4 Best Free Employee Scheduling Software for Mac (And a Paid Option)

4 Best Free Employee Scheduling Software (And a Paid Option)

In this article, we’ll list several employee scheduling software that offer a free plan and work on your Apple devices (like MacBooks, iPads, and iPhones).

The good news is that there is no shortage of free scheduling solutions that work on a Mac. Most scheduling solutions are online, which means you can usually use them on Mac computers (as well Windows/Microsoft operating systems).

But the bigger question is whether you will get everything you need from free employee scheduling software.

To show you the difference between free software and paid, we take a look at Buddy Punch, our employee schedule software.

Buddy Punch offers employee scheduling software (with advanced features like repeating shifts, customizable employee availability, shift trades and cover, and more). Buddy Punch is also time clock software that your team can use to punch in for their shift and that you can use to track time worked. Plus, Buddy Punch can either be your payroll software or integrate with your current payroll processing system.

Employee Scheduling Software Options

Paid Employee Scheduling Software

Employee Scheduling Software with Free Plan Options

Why Choose Buddy Punch?

Why choose Buddy Punch over a free option? In our experience, there are 3 key reasons:

1. We provide an intuitive interface that’s easy to use, so your employees can get started with minimal training and assistance.

As many of our customers have written on Capterra, a widely-used software review site:

“Most folks pick up on it right away. The system is intuitive and those who do have difficulty only need a quick tutorial and they are good to go.”

Click here to read the full review.

“The software is straightforward and well-run, and was easily understood by our team of 55+ non-technical staff of all ages.”

Click here to read the full review.

“Minimal training for end users (employees or managers). The back end (admin) features are just as simple and intuitive. We wanted a product that was simple to use, cost friendly and allowed us to customize — all of these areas were met. Very impressed!”

Click here to read the full review.

“It’s easy, it’s intuitive, and staff are really receptive to using it.”

Click here to read the full review.

“We signed up for the trial period, and our employees were impressed immediately. They were able to start… immediately with zero training or assistance, which was a priority for us. The system is also very easy to use from an administrator end.”

Click here to read the full review.

2. We have a median first response time of 54 seconds via live chat, and each representative is deeply familiar with the ins and outs of our platform.

As several of our customers have written on Capterra:

“The area I am most impressed with is with their support — they respond quickly, accurately and offer real solutions.”

Click here to read the full review.

“Their team is knowledgeable about my organization and the way that we use the platform — I have received many helpful suggestions to how we can best leverage the Buddy Punch platform in our sometimes complicated organizational structure. We have had very few issues, but have always received immediate resolutions when anything has come up.”

Click here to read the full review.

“Multiple customer reps were available via ‘Chat’ to help with set up and answer questions. Rep was very knowledgeable and helped me with every single question and scenario I had trouble with.”

Click here to read the full review.

“The team is responsive, and eager to assist. Any questions we’ve had, whether using the free trial, or after we signed up as a customer, have been answered quickly”.

Click here to read the full review.

“The chat staff has been super helpful to me every single time I have messaged them. They assisted me to get the software ready for a trial run which was very helpful! Every chat session was emailed to me for future reference.”

Click here to read the full review.

3. Many free plans limit the number of features you can use. If you want a plethora of advanced scheduling functionality, then you should opt for a paid software.

Most free employee scheduling software offer the basics. For example, you can typically create schedules via drag and drop functionality and have your team receive an automatic mobile or email notification when their shift is published.

If that’s all you’re looking for from a features and functionality perspective, then a free plan may be the right fit.

However, what if you wanted to expand beyond the basics? In that case, you should consider Buddy Punch. We offer numerous advanced scheduling features and employee management tools, and no matter what your needs are, we likely have you covered.

Most free plans offer some, but not all of the following features:

Repeating Shifts

Repeating and recurring shifts are easy to implement with Buddy Punch.

With Buddy Punch, when creating a shift, you can set it to repeat at regular intervals (e.g., every weekday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm).

That way, you don’t have to repeatedly waste time entering the same shift details.

Employee Availability

Easily see employee availability within Buddy Punch.

Employees can log into the app and set their available and unavailable working hours. Per the above image, this information is then available for easy reference when you next sit down to create a schedule.

Instead of an inefficient, manual system of communication (e.g., texts and calls), everything you need is centralized in one app. This helps avoid scheduling errors.  

Shift Trades & Covers

Employees can request shift trades and covers within Buddy Punch.

Employees can request shift trades and covers within the app, which are optionally subject to an administrator’s approval.

Shift Start Reminder

Shift start reminders through email, push, or both in Buddy Punch.

With Buddy Punch, a shift reminder alert — either email or push notification — can be sent to an employee if they do not not punch in within ‘X’ minutes of the start of their shift.

You also have the option to activate other types of scheduling alerts: Shift End Reminder, Early In & Out Reminders, and so on.

Managing Time Off Requests

Buddy Punch is also a PTO tracker, which means your team can input their paid time off requests (as well as non-paid time off requests) into Buddy Punch. This helps you streamline your scheduling process, so you’re not scheduling someone to work when they’ve already got the days of approved.

Request Time Off and Approve Time Off Requests within Buddy Punch

You can set up permissions so everyone on your team can see the PTO calendar. We recommend you do this when possible as it helps give your team the tools they need to request appropriate PTO dates.

You can also pick whether or not someone’s PTO request needs manager approval or if it can be automatically approved by Buddy Punch.


Approved PTO dates are reflected in real-time, so you’re not at risk of scheduling to work a shift when they’ve already taken that day off.

Additional Scheduling Features

Those features are just the tip of the iceberg; click here to explore our full list of advanced scheduling features. 

Payroll & Accountability Features

Beyond employee scheduling, Buddy Punch can help you with:

  1. Saving time on payroll via features and functionality such as Time Off Tracking, Buddy Punch Payroll, Payroll Integration (such as QuickBooks and Gusto), Accruals, On-Demand Payroll Reports, and more.
  2. Increasing employee accountability via features and functionality such as Photos on Punch, Facial Recognition Punching, GPS Tracking, Geofencing, IP Address Locking, and more.

Online Reviews

As of this writing, Buddy Punch has over 850 reviews and 4.8 out of 5 stars on Capterra.

We’ve listed many of those reviews earlier in the article, but you can explore the full list here.

Start a Free Trial

Click here to sign up for a free trial of Buddy Punch. The setup process is quick, and if you have any questions along the way, feel free to submit them via live chat.

Sling

As of this writing, Sling has over 130 reviews and 4.6 out of 5 stars on Capterra.

They offer both a free and a paid plan. Click here to see Sling’s pricing page. 

Some of Sling’s features include:

Here’s one review indicating why it’s a solid free shift scheduling software for small businesses:

“Sling has created a seamless connection between schedule creators and team members creating easy communication and boundaries. Thank you Sling for generously offering such a great app.”

Click here to read the full review.

Click here to read all of Sling’s Capterra reviews.

Findmyshift

As of this writing, Findmyshift has over 860 reviews and 4.6 out of 5 stars on Capterra.

They offer both a free and a paid plan. Click here to see Findmyshift’s pricing page.

Some of Findmyshift’s features include:

Here’s one review indicating why it’s a solid free employee scheduling app for small businesses:

“We converted from spreadsheets to using Findmyshift, and have been very happy. We no longer have problems with employees not checking the schedule, we can email it to them.”

Click here to read the full review.

Click here to read all of Findmyshift’s Capterra reviews.

Coast

As of this writing, Coast has over 50 reviews and 5 stars on Capterra.

They offer both a free and a paid plan. Click here to see Coast’s pricing page.

Some of Coast’s features include:

Here’s what one of Coast’s customers mentioned as part of their review:

“All in one tool that helps me manage my team. It has replaced all the back and forth emails and text.”

Click here to read the full review.

Click here to read all of Coast’s Capterra reviews.

Homebase

As of this writing, Homebase has over 900 reviews and 4.6 out of 5 stars on Capterra.

They offer both a free and a paid plan. Click here to see Homebase’s pricing page. 

Some of Homebase’s features include:

Here’s one review indicating why it’s a solid free work schedule app:

“My team was using spreadsheets to schedule and to complete payroll before Homebase. What a manual nightmare. There were always so many mistakes and issues. Once we moved to Homebase, it instantly made things better.”

Click here to read the full review.

Click here to read all of Homebase’s Capterra reviews.

Sign Up for a Free Trial of Buddy Punch

Click here to sign up for a free trial of Buddy Punch. The setup process is quick, and if you have any questions along the way, feel free to submit them via live chat.

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