Using apps and software designed for coaches can be a simple and smart way to digitize your business, improve work efficiency, and deepen client engagement.
Like the coaching field, software specially designed for this industry is a growing market. New apps promise to help everyone feel less anxious, sleep better, eat right, exercise more, and become better leaders – the list is long.
For coaches, these apps are useful tools to continually and reliably connect with their clients. For clients or anyone else, they provide an affordable way to monitor and improve wellbeing.
To help you navigate the thousands of apps on the market, we’ve narrowed it down to the 19 most valuable tools technology has to offer.
Before you read on, we thought you might like to download our three Positive Psychology Exercises for free. These science-based exercises explore fundamental aspects of positive psychology, including strengths, values, and self-compassion, and will give you the tools to enhance the wellbeing of your clients, students, or employees.
This Article Contains:
7 Best Life Coaching Apps
There are several coaching app tools available in a wide range of categories. Our focus is on habits, goals, careers, and wellbeing.
Habit apps help you track the habits you want to develop and those you wish to eliminate. Depending on your style, there is something to satisfy everyone. The common idea is to keep the habit going without breaking your streak. Often this is accomplished by using a checkmark.
This simple yet powerful visual reward releases dopamine in your brain. Dopamine is both a hormone and a neurotransmitter. When we experience something pleasurable, the release of dopamine ensures that we will remember and associate that pleasurable experience with the thing that caused it (Kolb & Whishaw, 2015). This is the basic idea driving every gaming app and one reason why these habit apps are effective.
Another common element of the apps, whether they are specific to habits or not, is community. Research involving the Self-Determination Theory of motivation indicates that the interplay of competence, autonomy, and relatedness is what helps build and support internal motivation (Schunk, 2016; Center for Self-Determination Theory, n.d.).
These three constructs are the basic needs of the individual. The various apps help to increase our ability to complete tasks (competence), give us our own space to do so (autonomy), and provide virtual interaction with other people (relatedness) who are doing what we are doing.
Each interface is user friendly and intuitive.
If life coaching is your niche, have a look at our post on how positive psychology and life coaching differ.
Among the various tools on the market, the coaching app Quenza is a powerful, versatile platform that is likely to find a home in any coach’s toolkit.
A unique feature of Quenza is that it facilitates a blended care approach by helping coaches digitize aspects of their practice. In doing this, you can leverage the advantages of new technologies, such as push notifications, online surveys, and multimedia.
Digitization also has the advantage of freeing up coaches’ time, enabling you to make the most of face-to-face appointments with clients while keeping them engaged between sessions.
Facilitating this digitization is Quenza’s easy-to-use Activity Builder. This tool allows you to design self-paced lessons, assessments, and reflection exercises that clients can easily complete on their personal computer, smartphone, or tablet.
Once designed, these activities can then be combined into a pathway, enabling you to craft sequences of educational or development materials that your client can complete on their own time or according to a schedule of your choosing. Likewise, coaches can easily track how clients are progressing from any device.
If you are short on time, you can also draw on Quenza’s ever-expanding library of pre-loaded activities to design your pathways, which have been crafted by psychologists and are based on top positive psychology research and interventions.
Finally, Quenza is built from the ground up with security in mind. Both GDPR and HIPAA compliant, Quenza ensures that all interactions between you and your clients are secure thanks to personal PIN codes and 128-bit encryption.
Whether you’re a solo practitioner or a large coaching organization, Quenza provides a range of price packages to suit any business size and is currently offering a one-month trial for just $1 to let you try out the platform for yourself with zero risk.
HabitBull has a straightforward interface that lets you track your habits with a click on a calendar. You can track up to 100 habits, and each has its own calendar, so there is less confusion about what you are tracking.
You can track up to five habits in the free version, receive reminders, and get inspired by motivational images. The premium version allows for up to 100 habits, cloud backup, multi-device syncing, three widgets, data export, and premium updates.
The app gives suggested areas to track like health and fitness, family, money, work and study, arts, social, sex and dating.
Remente is a habit tracker that offers step-by-step actions to achieve your targets, a mood tracker, and informative courses. The free version allows you to set three goals, plan your day, plan ahead one day, track your mood for seven days, and receive one weekly insight.
You also can set your agenda and journal each day. The premium plan unlocks expert advice, the ability to export your data, PIN code protection, infinite goals, plan ahead time, weekly insights, and mood statistics. Remente uses the life wheel to help you assess where you are right now in eight associated areas:
- Love and relationships
- Health and fitness
- Career and education
- Personal development
- Friends and social life
- Fun and recreation
This app encourages you to create an overarching goal that you break down into smaller, detailed goals. You also can give each smaller goal a start and end date, set how often you will do the goal, and receive reminders.
In the resource section, you have access to courses covering a wide range of wellbeing topics. Listening requires a premium membership, but reading does not. There also are free goal plans, like becoming a networking ninja.
Perfect for gamers, Habitica lets you create an avatar who completes quests to avoid punishments and earn rewards. It is interactive, and users can play with other users to complete actions.
It is free, but if you want to set up a private group board, that option is available for $9 per month plus $3 per member. You could use this for family chores and work teams.
Coach.me is a habit and leadership coaching app. You can choose, create, and track habit-based goals. With a strong, active community plus access to coaches, you can ask questions if you get stuck or frustrated.
If you want more specific coaching, you can hire a coach directly inside the app. This tool is available in the Apple App Store, and available for Android directly from their site.
Users engage with a picture-based experience in Symblify to help them think through and potentially resolve a problem. The first step is to write your problem in the form of a question, then a series of pictures becomes available that help you describe your situation.
You can rearrange and change these as needed. A virtual coach asks questions similar to those used by a live coach. At the end of your session, you make a decision and take action. The app is for iOS only and costs $3.99.
PathSource is a career exploration tool. Users gain clarity by completing assessments that help them identify their interests. After doing this, they receive information about careers that could be a good fit for them. It also provides information regarding how to prepare for the career they have chosen.
PTSD Coaching Apps
1. PTSD Coach
Developed by the U.S. Departments of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) and Defense, this tool helps people by providing access to coping tools, a crisis button, self-assessment, and more information about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Users can also track their history to get an idea of how they are improving over time and identify symptoms and trigger patterns.
When the person identifies their symptoms, the coping skills are tailored to meet their needs. For example, if you indicated that you are feeling anxious, two exercises become immediately available: guided imagery and a progressive relaxation exercise.
The symptom tracking feature is particularly useful when the user needs to touch base with their therapist or counselor. It makes it easy to look back and be able to say how they felt over the past few days, weeks, or months.
2. PE Coach
Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE) is a specific type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It retrains people to gradually move toward their painful memories by retelling their story and using in vivo experiences.
In vivo experiences are determined by the client with their counselor. These are usually homework assignments that allow the client to face their fears in situations that trigger them. Those triggers could be places, people, or sounds. Treatment typically lasts three months, with the client and therapist meeting weekly for a total of 8 to 15 sessions (American Psychological Association, n.d.).
PE Coach was developed by the VA and is a scheduling, reminder, assessment, and homework tool all in one. First, the user schedules an appointment with their therapist. This action triggers several features:
- Adding it to your calendar
- Setting a reminder for the session
- A reminder to place your phone in airplane mode during your session
- Assessments section
- Homework to prepare for your sessions
- The ability to securely record sessions
A common homework assignment is to use the breathing retraining tool. Assigned readings also are available in the app.
Apps for Executive Coaching
If you are in a leadership position or plan to be, then these apps can help you thrive in your position.
The MasterCoach App provides a strengths-based, action-focused experience for coaches and clients. The app is available for iOS and Android. Coaches pay $3.99/month, and clients receive the app for free.
The app was designed with businesses in mind. It teaches leaders how to help team members identify and use their strengths. From this position, team members are better able to take action and commit to following through. The goal of the app is to strengthen employee engagement, increase return on investment, and turn managers into coaches for their employees.
Don’t miss our post on must-have coaching skills for managers and leaders.
Pluma offers mobile coaching in six industries worldwide: retail, healthcare, financial services, technology, manufacturing, and life sciences. Coaches are available via video sessions and unlimited messaging. Pluma’s focus is on developing emerging leaders. It provides customized assessments so that coaching is aligned with the business’s culture.
4 Top Coaching Management Software Options
Every coach has to decide how they want to manage their business, including scheduling, invoicing, content delivery, coaching, and client records.
Luckily, there are several options available, and because coaching has gained popularity, there are software tools specific to this industry.
The following resources attempt to provide a one-stop shop for the coach and client. They each have lots of features, so be sure to visit their websites.
1. Life Coach Hub
Life Coach Hub offers four pricing tiers. The free account includes several features as well as an interactive toolkit. This kit is packed with things coaches use with every client. You will have a section for a welcome, contract, plans, notes, assessments, goals, action items, journaling, and comments.
This tier is for those coaches who have one or two clients or course members. You can create an entire branded and customized website through Life Coach Hub.
The company offers a free demo if you want to see the interface from either the coach or client perspective. The information you add during the demo is purged after 24 hours. One thing to keep in mind is that Life Coach Hub does require you to publicly display your fees by providing a range.
Scheduling, client feedback/reviews, a free directory listing, and the ability to list your services are all included with Life Coach Hub. They are HIPAA compliant and provide an encrypted environment to secure data.
The other three tiers are:
- New coaches at $17/month; includes 3–4 clients and 3–8 course members
- Professional coaches at $37/month: includes 5–8 clients and 9–15 course members
- Master coaches at $57/month; includes unlimited clients and course members
2. Life Coach Office (LCO)
LCO is similar to Life Coach Hub except that you can integrate LCO into your existing website. There are three payment tiers, and all have the same features. The differences between them are:
- LCO Kick-starter for new coaches at $24/month with up to 10 clients
- LCO Premium for experienced coaches at $49/month with unlimited clients
- LCO Enterprise for multiple coaches at $99/month with unlimited clients and up to 10 coaches
The information is secured and consistently backed up. Like the other options, this one is paperless. It does not have the preset forms offered by Life Coach Hub, but you can create and upload the ones you already use into a resource library for your clients.
If you are interested in creating courses, LCO allows you to offer as many as you want. For coaches pursuing certification from the International Coaching Federation, you can track hours using LCO.
The Satori app offers many of the same features as LCO but packages everything differently. They have three tiers and provide an annual option at a slightly reduced rate.
- Starter plan – $39/month, 10 active offers, 20 active agreements, 60 monthly sessions, and 2,500 contacts
- Trailblazer plan – $59/month, 20 active offers, 40 active agreements, 120 monthly sessions, and 5,000 contacts
- Pro plan – $99/month, unlimited offers and sessions, and 20,000 contacts
All of their plans include sales and marketing, coaching and client care, calendar and scheduling, and billing and payments. The offers you establish through Satori generate a button with a code that can be applied on your existing website.
Satori also integrates with PayPal, Mailchimp, AWeber, Google Calendar, iCal, BusyCal, and Outlook. You can create custom agreements, proposals, and questionnaires. Their software supports several different currencies.
Data is private, secure, and accessible from anywhere and on multiple devices.
4. Coach Accountable
Coach Accountable is an all-in-one, powerfully designed software package. Users can customize it with their branding to make it a seamless experience for the client. From a user perspective, there are several pre-made templates, emails, and a few courses to customize, all with Coach Accountable’s blessing and at no extra charge.
They even include a manual that coaches can give to their new client explaining how to use Coach Accountable. This, too, can be tweaked. You or your client can schedule appointments, as can prospective clients who go through your website.
Other features include journaling, action items, metrics for tracking actions, a whiteboard for collaboration, session notes, file upload, and a stream for communicating back and forth.
If you want to do group coaching, you can. If creating courses is appealing to you, this software makes it a simple task. If your clients have a habit of forgetting to follow through on action items, then you will appreciate the reminders that can be emailed or sent via text.
The entire experience is automated. You receive notifications every time your client does or does not do something they are expected to do. This helps you have powerful conversations that may help them even more.
Coaches can create offers, too. These are your programs and can be marketed via your website and to your existing clients inside the platform. In your library, you can store images, movie clips, and documents that you also can share with clients as part of assignments or action items. Every time your client takes an action, you have the opportunity to comment and encourage. This communication becomes part of the stream you both see.
To top it off, the price is reasonable at $20/month for two clients. The per-client cost decreases as you gain more clients. If you pay for 11 months in advance, you receive the 12th month free. You also get 30 days to play in the system as a coach and client. Setting up your test client is free and never counts toward your minimums.
If a client is inactive, you mark them as such in the system. This frees up a spot for a new client. If you start with a few clients and end up with more (or vice versa), then the system automatically adjusts your bill accordingly.
When it comes time to invoice your client, this is also handled within the system. You can use Stripe or Square to do invoicing. Setting up Stripe through the dashboard is an easy process, but if you already have an account, it is even easier. All of your invoicing can be branded.
Their Terms of Awesome is a quick, straightforward read that clarifies ownership, security, and confidentiality. Their customer service is responsive, and you might hear directly from the owner, John Larson.
Choosing coaching software and services is not all about what it costs right now. It is also about how it will serve you in the long run. Added to this, a coach needs to consider the track record of the company. Consider asking:
- How long have they been in business?
- What happens to your data if they go out of business?
- Who owns the data once it’s in their system?
- If they handle payment processing, how are refunds managed?
- What are their policies for maintaining a client’s credit card details?
What, if any, software services are you using for your coaching practice? Let us know in the comments.
It’s extremely common for coaching apps like those in this article to offer a free plan. Free is not always the way to go. Starting any business requires some upfront costs, and coaching is no different. When exploring any free tool, be sure to consider the big picture for your business.
Think about the following questions when you are exploring any free app, scheduling, or software tool.
- How does the free tool limit your ability to perform various tasks?
- How will the free tool inhibit the growth of your business?
- If you need to make a change later, how easy will it be to migrate data?
- How does the tool integrate with your existing platform?
- If the tool does not integrate with your current platform, how can you use it effectively and keep your branding?
- Are the various offerings an “apples to apples” comparison?
These are simply a few questions to consider. The critical thing to remember is that your business plan, including your financials, should include cost of doing business items like apps, software, business cards, and other marketing materials.
For Institutes, Centers, and Businesses
The uCoach app developed by Inside Track allows schools to assist students through various levels of coaching. The app has several tools, such as:
- Program administration
- Multichannel engagement
- Student web and app experience
- Intervention management
- Student relationship management
- Content authoring and management
Students communicate with their coaches via text, email, or voice. Institutions using this app have seen increases in student retention. Coaches are better able to connect with hard-to-reach students.
For Your Scheduling Needs
The next items on our list primarily work as scheduling and billing tools. These are a good fit for someone who has their own website and wants to integrate everything into a single spot.
The Vagaro software and app costs $25 per month after a 30-day free trial. The software is HIPAA compliant. It includes digital forms and waivers, SOAP notes, the ability to create memberships and packages, payment processing using their merchant services, online booking, marketing and promotion, and a scheduling calendar.
Coaches can establish that a deposit must be paid at the time of scheduling an appointment. If you do not have a website, you can create one through Vagaro. If you use WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, or another website builder, you can add Vagaro through a plugin or widget.
The software interfaces with Facebook, Instagram, and Yelp so people can schedule with you and leave reviews.
If your charges are less than $4,000 per month, Vagaro’s merchant processing fees are 2.75% per swipe and more if you key in the card.
2. Acuity Scheduling
Acuity Scheduling offers four pricing tiers. The base package is free and includes scheduling and unlimited services and appointments. You do not need a credit card to sign up, you can cancel anytime, and there are no set-up fees. The seven-day free trial allows you to try all of their features.
Acuity integrates with the major email service providers. It also integrates with Quickbooks, Freshbooks, and Xero for invoicing. You can accept payments via PayPal, Stripe, and Square.
If you want to schedule webinars, classes, or other group events, Acuity plays well with GoToMeeting, Join.me, and Zoom. It syncs with several providers, including Google, Outlook, iCloud, Exchange, and Office 365. You can embed the scheduler onto your website.
The Emerging tier is for one person at one location and costs $15 per month. It includes one calendar. At this level, you get the advanced features mentioned above (and a few more), but none of the following:
- Text reminders
- Appointment packages/gift certificates
- Ability to sell subscriptions, memberships, or offer payment plans
- Ability to accommodate multiple time zones for staff/locations
- BAA or HIPAA compliance
- Ability to remove “powered by Acuity”
- Custom API/CSS for developers
There are lots of other options for scheduling, including Calendly, Fons, WordPress plugins such as BirchPress.
One benefit of using BirchPress is that you pay for a site license. If you chose their most feature-rich option at $249, that would cost you about $20 per month. If you opt to renew your license before it expires, then you receive a 30% discount.
Even if you chose not to renew, all of your current features still function. You would miss out on updates and special offers. A site license includes one year of updates and support each time you renew. BirchPress offers a one-month money-back guarantee.
A Take-Home Message
The coaching apps, software, and other tools you select affect your productivity, marketing, branding, and client experience. The first impression your potential clients may have with you is through apps or software like these, so it is important to select the best you can afford now, with an eye on how that choice might impact you and your clients’ in the long term.
There are many more tools available than can be covered here, and new ones become available every day. As an industry professional, keeping informed about the tools that most enhance your work with your clients is a click away on PositivePsychology.com.
As always, if you have suggestions about apps or software that would be of interest to other readers, please let us know in the comments.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our three Positive Psychology Exercises for free.
If you wish for more, our Positive Psychology Toolkit© contains over 350 science-based positive psychology exercises, interventions, questionnaires, and assessments for practitioners to use in their therapy, coaching, or workplace.
- American Psychological Association. (n.d.). Prolonged exposure. Retrieved February 13, 2020, from https://www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/treatments/prolonged-exposure
- Center for Self Determination Theory. (n.d.). Research. Retrieved from https://selfdeterminationtheory.org/research/
- Kolb, B., & Whishaw, I. Q. (2015). Fundamentals of human neuropsychology. Worth.
- Schunk, D. (2016). Learning theories: An educational perspective. Pearson.