Effective microbes (EM) are the coexisting naturally occurring useful microbes applied as inoculant to enhance the beneficial microflora of the soil ecosystem to facilitate agricultural production. The participating microbial consortium includes lactic acid and photosynthetic bacteria, actinomycetes, fermenting fungi, and yeast, among others. These microbes are physiologically well-matched and coexist in a provided medium. EM formulation could be applied to a target crop in the most appropriate manner and form, and is easy to handle. It could be applied in several manners, as soil application, foliar application and as seed treatment. Microbial formulation in agricultural practices for enhancing productivity is sustainable and eco-friendly approach. When applied, EM formulations reportedly have positive effect on several crop growth parameters. It enhances the productivity, biomass accumulation, photosynthetic efficiency, and antioxidative response to abiotic stress in rice. EM formulations reportedly augment the trace elements contents, root and shoot weight, nodulation and pod yield in rajmah, while it boosts the root and shoot weight, nodulation and seed yields in bean, and drought and virus tolerance, shoot weight, pod number and biomass in soybean. Reportedly, formulated EM perks up the chlorophyll, N, P, carbohydrate and protein contents in sunflower, whereas it stimulates the root and shoot growth, leaf number, fungal disease resistance in groundnut. It could lead to an improved root growth, plant height, chlorophyll content, pod yield, fungal disease resistance, Cr-resistance and pest resistance in okra. This review compiles and provides critical insight to the effects of EM formulations on various crops, particularly the cereals (rice), pulses (rajmah, bean and soybean), oilseeds (sunflower and groundnut) and vegetable (okra).