including Google

Premium features added:

  • Text & email appointment reminders

  • Digital client intake forms

  • Premium digital SOAP notes

  • Autopilot email marketing

  • Sell & manage gift certificates

  • Promotions engine

  • Customizable website

  • In-app chat support (real time)

MassageBook pricing:

We also offer discounts on our massage therapist scheduling app for AMTA and ABMP members.

Did you happen to notice that $0? Yes, you can get a YEAR for free of the Transition Plan (with unlimited staff members). That’s how confident we are that it will improve your professional life.

#2: ACUITY SCHEDULING

It’s very easy to set up an Acuity account, but this tool is definitely developed generically for a whole host of industries and verticals. Many of the reviewers indicate that they use it for multiple locations or multiple businesses.

Acuity pricing:

Acuity also has a free plan, but it’s unclear what you get other than a 7-day trial.

Relevant feedback from users:

Pros: “I love that it’s customizable to my business needs and appearance and that it’s so easy to use!”

Cons: “The only drawback is the user interface. I find it a bit clunky in the initial set up of schedules. Once that’s done, however, it works flawlessly.”

Source: SoftwareAdvice.com

The feature set is limited, so you’ll need to find other solutions for email marketing, website building, SOAP notes, selling and tracking gift certificates, or managing a membership program.

We rated this scheduling app second out of five because, despite not being developed specifically for massage therapists, it’s affordable for solo practitioners and handles the basics around scheduling well.

#3: VAGARO

Vagaro is designed for salons, so massage therapy is not too far of a reach. The calendar is color coded like the others, but the layout can be a bit distracting when you have multiple service providers’ schedules on one calendar.

Vagaro’s calendar feature allows:

  • Syncing with multiple platforms

  • Drag & drop appointments

  • Pop-up notes

  • Recurring booking

  • Personal time off

Vagaro’s online booking software allows:

  • Booking on Yelp, Facebook, Instagram

  • Booking on personal site

  • Email and push notifications for clients

Vagaro pricing (per month):

  • $25 first user

  • $10 extra each additional user

  • $10 extra for the website builder option

  • $10 extra for forms functionality

  • $20 extra for text marketing

Relevant feedback from users:

Pro: “I have NEVER liked the ‘paperwork’ of my business, and Vagaro has allowed me to excel at being a business owner but without spending the insane amount of time I was used to using to keep my business running.”

Con: “Lacking HIPAA support despite having basic SOAP note support.”

Source: SoftwareAdvice.com

We rated this scheduling app third out of five because, despite it having great scheduling features, the long list of extra fees for add-on services and tepid reviews for features important to massage therapists.

#4: MINDBODY

The Mindbody scheduling tool was developed with yoga and fitness studios in mind. The scheduling functions in time slots is especially helpful with a team or multiple locations. Inputting substitutions or reschedules is easy, and you can grant others administrative permissions if you like. However, keep in mind that administrators will be able to see client plans and financials.

The strongest argument for using Mindbody is its 1.3M active monthly users. Because many clients have downloaded the app for spa, salon or yoga services, they could also search for massage therapy.

However, Mindbody carries a hefty price tag. Even if you’re just looking for a scheduling app for massage therapists, you’d pay $129 per month with this tool.

  • Essential Plan: $129 per month. Includes scheduling, point-of-sale, and reporting.

  • Accelerate Plan: $239 per month. Includes 2-way text notifications and email templates.

  • Ultimate Plan: $349 per month. Includes automated campaigns, customer feedback, and customer referral program.

Relevant feedback from users:

Pro: “I absolutely love this software. I’ve used it at multiple jobs I’ve had. It’s super easy to navigate and makes our jobs easier.”

Con: “Customer service is mostly good but inconsistent. Pricing is slightly on the high side. I pay about $105 a month.”

Source: SoftwareAdvice.com

We rated this scheduling app fourth out of five because it costs 5-10x the others and is rather complex to use. Additionally, though massage therapists may use it, it is still most functional for gyms, studios and spas.

#5: SCHEDULICITY

Schedulicity’s differentiator is that it is marketed to be “where the locals go” — so there’s a small business emphasis and approach. It was developed with most small business owners in mind, including hair stylists, massage therapists, chiropractors and more. Appointment management is easily tweaked from the app, but the appointments do not appear to integrate with Google Calendar or iCal, making the app imperative for checking bookings. However, the interface does look easy to use.

Schedulicity, like the other tools, also allows you to add your online booking link to social platforms to help increase social referrals. It also gets points for having customizable marketing options.

Relevant feedback from users:

Pro: “Very easy to use and super intuitive. Great for anyone nervous about letting go of their paper calendars!”

Con: “I found the view to be lacking. It really didn’t meet my needs as a professional. It is definitely a good starter program.”

Source: SoftwareAdvice.com

Where this scheduling app loses points is its complicated pricing structure. The free version only allows you 10 bookings per month. For many massage businesses, that’s simply not enough.

When you go dive into the plans, everything is presented as “add-on” or a la carte, which feels freeing, but it adds up.

For example, for a one person operation who wants unlimited booking ($25/month), client text reminders ($5/month), custom packages ($5/month), Square integration ($5/month) and automated marketing options ($25/month), that’s $65 per month. Without marketing, it’s still $40 and you’re not getting reports, multi-location options, gift certificates, or—most importantly—SOAP notes. That’s why we’ve rated this tool fifth out of five scheduling apps for massage therapists.

Now, at long last, may we present the Tool Takeaways table. This rolls up our ratings in an easily digestible manner (plus it’s easy to share)! If you’re currently using one of these scheduling apps for massage therapy and want to give us a try, you can start a free trial of MassageBook. (Reminder: you get our Transition Plan free for a year!)

See below for a chart comparison between MassageBook vs Mindbody vs Acuity Scheduling vs Vagaro vs Schedulicity: