Although some good options like TinyDO have recently started arriving on the platform, Windows Phone still has a long way to go before it has task management apps that are even comparable to their iOS and Android counterparts. When WP8 was announced, it seemed like a platform that would have deep integration with Windows, which made users expect to see a lot of to-do apps that would offer seamless syncing across the two platforms. There might not be a lot of apps that can do this, but there is one that syncs with Windows 8 or RT quite flawlessly. Effectual is a service that lets you create task lists with ease, and then makes sure that these lists are accessible across all devices associated with your Microsoft account. In addition to the syncing, Effectual also has some other decent features, like a comprehensive tagging system, the ability to associate specific/non-specific deadlines with tasks, and of course, a very useful live tile.
Effectual saves its users the trouble of manually registering for a new account, and all you have to do before getting started is allowing the app access to your Microsoft account (the one you are using on your Windows 8 or RT computer). There are a few instructions to help newcomers get started, but Effectual isn’t all that complicated, and you won’t be missing much even if the tutorial is skipped.
To create tasks quickly, simply enter them in the ‘Brainstorm’ section of the app. You don’t have to worry about assigning a priority level or due date to these entries when creating them, as all that can be done later. By default, tasks in Effectual are sorted by priority. To assign a new level of importance to a chore, tap its entry and navigate to the editing menu. You can choose to make a task high priority, and also specify its value. Each entry in Effectual is capable of housing a description of the task, and there’s ample space provided for that in the editing menu. If you are not sure when a task should be finished, the app offers the ‘Remind Me Tomorrow’ and ‘Remind Me In One Week’ options which can be used to make sure that you are properly nagged before the actual due date of the chore arrives.
The priority view is not the only way of arranging your tasks in Effectual; the app also offers a bunch of tags that can be used to easily sort your lists with a single tap. Apart from tags, you can filter tasks that are expiring soon, ones that have been completed, and those that you have been putting off for too long. Tags can be managed and created from the main menu of Effectual.
The Windows app of the service isn’t too different from its mobile variant, but rather than different screens that you have to swipe through, there is just one main screen with different sections. You get all your tasks on the app as soon as you have signed in, and creating new ones is easy as well.
Effectual is a free app on both WP8 and Windows 8/RT. The live tiles from both apps display upcoming tasks or entries that have been marked as critically important. You can give the app a go by heading to the following links.