Radically Simplify Online Articles With Evernote Clearly

Productivity-minded students know that distractions are the primary culprit of poor study habits. “Suggested friends,” fancy sidebars, and ads promising you multiple iPad 2’s all have a certain way of distracting students from a task at hand. Face it, how many times have you went online to read an article, only to find yourself browsing through five completely unrelated websites an hour later? Distractions can be pesky things indeed.

As an advocate of deep-focus, interruption-free work and study blocks, I’m constantly on the lookout for ways that I can eliminate distractions when I’m working. Sometimes this involves making a trip to a local coffee shop away from my roommates, turning off my phone, or even (gasp) logging out of facebook and twitter. Evidently, there are tech-savvy people crazier about productivity than I am, which has led to several free apps that can help reduce distractions as well. I’ve always been a huge fan of Evernote, and it seems the folks behind the note-recording masterpiece have added another productivity-minded app to their arsenal of tools.

Evernote Clearly is a delightfully simple app that does one thing, and it does it quite well: it eliminates distractions. Specifically, Clearly offers a dynamically simpler way to read online articles by removing all clutter and sidebar links. To give you an example of how this works, let’s look at a recent article from CIG using Clearly.

Regular Article

Regular Article

In addition to the article, the page has multiple links, an invitation to join a cult mailing list, and other ways to connect with us at CIG. While you should click on all the links at some point (Thomas totally didn’t offer me a million internet points to say that), sometimes it’s best to get a bare-bones version of the article for streamlined reading. The Clearly app does a great job of isolating the article, and with a simple click of a head-lamp icon button (the designated turn on/off button for Clearly), and the resulting image is remarkably cleaner.

With Evernote Clearly

With Evernote Clearly

In addition to cleaning up articles, Clearly also converts multi-page articles into one page, and offers direct clipping via the Evernote icon on the right sidebar. It’s quickly become one of my most used applications, and has made reading blog posts infinitely more enjoyable. At a whopping cost of $0 dollars, this application is a no-brainer for productivity-minded and cash-strapped students.

What other apps do you use to eliminate distractions?

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9 Comments on "Radically Simplify Online Articles With Evernote Clearly"

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When talking about “(…) several free apps that can help reduce distractions (…)” do you have any specific name in mind ?

Great article btw, i didn’t knew Evernote Clearly, and although I’m a massive user of ReadItLater, it could prove very useful 🙂


Strict Pomodoro is a great Chrome extension for Pomodoro-based work productivity.

Thomas Frank

There are a lot of good ones – a couple I’d suggest would be the StayFocused extension for Google Chrome and DarkCopy for writing.


I’m a Firefox user so StayFocused isn’t for me. However I’ve found what looks like a similar tools for MacOS (Quiet).
I’m also not fond of a web-based text editor, so I’ll keep using ByWord instead of DarkCopy, but thanks for the tip !

Ron Toledo

This is Ron from Evernote. Thanks so much for featuring Evernote Clearly on the site. We really appreciate it. Let me know if you have any questions or feedback. Also we recently launched Clearly for Firefox http://blog.evernote.com/2011/12/21/evernote-clearly-arrives-on-firefox/


Thanks to you and your team for making such a great app!

Thomas Frank

Thanks for stopping by, Ron! Evernote Clearly ~clearly~ deserves the recognition 😛

Jon Blumenfeld

I use this alllll the time. They don’t make it for Safari or Firefox yet do they?

Thomas Frank

It’s out for Firefox now!

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