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, 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 18 most valuable tools technology has to offer.
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.
The following 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 string. 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 and Whishaw, 2015). This is the basic idea driving every gaming app, and is one reason why these habit apps are effective.
Another common element of the apps, whether they are habit-specific or not, is community. Research involving the Self-determination Theory of Motivation (SDT) indicates that the interplay of competence, autonomy, and relatedness is what helps build and support internal motivation (Schunk, 2016; SDT, 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.
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, export your data, and premium updates.
The app gives suggested areas to track like health & fitness, family, money, work & study, arts, social, sex & dating.
Remente is not only a habit tracker, but also offers step-by-step actions to achieve your targets, a mood tracker, and courses. The free version allows you to set three goals, plan your day, plan ahead one day, track your mood for seven days, and 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 stats. Remente uses the life wheel to help you assess where you are right now in eight associated areas:
- Love & Relationships
- Health & Fitness
- Career & Education
- Personal Development
- Friends & Social Life
- Fun & 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 RPG character that 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 plus a 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 decide you want more specific coaching, you can hire a coach directly inside the app. This tool is available in the App Store, but if you want it for Android, you have to download it 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 become 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.
This app features on-demand coaching lessons covering topics like stress, anger management, careers, relationships, and happiness. Experts have developed the programs in a variety of health and wellness fields, for example, Jason Stepheson’s guided meditations for sleep and relaxation.
He’s the founder of Relax Me Online and Meditation Masters TV. Other experts include psychologists, counselors, and financial experts.
PTSD Coaching Apps
1. PTSD Coach
Developed by the US Veteran’s Administration (VA) and Department of Defense (DOD), this tool helps people by providing access to coping tools, a crisis button, self-assessment, and more information about PTSD.
The user can also track their history to get an idea of how they are improving over time, or to 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 for the person when they need to touch base with their therapist or counselor. It makes it easy for the user 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 behavior 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 are understood to 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 eight to fifteen sessions (APA, 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. They teach 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 ROI, 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. They provide customized assessments so that coaching is aligned with the business’ culture.
3 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 webpages.
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 1-2 clients or course members. You can create an entire branded and customized website through Life Coach Hub.
They offer 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 share your fees by providing a range.
Scheduling, client feedback/reviews, a free directory listing, and the ability to list your services – all are included at Life Coach Hub. They are HIPAA compliant and provide an encrypted environment to secure data.
The other three tiers are (all amounts are in USD):
- New coaches at $17/month – 3-4 clients and 3-8 course members
- Professional coaches at $37/month – 5-8 clients and 9-15 course members
- Master coaches at $57/month – unlimited clients and course members
2. Life Coach Office (LCO)
The LCO offer 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, etc. offered by Life Coach Hub, but you can create and upload the ones you 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 those coaches pursuing ICF certification, 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 2500 contacts.
- Trailblazer plan – $59/month: 20 active offers, 40 active agreements, 120 monthly sessions, and 5000 contacts.
- Pro plan – $99/month: unlimited and 20,000 contacts.
All of their plans include sales & marketing, coaching & client care, calendar & scheduling, and billing & payments. The offers you establish through Satori generate a button whose code can be applied to 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 including, USD, CAD, AUD, NZD, EUR, GBP, CHF, DKK, NOK, SEK, and MXN.
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 premade 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 are 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, a stream for communicating back and forth — there is so much available in this software, it is too much to list.
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 up or 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 less or more, 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 who owns what – you do; security – they follow the newest European guidelines; confidentiality – they do not read anyone’s information or know anyone’s passwords. They like encryption. 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.
Every app, software, and scheduling tool in this article offers 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 tools, 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 tools.
- 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 the “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 better. The app has several tools, such as:
- Program administration
- Multichannel engagement
- Student web & app experience
- Intervention management
- Student relationship management
- Content authoring & management
Students communicate with their coaches via SMS, 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 first two 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.
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 other website builders, 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 $4000 per month USD, Vagaro’s merchant processing fees are 2.75% per swipe and more if you key in the card. New accounts receive a free reader.
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, and any number of WordPress plugins, for example, 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 would 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 your clients’ experience. They are often the first impression your potential clients have, 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’ 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.
- 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. https://selfdeterminationtheory.org/research/
- Coach.me (2020) https://www.coach.me/
- HabitBull (2020). http://www.habitbull.com/
- Inside Track (n.d.). https://www.insidetrack.com/our-technology/
- Kolb, B. & Whishaw, I.Q. (2015). Fundamentals of human neuropsychology. Worth Publishers.
- Life Coach Hub (n.d.) https://www.lifecoachhub.com/coaching-business/coaching-software
- MasterCoach (n.d.). https://www.mastercoachapp.com/
- Mindsail (n.d.). http://www.themindsail.com/
- Path Source (n.d.). https://app.pathsource.com/users/sign_in
- Pluma (n.d.). https://www.pluma.co/
- Remente (2020). https://www.remente.com/
- Satori (n.d.). https://satoriapp.com/#why
- Schunk, D. (2016). Learning theories: An educational perspective. Pearson.
- Symblify (2018 April 27). The life coach in your pocket. YouTube. https://youtu.be/TVUYqKQ3seE
- US Department of Veteran Affairs (2013 August 13). PTSD Coach Mobile App: Help at your fingertips. Youtube. https://youtu.be/yQuEVOPeDrM
- Vagaro (n.d.). Coaching software & app. https://sales.vagaro.com/business/coaching-software
- Veteran’s Health Administration (2019 May 6). Introduction to the PE Coach app. YouTube. https://youtu.be/ralR9qeR8V8