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Free Alternatives to HotSchedules App of 2021

Would you like to manage your shift workers easily and efficiently - without spending a dime? We have tested seven different HotSchedule alternatives to find the best solution to all your problems.




Free Alternatives to HotSchedules App of 2021

Managing a substantial sector of a large company takes a special set of skills and a good deal of effort. The process is seldom easy, and every little bit of technical improvement that can offer you some help is more than welcome. When it comes to organizing shift workers, digital platforms have proven extremely efficient.

Currently, the market is dominated by HotSchedules, an app that enables you to get everything sorted in a matter of minutes. Schedules, weekly availability, as well as time off are covered in fine detail. Still, the app is not free. In fact, it charges per download, meaning that each and every one of your employees would have to spend $2.99 on it. If you're only starting to run a business, you will want to cut costs. This is why we have tested seven other free alternatives to see if any of them are worth a try.

Our Pick

As great as humanly possible

  • Completely redesigned app to the world-class scheduling and management software.
    4.8 Ratings 34K+ Reviews 100K+ Downloads
    Free Fresh


HotSchedules is some pretty tough competition, and only the best of the best can hope to knock it down from its throne. Humanity seems to have achieved doing just that.

Why we chose Humanity?

  • It is completely free - all the way through
  • Allows you to create, manage, and edit shifts and schedules in less than 10 seconds
  • Equally easy to use for managers and employees alike
  • No lag, no glitches, no quirks - just smooth sailing
  • Pretty good for training new staff

Anyone starting a new business and looking for a free yet powerful solution should not think twice before opting for this amazing app.

Read Humanity's Full Review
Runner Up

Plan well ahead

  • My Shift Planner - an easy to use work / roster calendar for shift workers
    4.7 Ratings 6K+ Reviews 500K+ Downloads
    Free Fresh In App Purchases
    Free In-App Purchases
    Free In-App Purchases


Your enterprise's functioning relies on your ability to adjust the calendar so that everyone's schedule is in perfect sync. This is the type of foundation every company needs to prosper. My Shift Planner allows you to build it for your team.

Why we chose My Shift Planner?

  • Amazing solution for genuinely complicated shift patterns
  • Offers you an option to plan up to one year ahead - in fine detail
  • Backup tools will keep all your data secure - up to 10 GB of it
  • Most options are available free of charge, with only a couple of advanced features requiring a paid membership

Even if the chat option seems to be missing, everything else about this app practically screams quality and reliability.

Read My Shift Planner's Full Review
Also Groovy

Keep the privacy of your team in check

  • Use When I Work for employee scheduling, a time clock, and staff messaging.
    4.7 Ratings 64K+ Reviews 1M+ Downloads
    Free Feature Rich
    Free In-App Purchases


Online security is at a premium and you will always want to make sure that whichever part of the process you're dealing with, the information you put into the system is inaccessible to potential intruders.

Why we chose When I Work?

  • A strong emphasis on security and privacy
  • Extremely intuitive interface that will work even for the least experienced manager
  • Just the right number of options
  • No setup fee of any kind
  • Free and paid versions - with monthly or annual billing

If you're looking for a simple, straightforward solution that keeps your info under lock and key, this might just be the right one for you.

Read When I Work Employee Scheduling's Full Review

Everything We Recommend

  • Our Pick

    Humanity - Employee Scheduling

    4.8 Ratings 34K+ Reviews 100K+ Downloads

    The Humanity mobile app for employees is a natively developed companion app to the world-class employee scheduling platform of the same name.

    The app helps employees stay in the loop and connect more easily with their workplace and colleagues.

    It’s immaculately designed, fast, highly intuitive and incredibly easy to use. The Humanity mobile app is completely free for all Humanity clients and their teams.

    As a staff member using the mobile app, you are able to perform the following actions from anywhere:


    See all your shifts in real time so that you always know when you are scheduled to work.
    Get detailed summaries of your shifts and the shifts of your coworkers to know when, where and with whom you are working.
    Request shift trades and drops and see the status of these requests in real time.

    Time Clock

    Clock in and out of your shifts from your mobile device.
    Confirm your work location via GPS.
    Clock in and out of breaks.
    View timesheets.


    See how many vacation days you have left.
    Request time off from work.
    Follow the status of your leave requests to if they’ve been approved.


    See a list of all your coworkers in one place. Quick search options enable you to effortlessly find the coworker you need.
    View the contact details of your coworkers.
    Send direct chat messages and emails to your coworkers.


    See all your most vital work schedule data on one screen. Tap to complete any actions that require your attention.
    View company-wide announcements from management on your Message Wall.
    In-App Purchases
  • Runner Up
    My Shift Planner is designed for shift workers to help take back control of your work/life balance.
    My Shift Planner is the most powerful Shift Work Calendar app on the market and the easiest to setup and use. Download today to gain back control of your social calendar!
    220,000+ shift workers across the world are already enjoying our shift planning features, so why not give it a try?

    Key Features:

    - Really EASY to set up.
    - Most common shift schedules are built-in for ease.
    - Sync with your device calendar.
    - Great for more complicated shift patters too! You can set up almost ANY roster.
    - Full Shift Customization features built in to suit your job
    - Record your Notes, Actual Worked Hours and Overtime against each day.
    - Is your Payslip correct? Check your hours against the Work Time Report to see!
    - Add your pay day to the calendar for ease
    - Share your calendar with colleagues, friends, or family.
    - Built-in, FREE backup tools to keep your data secure.

    That's great, but what else does it give you?

    - Color coded calendar – for quick viewing of your month
    - Built in patterns for 4on/4off, On/Off, Dupont Schedules, Continental, Day/Night/Off, Nights Only, 2-2-2.
    - Support for custom shift schedules and complex rosters.
    - Home screen widget for today and 3 day view of shifts
    - Set up Repeating Patterns for any roster – even complex ones.
    - Calculate Worked Hours, Overtime and Vacation time for a week or month.
    - Record your Actuals Worked Hours against a shift.
    - Set reminders and customise alert sound effect.
    - Displays US national public holidays and options to show Canada, Australia, etc.
    - Add personal and work notes against each day.
    - Supports split-shifts and 24 hour shifts.
    - Record vacation, rest days, overtime, on-call, training, and pay days.
    - Day, night, evening, early, late, long day, midday, split-shifts and more included.
    - Fully customisable shifts, times and colors.
    - Dark and Light style to suit you.
    - Work on both cell phones and tablets, Android 5 or above.
    - Built in backup and restore via your free MyShiftPlanner account.
    - Email and share your shift pattern with colleagues, friends and family.
    - Choose the start day of your week. (Sun-Sat).
    - 12 / 24 hour clock
    - Regular updates with new features, fixes, and improvements.

    The additional Pro Pack also gives you extra power and more shift work features:

    - Sync your work rota with your device calendar (e.g. Google Calendar)
    - Track your vacation time and remaining days
    - View a Work Time Report to track weekly/month overtime or hours
    - Set up repeating pay schedules within your calendar
    - Live Share your calendar with other MyShiftPlanner users (e.g. family, colleagues or friends)
    - And much more!

    My Shift Planner is Designed for all shift workers. Including:

    - Police
    - Firefighters
    - Nurses
    - Doctors
    - Subway Workers
    - Miners
    - Oil Field Workers
    - Bus and Coach Drivers
    - Pilots and Airline Crew
    - Airport Workers (Baggage Handlers, Check-in Crew, Security and More!)
    - Call Centre Workers
    - Retail Workers
    - Emergency Workers
    - Military
    - Paramedics
    - Security Guards
    - Cleaners
    - Bartenders
    - Waiters and Waitresses
    - Everybody who works random hours and days.

    We have a first-class support team waiting to help you, so if you experience problems installing or using My Shift Planner, please contact us via the Facebook page or support@myshiftplanner.com

    Please give us the opportunity to help solve your issues before submitting bad reviews. We're here to help you and want to show you why we're so proud of My Shift Planner.
    In-App Purchases
    $0.99 - $8.99 per item
    $0.99 - $9.49 per item
  • Also Groovy
    When I Work is the easiest way to create an employee schedule, handle employee time tracking, and communicate with your staff— all from the app or desktop.

    Why managers love it:
    *Make and manage the work schedule with ease
    *View entire staff schedule from anywhere at anytime
    *Create, update, and publish shifts
    *Alert staff of changes to the schedule
    *Monitor & approve shift trades and time off requests
    *Setup a time clock for staff to clock in and out
    *Message with staff 1:1 or in groups without sharing personal info

    Why your team will love it:
    *They can see who’s working (with permissions)
    *View work schedules from anywhere at anytime
    *Clock in and out of shifts
    *They can pick up extra hours
    *Trade shifts with coworkers
    *Request time off
    *Chat with coworkers 1:1 or in groups
    In-App Purchases
    $99.99 - $999.99 per item
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The 411 from our Appventurer

Stefan Racic
Written by:

Stefan Racic

Free Alternatives to HotSchedules App of 2021



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