- 1. Connecteam — Best free scheduling tool with customizable templates and unlimited checklists
- 2. Homebase — Best employee scheduling + time tracking software with GPS
- 3. Wrike — Best free employee scheduling app with Gantt chart visualization
- 4. Acuity Scheduling — Best for appointment-based shift scheduling or recurring appointments
- 5. Asana — Best free employee scheduling software for Kanban-style task scheduling
- 6. TIMIFY — Best free resource tracking and scheduling software for small businesses
- 7. Findmyshift — Best free employee scheduling software for a drag-and-drop scheduler
- 8. ABC Roster — Best free scheduling software for constraints management
- 9. Sling — Best free employee scheduling software for group scheduling
- 10. Fieldcode — Best IoT-driven scheduling software for field service-based organizations
As a small business owner, saving money and keeping overhead under control is always top of mind. One way to do this is to streamline your employee scheduling needs so your managers don't have to spend a lot of paid time on it. Doing so will leave more money in your pocket, while also enhancing your team's productivity. (Translation: less time spent = more money saved. Cha-ching!)
The great news is, many powerful, and free employee scheduling software systems can help you achieve this blissful state. The tools in my list below will help you reduce your scheduling frustrations and manage your workforce better. My goal is to help you find the best scheduling software for your budget and business needs so you can save money and time in the long run. I've also covered a few FAQs related to free employee scheduling solutions below, too.
What Is Free Employee Scheduling Software?
Free employee scheduling software is used by managers to create digital work schedules for their teams. It's a type of workforce management software that's specifically designed for hourly workforces. Within the software, team leads can schedule shifts, breaks, and shift handovers as needed. It can also help with temporary staffing, managing schedule changes, and tracking labor costs too.
Other advanced features include shift trading (shift swapping), auto-scheduling, and automatic shift reminders sent to mobile devices. Many of the systems also offer the ability to track employee time worked as well. All this functionality is delivered free of charge, either permanently (as in a freemium plan), or for a period of time with a free trial.
Connecteam’s scheduling software is simple to use and scalable, so you can start with their free version and add more features over time. Using a free account, employees can clock in and out in real-time, and access an unlimited number of customized checklists to help workers stay on task.
Why I picked Connecteam: The scheduling platform makes it easy to repeat schedules that work from week to week using weekly shift templates. The system will also mark useful items like schedule conflicts, weekly overtime exceeded, and periods of unavailability for specific workers. Once published, schedules are emailed automatically to workers so they have all the information they need immediately.
Available on mobile, desktop, or as a kiosk app for tablets, Connecteam was built for deskless and remote teams. It’s a popular choice for teams in many industries, including retail, restaurants, manufacturing, construction, field services, and healthcare. It also includes communication features like company announcements with the ability to add likes, comments, mentions and replies within the app.
Connecteam Standout Features and Integrations:
Features include scheduling templates, shift duplication tools, geolocation tracking, productivity workflows, automatic shift reminders, equal shift distribution tools, shift overlap prevention tools, employee shift swap, real-time push notifications, compliance tracking, and a full-feature mobile app.
Integrations include Google Calendar, Gusto, QuickBooks Payroll, and others.
What's Free: Connecteam's free forever plan is available for qualifying small businesses. It includes full access to all features, with some unspecified limitations. They also offer a 14-day free trial of their higher service level packages too.
Homebase is an easy-to-use, intuitive software for employee scheduling. The app helps you manage your employees’ schedules, from work shifts to vacation days. The shifts can be scheduled by day or by half-day. Homebase allows employees to know what hours are available and see upcoming shifts. You can make shift changes, swap shifts, and add overtime too. You can set up different schedules for each week and adjust them on the fly.
Why I picked Homebase: Unlike competitors in the free employee scheduling space, Homebase is free for unlimited employees (one location) and offers POS (point-of-sale) and payroll integration options—yes, even on the free plan! On top of that, their free plan includes timesheets, a time clock, overtime/late alerts for employees, and messaging tools too. The platform will also send updates sent to your team through in-app, text, or email alerts when the schedule is adjusted.
Homebase Standout Features and Integrations:
The features covered by Homebase's free plan include open job posting solutions, shift swapping, basic applicant tracking, workplace safety alerts, and shift feedback tools.
Integrations are available with Google Calendar, Evernote, Gmail, IFTTT, DropBox, and other apps.
What's Free: Homebase is free to use for unlimited employees at 1 location. If you need to service multiple locations, it's easy to scale up to their paid plan.
Wrike.com is a cloud-based solution for scheduling and managing your small business team.
Why I picked Wrike: Wrike lets you create and manage multiple projects from one single platform. You can update project timelines with a drag-and-drop editor and collaborate among teams in real time. Wrike has a Gantt chart that lets you have a bird’s eye view of project progress and a holistic view of the work space and dependencies. You can create tasks and link them using dependencies, then track them based on milestones and deadlines. The real-time visualization of performance via reports and analytics makes life easier, as you can see the growth levers and clogs clearly.
Wrike Standout Features and Integrations:
Features include built-in communication and messaging tools make collaborating on scheduling notes a team effort whether you are working task-by-task or looking at the big picture stuff. Support is available via live chat and email. There are also video lessons to guide you through building your very first schedule or launching a calendar from their templates list.
Integrations include over 400 pre-built connections plus access to an API. Key systems to note include Asana, Gmail, Okta, OneDrive, Slack, Trello, Workday, and many others.
What's Free: Wrike's free plan offers up to 2GB of storage space and includes task and sub-task management, account-wide work schedules, email integrations, and some custom work views.
Acuity Scheduling is a cloud-based software that integrates with your email calendar.
Why I picked Acuity Scheduling: Their software is particularly good at handling complicated scheduling scenarios by allowing for post-booking flexibility like resetting the booking amount and rollover of remaining appointments. It has an easily navigable scheduler and scheduling editor. Acuity Scheduling allows for scheduling for packages, memberships, and group classes including recurring billing. This can be particularly helpful if you are an online trainer, coach, or consultant. You also have the option to share your calendar with your clients via Facebook and Instagram.
Acuity Scheduling Standout Features and Integrations:
Features include time zone and multi-location support, employee self-service features, and a reporting dashboard that is clean and easy-to-use, plus detailed reporting and analytics.
Integrations are available with Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, Apple Calendar, Facebook, Instagram, Zoho, video conferencing software, and over 500 more with a paid plan through Zapier. Acuity Scheduling also integrates with online payment processors like PayPal, Stripe, and Square.
What's Free: Acuity Scheduling offers a 7-day free trial of their paid plans, but no permanent free forever option.
Asana is an app designed to break tasks down into manageable pieces and then assign them accordingly. Asana also has a Kanban board view that lets you visualize your progress.
Why I picked Asana: Their calendar feature lets you track your employee’s tasks and see which team member is working on what task and at what time. You can use this information to keep track of important project deadlines and milestones. Based on that you can adjust the shifts and give in-app feedback. You can schedule multiple projects and assign tasks to your team or sort scheduled tasks by team member, due date, and priority. You can also add milestones to a task and set deadlines for each phase of the project. The product is mobile-friendly with iOS and Android apps.
Asana Standout Features and Integrations:
Features include unlimited tasks, unlimited projects and unlimited messages, an activity log, multiple views (calendar, projects, board), assignees and due dates, time tracking integrations and iOS and Android mobile apps.
Integrations are available with 100+ popular systems, including Azure Active Directory, Google Calendar, Jira, Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Teams, Okta, PomoDone, Slack, TimeCamp, Zapier, and many others.
What's Free: Asana's free plan is intended for individual use or small teams. It includes a calendar view plus unlimited tasks, projects, messages, and activity logs, and supports collaboration for up to 15 team members.
Timify is a free appointment and resource scheduling software for small and medium businesses. It has an online calendar feature to provide employees with visibility into their schedules, meetings, and appointments to help them manage their time efficiently.
Why I picked Timify: Their software includes an appointment-booking feature, so you can embed a booking widget on your website allowing customers to book appointments and access services according to their availability. You can use Timify to create services and events and assign resources like rooms, devices, or tools to help prevent scheduling conflicts while ensuring customers receive exemplary services.
Small businesses often work on limited human resources, making Timify an ideal resource tracking software because it allows business owners to invite staff as account users to help manage the business. With Timify, owners can define user permissions for staff members to use the software while limiting access to sensitive features and information. You can use Timify to track and manage the booking capacity of your resources to help you foresee availability and plan contingencies that will help ensure continuous business operations.
Timify Standout Features and Integrations:
Features include an online calendar, email confirmations, customer and resource management tools, a booking widget, and online payment integrations.
Integrations are available with Intercom, Google Calendar, GoToMeeting, Meta, Microsoft Office 365, Zapier, Zoom, and others.
What's Free: Timify's free plan is available for up to 5 resources (people or rooms) and includes an online calendar and web-based booking tools. For additional features, including mobile apps, calendar syncs, and shift planning tools, you'll want to scale up to one of their paid plans.
Findmyshift is a web-based employee scheduling software that makes it easy for managers to schedule their staff. It can helps you create a roster schedule in minutes using their drag-and-drop calendar interface. The free-form editor lets you add as many items to as many cells as you like, based on your requirements. You can also create and store templates of repeating shift patterns to help you speed up your scheduling process.
Why I picked Findmyshift: Their software helps managers organize staff and shifts by finding the right person for the job at any given time. Findmyshift can do this with its rota feature, letting you see who’s available and who’s not when allocating shifts. The rota feature can also come to use when allocating time-offs as it will tell you if the employee has any shifts scheduled in that period. You can also keep the time-off requests private to avoid any staff conflict. The mobile app provides an excellent platform for employers to search, filter, and manage their employee’s availability in real-time.
Findmyshift Standout Features and Integrations:
Features within their free plan include scheduling tools, an employee time clock, shift reminders, shift reminders & notifications, an on-screen editor, one week of historical scheduling data, and one week of forward staff scheduling all organized by one manager.
Integrations are available with Amazon Alexa, BambooHR, Cake, Google Calendar, Google Assistant, Lightspeed, Monday.com, Microsoft Outlook, People, Slack, Square, Vend, and Xero.
What's Free: Their free forever plan is available for 1 manager with up to 5 employees and up to 10 MB data storage. If you need more features or storage space, you can scale up to one of their paid plans.
ABC Roster is always free to use with an optional one-time donation to the developer if you are feeling generous. Because there is no paid version of ABC Roster, what you get is what you get—for good or for worse.
Why I picked ABC Roster: One of the best features ABC Roster has to offer is a robust system for constraint management. Have an employee who only wants 4 days a week? No problem, make a note. Need exactly 2 managers on every shift? Add that rule! You can even deep-dive into more subjective employee scheduling territory, like who doesn’t get on well together and therefore shouldn’t be staffed together.
ABC Roster Standout Features and Integrations:
Features include drag-and-drop calendars with an easy-to-handle interface, an automated planner, file export options (PDF, HTML, Excel), and time off management.
Integrations are not listed on their website, but you can export the schedules you create into Microsoft Excel or PDF format, or share them with your staff as HTML documents.
What's Free: ABC Roster is free to use forever, however, it is no longer being regularly updated.
Sling is a scheduling software and workforce management tool that helps managers, supervisors, and employees make informed decisions about how to be more productive. It provides features like group scheduling for large events, managing time-offs, and customizing employee schedules.
Why I picked Sling: With the free version of Sling app, you can set up shift templates so that you do not have to create recurring shifts from scratch. You can also set up shift alarms to keep your deadlines on track. Employees can submit time-off requests while you can check available shifts in real-time. Sling comes with Native iOS and Android apps. Support is available via a help center, filled with extensive documentation. You can also contact them via email.
Sling Standout Features and Integrations:
Features include employee scheduling, shift trading, budget management tools, overtime flags, absenteeism notifications, overlapping shift warnings, and a mobile app.
Integrations are available with Shopify, Gusto, Square, and other apps.
What's Free: Sling is free to use for unlimited users but with limited features. For example, some features like shift swapping and time clocks are locked to paid plans.
Field code is an asset-based service management tool that helps businesses manage multi-location field service teams and organize dispatch operations. Companies can use Fieldcode to assign tickets to their field technicians, see the progress of tasks, and collect electronic signatures from clients.
Why I picked Fieldcode: You can use Fieldcode to generate real-time onsite reports. Managers can track their employees’ live location with GPS and keep their customers in the loop about the progress via emails and SMS. The dashboard is simple and lets team members filter tickets based on regions or projects. Support is available via an inquiry form and through videos, blogs, and whitepapers.
Fieldcode Standout Features and Integrations:
Features include automatic appointment booking and dispatching, route optimization tools, forecasting tools, Internet of Things (IoT) integrations with IT infrastructure, an analytics dashboard, a ticket-based communication and request system, and mobile apps.
Integration details are not listed on their website at this time.
What's Free: Fieldcode's free account includes standard features and supports up to 10 users. It includes support via email, self-guided implementation, and a wizard set-up function. For additional features, you can scale up to one of their paid plans.
Need expert help selecting the right tool?
We’ve joined up with Crozdesk.com to give all our readers (yes, you!) access to Crozdesk’s software advisors. Just use the form below to share your needs, and they will contact you at no cost or commitment. You will then be matched and connected to a shortlist of vendors that best fit your company, and you can access exclusive software discounts!
Best free scheduling tool with customizable templates and unlimited checklists
14-day free trial + free plan available
|From $29/month for 30 users (paid annually)||Visit Website|
Best employee scheduling + time tracking software with GPS
Free plan available (unlimited employees)
|From $20/month (payroll add-on is $6/user/month + $39/month)||Visit Website|
Best free employee scheduling app with Gantt chart visualization
Free plan available
|From $9.80/user/month||Visit Website|
Best for appointment-based shift scheduling or recurring appointments
7-day free trial
|From $15/month||Visit Website|
Best free employee scheduling software for Kanban-style task scheduling
Free plan available
|From $10.99/user/month||Visit Website|
Best free resource tracking and scheduling software for small businesses
14-day free trial
|From $25/month/account||Visit Website|
Best free employee scheduling software for a drag-and-drop scheduler
Unlimited free trial
|Free to use up to 5 employees||Visit Website|
Best free scheduling software for constraints management
Free forever plan available
|Free to use||Visit Website|
Best free employee scheduling software for group scheduling
Free forever plan available
|Paid plans start at $1.70/user/month||Visit Website|
Best IoT-driven scheduling software for field service-based organizations
Unlimited free trial
|Pricing is based on a pay-per-event basis||Visit Website|
- Google Workspace
Best scheduling software for existing Google users
Best free employee scheduling software to manage hourly employees
Best free employee scheduling software for the restaurant industry
Best for creating timesheets to integrate with payroll
Best employee scheduling and timecard application for freelancers
Best employee scheduling and time tracking tool for mid-sized companies
Selection Criteria for Free Employee Scheduling Software
Wondering how I created this top 10 list? I'm happy to explain my process.
I started out by developing a long list of employee scheduling software with positive user ratings based on recent market data. I then examined each software provider's website in greater detail to determine what, if any, free options they offer users.
Some of the software systems in this list do offer free forever plans with limited features, which are also commonly referred to as freemium plans. A freemium plan is a simplified version of the software that includes enough scheduling features to get you started. However, the best features will likely be held back, to keep you wanting more. For that reason, I've noted specifically which portions of each employee scheduling software are free, and which aren't.
Finally, to narrow my list down even further, I used the selection criteria below as a framework to guide my ultimate selections for this list.
Here’s a summary of the core features I assessed while creating this list of the best free employee scheduling software, plus the framework I used to assess their strength:
- Time tracking: Time tracking is critical functionality for any employee scheduling app. Managers need to track the time an employee spends on a particular task and also maintain timesheets. Employee scheduling apps that have this feature help to boost company productivity.
- Timesheet reporting and analytics: To assess this I determined whether the software had features for preparing timesheet reports including logged time, overtime, and billable hours. I also noted whether that data came with any additional insightful analytics. Based on timesheet reporting, a business owner will be able to calculate payroll, ship correct invoices, and get a clear picture of the output of their team.
- Mobile app accessibility: Since nearly everyone has a phone in their pocket at all times, it's crucial that your employee scheduling software offers a mobile app, or is at least mobile-friendly. That way, your employees can stay up-to-date on their work schedule while on the go.
- Schedule export options: Depending on your industry, you may need to export your schedules as PDFs, spreadsheets, or email attachments. This is especially important for teams that work remotely or may have limited internet access. Exporting schedules helps take data from the software and store it in the team member’s personal device. This helps in keeping the entire team on track even without access to the software.
- Time-off requests and approvals: Time-off requests are a key feature of employee scheduling software as it is directly related to the productivity of the organization. Time-off requests are important for keeping your workforce motivated and active, so an organized way of calculating time-off and submitting requests becomes all the more important.
A strong user interface (UI) is always important, since it helps staff at all levels navigate the software easily. There’s a common misconception in the industry that “free” means “looks cheaply made”. For this article, I specifically highlighted employee scheduling tools that look good, sport clean interfaces, and make sense layout-wise.
To assess each system's usability, I examined how their menus were organized and how easy it was to access different features. I also looked into whether each software vendor offers good customer support, user onboarding, tutorials, or training. Oftentimes, free versions of software do not come with live tech support. In such cases, knowledge bases and online training material can help you master the tool independently instead.
Investing in a scheduling tool with pre-built software integrations will help you run your team more efficiently. That's why I've summarized the key integrations for each system, as well as access to any APIs they may also include. Key integrations I checked for include team communication and messaging tools, digital calendars, and any additional systems for time-tracking that capture clock-in and clock-out times.
Value for Price
As I mentioned, I aimed to summarize the best free options for employee scheduling in this article. However, sometimes the free plans come with limited features. In that case, you'll likely want to scale up your plan. That's why I've included pricing details for their paid plans as well, so you know what to expect should you decide to scale up.
Why is employee scheduling software important?
What are the benefits of using employee scheduling software?
How can I make an employee schedule for free?
Can I create employee schedules using a mobile app?
Other Employee Scheduling Software Reviews
There are many different types of employee scheduling software, to suit different business needs. To save you some time, here are some links to my other top 10 lists covering different subsets of employee scheduling software:
- Best Employee Scheduling Software
- Employee Scheduling Software for Small Businesses
- Employee Shift Scheduling Software
- Open Source Employee Scheduling Software
- Online Employee Scheduling Software
I hope you enjoyed my top picks for the best free employee shift scheduling software. Employee scheduling software is an important tool that can modernize your workforce. These all-in-one tools can do more than simply improve your scheduling and shift management. They can also help you with labor forecasting, improving team productivity, tracking time, and minimizing no-shows.
Want to stay ahead in all things related to employee management and the HR world? Subscribe to our free People Managing People newsletter to stay in touch.