If you read a lot of content on the Internet, chances are you also see a lot of ads, pop-ups, and other distracting elements that go along with a website. You might start out to read an article but never finish it because you were diverted into clicking another link or buying things online. Google Chrome’s Evernote Clearly extension solves this problem for you. By installing the plugin, Clearly lets you view articles and other web pages in a book-like manner, retaining only the important content such as text and images. No animations or advertising links.
Using Clearly is simple and straightforward. Right after installation, you should see the lamp button on the top right corner of your browser. When you click on this, it will immediately take effect on the web page that you are on. The animation resembles that of flipping an actual book page, which gives it a cool, nice touch.
Remember to already have the article itself open before clicking on the Clearly button, to make sure you get the exact content you want. The four main buttons on the left are Back, Clip to Evernote, Theme/Style, and Send to Printer. Once you’re in Clearly view, you can then customize the text size, layout style and color.
The Theme buttons opens to four different themes to choose from. The font face is displayed above three lines which stand for text color, link color and background color. You can also increase or decrease the text size by using the Small, Medium and Large buttons below.
The main appeal of this app is its integration with Evernote. Click on the Evernote (elephant) icon to send the snippet to your Evernote account. It will require you to log in when you first use this feature. There seems to be no definite way (from the app) to know if your clipping was truly sent to your Evernote account, so may have to check your account for that as there has been some issue of clips not getting saved.
Another handy feature is being able to send it to your desktop printer, which some people may still prefer despite the rise of paperless reading. This is something that similar apps like Instapaper and Pocket (Readability) may not be too keen on.
What I like about Clearly is its fast and simple interface. It transitions to the Clearly view within a split second, and provides a truly clutter-free yet visually appealing content in book-style form. I also like that there are only four main buttons on the left side, which expands to show more options only when clicked on. The best use for this would be for reading long articles which you intend on finishing, instead of short ones that you can read in a few seconds.
Clearly may not be something new for the informed web surfer, but with Evernote integration and printing features, it does bring something more to the growing list of web readers out there. If you want to read and focus on article in one click, try Evernote Clearly.
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