Your small business lives and dies by its employees. That’s why it’s so crucial to find a team management platform you can rely on so you can save time, stress, and money on key tasks like shift scheduling, time tracking, and staff communication.
But if you’re already using Planday or are looking into it for the first time — and suspect it doesn’t quite do everything you need it to — it makes sense you’re looking for a Planday alternative.
We’re here to help. We’ve researched six of the best Planday alternatives on the market using independent review websites like G2, Capterra, and Software Advice and compared them based on key features, pricing, and user ratings.
We also explained:
- What Planday is and what it’s used for
- What you might want to look for in a Planday alternative, to help guide your search
- Key features to look for in a Planday alternative to make it easier to compare tools
We also cover our own all-in-one staff management solution, Homebase. Of course, we may be a little biased, but we believe it’s the best small business platform available, with all the essential tools you need under one digital roof.
What is Planday and what is it used for?
Planday is workforce management software, which is what the industry officially calls “managing your staff.” It’s designed primarily for businesses that need to schedule hourly team members and says that its main goal is to “uncomplicate workforce management.”
It aims to help customers set staff hours, plan employee shifts around availability, make sure people always have access to the latest schedule, and track hours worked so they can streamline their business operations, even remotely.
This ensures that team members are always in the right place at the right time when you need them, that you can pay them accurately and promptly, and that your labor costs stay under control.
Planday’s features and uses include:
- Shift planning — Scheduling your team’s hours by skills, cost, and availability.
- Punch clock — Enabling employees to clock in and out of work by GPS using a digital device.
- Reporting — Tracking revenue and costs to optimize your budget.
- Staff communication — Keeping staff informed within the same digital space.
- Staff record keeping — Organizing and storing employee records, certifications, and documents.
Why might you look for a Planday alternative?
Here are some reasons you might be looking for a Planday alternative for your small business team management needs:
Reason #1: You need more everyday features
Planday has tools for time tracking, scheduling, reporting, and team communication, but purposefully limits itself to those areas for the sake of simplicity. If that’s what you want, then great — but it’s likely that, as a small business owner, you’ll also need access to other essential features, including those for payroll, human resources, hiring, and employee engagement and happiness.
Reason #2: You want an all-in-one solution
If you find that you need more features than Planday provides, you have two options. You could pay for and piece together separate tools for each need (for example, one for payroll, another for HR, and so on), spend time figuring out how to connect them, and hope that they work. This could be expensive and time-consuming. Or, you could choose an all-in-one tool like Homebase that has all those tools within the same platform, so you only have to pay a single fee and won’t have to worry about tools working together.
Reason #3: You need in-person advice and support
Sometimes in the business world — especially if you’re a solo entrepreneur or a smaller company — you just want someone to turn to for advice, or to take a look at your setup and offer constructive tips. Planday has several features, but it doesn’t offer that service (beyond help pages and a webchat box). This is in contrast to a tool like Homebase, which has a team of HR experts on call who can help you to review policies or tackle specific questions via a live call. So, you’ll never be stuck without answers.
Reason #4: You don’t want to pay per user
Many team management platforms charge per user. This might be fine if you work solo, or only have a couple of members of staff. However, if your small business has a team of staff, this could get expensive, quickly. Instead, you might be looking for a platform like Homebase, which prices per location and allows unlimited employees for one flat fee per month (starting at just $24.95 per location.)
Key features to look for in a Planday alternative
Of course, the features you’ll look for specifically depend on your reason for wanting a Planday alternative in the first place.
But if you’re comparing small business management platforms with the aim of finding the most useful, time-saving, and affordable option, we recommend looking for:
- Easy scheduling — Planday offers this, so it makes sense that any genuine alternative would also include it. The best providers will let you create schedules in minutes using copy-and-paste templates, take availability and labor costs into account automatically, and enable staff to switch shifts easily.
- Accurate time tracking — Again, a Planday feature. However, check to make sure that any possible alternative lets staff use digital devices to track time, sends alerts to avoid expensive overtime, and uses tools like PINs and GPS tracking to avoid time theft and buddy punching.
- Intuitive team communication — Planday also has this, but you may want to look for a platform that sends the new schedule to staff automatically, lets you set reminders to avoid expensive overtime, and lets your team chat to share ideas, notes, and shoutouts.
- Accurate payroll — Planday doesn’t offer this tool, so a platform that does will save you major time and money on having to find yet another external solution. Check it calculates wages accurately, takes time off and tips into account, and lets you pay employees quickly and on time.
- HR and compliance expertise — The best team management platforms will not only help you manage administrative human resources tasks related to documents, qualifications, and leave but also offer on-demand, expert tips that are tailored to your business. That way, you can be sure you stay legally compliant at all times and stick to the federal, state, and city labor laws that apply to you.
- Hiring and onboarding help — Staff management solutions that offer these kinds of features are truly comprehensive, in that they help you manage existing team members as well as hire new ones. Look for tools like templates, integrations with job boards, applicant tracking, and automated onboarding processes.
- Employee happiness tools — If your staff aren’t happy, they won’t stay long. Keep engagement and appreciation levels high by seeking a tool that includes perks, like letting them cash out wages early or sharing shoutouts to hard-working team members.
- Powerful integrations — You can make your digital platform go even further with inbuilt integrations. If you already know and use some key tools, check that any alternative will work seamlessly with them (for example, Shopify, QuickBooks, or Gusto.)
The breakdown: 6 top Planday alternatives
- Homebase: Best all-in-one solution
- Deputy: Best for simplicity
- When I Work: Best for easy setup
- Quinyx: Best for advanced analytics
- TCP Humanity Scheduling: Best for medium-to-large businesses
- Ceridian Dayforce: Best for scaling businesses
1. Homebase: The best all-in-one solution
Homebase is an all-in-one small business management platform designed specifically for companies that rely on hourly staff.
It not only includes the features Planday offers, but also has robust and easy-to-use tools for team communication, recruitment, onboarding, and full-service payroll, so you can run your team within a single, unified digital platform.
This eliminates the need for multiple software solutions or complicated integrations.
With Homebase, user-friendliness is a priority. Moreover, our pricing is accessible for small businesses and our time tracking and scheduling features are completely free for teams of up to 20 staff members at one business location.
We also provide exceptional support, onboarding assistance, and helpful guides to ensure you get the most value out of your Homebase investment.
Homebase measures up strongly when it comes to features that Planday also includes, like:
Homebase’s scheduling tool solves your scheduling challenges by enabling you to seamlessly plan shifts each week, using templates and copy-and-paste features from week to week. Your team can easily switch shifts, and you can set your schedule according to your labor forecasts (so you don’t overspend on labor or over-/under schedule for a shift). Homebase also enables you to share your schedule as you go, so your team always has the latest information, and knows exactly what they’re doing and when.
Homebase’s GPS-enabled time clocks help you avoid time theft and buddy punching, as employees can only clock in when they’re physically on-site. This ensures your records are accurate and fair. Homebase lets you turn digital devices into employee time clocks, and automatically converts clocked hours into precise online timesheets, so you can seamlessly and accurately pay your staff. The time clock and timesheet tools also enable you to implement legal time clock rounding (if you choose), and make it easy to manage time card approval.
Make it easy to share important details with your team, and let them send helpful shift notes to coworkers, within the same team communication app (without sharing private phone numbers.) Homebase’s app makes it easy to send messages to individuals, specific groups, or the entire staff. This not only lets you share the latest schedule with employees but also empowers them to send shift notes and helpful ideas to other workers. You can also set alerts to remind staff to take breaks or clock in and out of work on time.
Other notable features
- HR and compliance: Helps ensure your policies are compliant with federal, state, and local laws.
- Forecasting tools: Create schedules and staff your business using intelligent sales and labor data.
- Payroll: Integrated software that calculates employee paychecks, files and pays payroll taxes, and sends direct deposit payments to your team.
- Hiring and onboarding tools: Hire the best people quickly by using job description templates, e-sign important documents securely, and send welcome packets, all within the same app.
- Mobile app: Available for both managers and staff to use, offering nearly all the features available on the desktop version.
Pros and cons
- Users praise Homebase for being “easy to use” and having good customer service..
- One client highlighted how easy scheduling is, and that “everything is in one place.”
- One user said they wished the iPad app was as detailed as the iPhone version.
- Another mentioned that they would like the app’s font to be a little bigger, and wished that there was a dark mode.
Homebase’s scheduling and timesheet tool is completely free. However, if you want to maximize efficiency and get the most out of the entire software, we offer the following packages.
- Basic: Free for one location and up to 20 employees. It includes basic scheduling and time tracking, employee management tools like Messaging, point-of-sale integrations and access to email support.
- Essentials: $24.95 per month per location. Everything in Basic, plus payroll integrations, team communication, performance tracking, advanced time tracking and scheduling and access to live support.
- Plus: $59.95 per month per location. Everything in Essentials, plus hiring tools, retention and performance tracking, time off controls, and departments and permissions.
- All-in-one: $99.95 per month per location. Everything in Plus, with HR and compliance, new hire onboarding, labor cost controls, and business insights.
Users can also save 20% on their overall cost when they sign up for an annual plan.
Users have rated Homebase on popular reviews apps including:
- G2: 4.2/5
- Capterra: 4.6/5
- Software Advice: 4.5/5
2. Deputy: Best for simplicity
Deputy is a well-known platform that also offers tools for scheduling, time tracking, and labor compliance. It can work for small, medium, or enterprise-size businesses. It aims to help customers control labor costs, ensure security, and match staffing to demand.
- Scheduling: Schedule your team by location and role, send the latest hours to your team instantly, and enable staff to swap shifts.
- Time clock: Creates timesheets and tracks hours worked so you can connect with a separate payroll tool to pay your team. Make any smart device a time clock.
- Labor compliance tools: Automated protections against overtime and working without breaks, as well as accurate pay requirements and tracking.
- Mobile app: Lets your team access features like scheduling and time clocking when on the go.
- Integrations: Deputy offers integrations to other platforms to help you run payroll, manage HR, or run POS software (but doesn’t have its own tools for these).
- Email support: 24/7 help via email if you run into an issue.
Pros and cons
- Users like its “intuitive interface” and how simple it is to use.
- Others reported that they like the practical features and flexibility.
- Some users reported that it can be “confusing at first” and another said they had difficulties editing leave requests.
- Another client said that the app can “cause strain on the eyes” for a “less enjoyable user experience.”
- Scheduling: $3.50 per user per month. Scheduling, PTO management, and POS integrations.
- Time & Attendance: $3.50 per user per month. Timesheets, PTO management, payroll and POS integrations.
- Premium: $4.90 per user per month. Scheduling, Time & Attendance, and reporting. Also includes payroll and POS integration, PTO management, reporting, and email support.
- Enterprise: Price on request. Everything in Premium, plus advanced planning and analytics.
It also offers a 31-day free trial.
- G2: 4.5/5
- Capterra: 4.6/5:
- Software Advice: 4.63/5
3. When I Work: Best for easy setup
When I Work specializes in helping business owners and managers schedule, track time, and communicate faster and more easily. It’s another platform that offers scheduling and time clocking. It prides itself on keeping things simple and being fast and easy to set up. It’s also designed for hourly businesses, especially those in retail.
- Employee scheduling: Easy-to-build scheduler that takes employee availability into account and lets you share the latest timetables with your team fast.
- Time clock: Lets you turn any smart device into a time clock that manages breaks and time off and takes labor costs into account.
- Team messaging: Enables you to send group messages or 1-to-1s without requiring your team to share numbers.
Pros and cons
- One user said that the app version doesn’t work as well as the desktop.
- Another said that it didn’t offer the integrations their company needed to grow.
- Standard: $4 per month per user. Standard scheduling, time and attendance, and on-demand pay.
- Advanced — $8 per month per user. Advanced scheduling, time & attendance, and on-demand pay.
Deputy also offers a 14-day free trial.
- G2: 4.4/5
- Capterra: 4.5/5
- Software Advice: 4.48/5
4. Quinyx: Best for advanced analytics
Quinyx distinguishes itself with its artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, meaning it continually updates and adapts to staff requirements in real time. Its standout features include accurate workforce forecasting, schedule optimization, and letting users closely monitor their business operations and compliance.
- Labor scheduling forecasting — Get real-time updates in 15-minute intervals
- Labor demand and scheduling: Uses smart event tracking to improve future planning
- Schedule optimization: Aligns scheduling with business objectives for more efficiency
- Time and attendance reporting: Lets you manage time tracking and leave requests
- Automated scheduling and shift management: Streamlines manual processes to save time
- Proactive compliance monitoring: Sends automatic alerts ahead of potential violations
- Mobile app: Simplifies team communication and lets staff swap shifts effortlessly
Pros and cons
- One user particularly liked the “excellent” integration with other services
- Another said that the automations saved them a lot of time.
- One client said that the “big system” could be “too much” for new users.
- Another felt that it took “too many clicks” to get to “where you want to go.”
Quinyx doesn’t list its pricing publicly, but offers four levels of plan:
- Launch: Scheduling, absence management, team engagement, and reporting tools
- Grow: Everything in Launch, plus time and attendance tools, timesheets, and geo-punching
- Accelerate: Everything in Grow, plus demand forecasting and labor optimization
- Boost: Everything in Accelerate, plus strategic planning and labor budgeting
- G2: 4.2/5
- Capterra: 4.3/5
- Software Advice: 4.27/5
5. TCP Humanity Scheduling: Best for medium-to-large businesses
TCP Humanity (also known as Humanity) is a cloud-based platform that’s primarily designed for scheduling for small, medium, and enterprise-sized businesses with hourly teams. It offers some powerful features on its higher-priced plans, including geolocation clock-in and clock-out, as well as demand-based scheduling, and more advanced analytics.
- Time & attendance: A suite of features called TimeClock Plus allows users to automate time tracking and control costs.
- Auto-scheduling — Schedule automatically, and make sure you have people with the right skills scheduled to work at the right time.
- Time clock: Lets you automate timekeeping with the option for touchless readers and biometric scanners to improve safety and avoid time theft.
- Demand-driven scheduling: Schedule the right employees at the right time and reduce needless labor overspending.
- Mobile app — Let employees manage their schedule, shifts, availability, and leave via their smartphone or even their Apple Watch.
Pros and cons
- One user said that they don’t like the “limited access” that staff have to schedules, and their inability to swap shifts.
- Another client said that Humanity is “pretty clunky” and is time-consuming to use and load.
Humanity doesn’t publish its pricing publicly, but it does have three levels of plan:
- Starter — Includes employee scheduling, mobile access, analytics, and 24/7 support
- Classic — Everything in Starter, plus auto-scheduling, labor costing, compliance, payroll export, and messaging
- Enterprise — Everything in Classic, plus demand-based scheduling, integrations, and open API access
- G2: 4.5/5
- Capterra: 4.3/5
- Software Advice: 4.31/5
6. Ceridian Dayforce: Best for scaling businesses
Dayforce, from Ceridian, is a comprehensive, cloud-based platform. It aims to make it easier to manage employees, control costs, and make data-driven decisions as your business grows. It seeks to help managers automate everyday tasks and promote work-life balance for staff, too. It’s also one of the few work management platforms that also has HR and payroll tools.
- HR: Lets you manage compensation, benefits, and labor costs and gives staff easy access to their pay, scheduling, and tasks.
- Payroll: Gives users a real-time view of payroll costs and lets them track hours and calculate wages automatically.
- Workforce management: Schedule employees easily and prevent burnout by ensuring balanced workloads and enabling on-demand pay.
- Talent intelligence: Use data to hire excellent candidates, recruit faster, remove bias, and personalize and streamline onboarding.
Pros and cons
- Clients report that Dayforce is “very user-friendly” and “smooth.”
- One user liked how easy it is to “quickly find what I need.”
- One user said that some features can be “quite finicky to use.”
- Several reported “constant problems with the software loading properly.”
Ceridian doesn’t publish any pricing information online about Dayforce but instead invites potential users to fill in a request form or call the sales team.
- G2: 4/5
- Capterra: 4.3/5
- Software Advice: 4.3/5
So, which is the best Planday alternative for you?
Planday is a popular workforce management platform, but if you’re looking for an alternative, there are some excellent options worth your time.
Deputy offers the same basic features as Planday, but it’s simpler and easier to use. If you’re mainly looking for advanced analytics, Quinyx could be a great choice. And if your business is scaling fast, then Ceridian Dayforce could be your best bet.
On the other hand, Homebase is an all-in-one solution that includes time-saving automations and essential tools for your small business. Basically, we offer the essentials you need at an affordable price.
With Homebase, you can spend less time on repetitive tasks, save money, reduce stress, improve communication, and plan your small business operations effectively. This allows you to focus on growing your business and efficiently manage your team.
Homebase is far more than a Planday alternative. It’s a comprehensive solution that goes beyond it, with all the tools you need to manage your hourly business under one digital roof.
All comparisons and reviews are independent reviews from review websites like G2, Capterra, and Software Advice, as of June 2023.