Evernote Clearly

As long-term readers of this blog will know I use Evernote a lot. It is my go-to program for storing ideas and web clippings. I also keep travel documents such as e-tickets in it and maps of places I am visiting and all sorts of other stuff. It has many advantages – it is cloud-based and it synchronises all of your notes and clippings to any computer or phone that you have the Evernote app installed upon. This makes it an invaluable notebook-substitute for any writer. It is free an it runs on most PC and mobile phone operating systems. 

I just discovered an addition to the Evernote stable that I really like. It is called Evernote Clearly and it does one very simple thing very well. When you use Evernote Clearly it provides an overlay which subtracts all of the distractions from a web page. Basically,with the push of a button, it makes it look like a page of type on a newspaper. (Here is what my website looks like after Evernote Clearly has been applied.) 

Evernote Clearly

 I have seen programs before that have done this – unfortunately I cannot remember the names of any of them and I am too lazy to look them up – but the clever thing about Evernote Clearly is that it is very well integrated into Evernote. With the push of another button you can clip the page you have just simplified into Evernote. This is more useful than it sounds because sometimes when you clip a page all of the complex formatting turns into a mess inside Evernote. Clearly prevents this from happening.

Evernote Clearly has a few more tricks up its sleeve. It has several different themes that allow you to view the simplified webpages in different ways. (This is Night Owl.)

Evernote Clearly Night Owl

It also allows you to define your own themes. You can also markup sections of a page as with a coloured marker pen. This allows you to highlight sections of particular interest like so:

Evernote Clearly Markup

 Like Evernote, Evernote Clearly is free and you can find it here. 

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the tip, Bill.

    I have been using Evernote Web Clipper for Chrome. Nine times out of ten it was successful in figuring out the important content on a page, but sometimes it decided to choose some piece of garbage in a sidebar and I could never figure out how to get it to clip what I wanted.

    Hopefully Clearly has had a bit more development to it and works better. I’ve upgraded now so I’ll see what happens. It looks a lot prettier at least even if it doesn’t work any better!

    • Had exactly the same problem, Nick. It’s the one I alluded to in the text above. I have not exactly extensively tested Clearly but have had no problems so far. I will get back if there are any :).

  2. I’ve been using Clearly for a couple of months and when I discovered the highlighting feature (quickly, because it is obvious 🙂 ) I fell in love with it. Now I use it all the time. I had avoided using Evernote much because I don’t actually like the cloud sync, but every so often, I just drag my cloud synced notes to a local notebook in Evernote and that keeps more of my personal life out of the cloud. And things I do want to read, say, on my Android phone, I leave there so they sync to my Evernote app and I can read the articles at my leisure. It’s a great way to store up research or topics of interest so that you can make use of down time. 🙂

    An interesting aside is that in Evernote, you can’t actually highlight text, not that I’ve found, and yet the highlights from Clearly show up perfectly every time.

    • Nice to hear from someone who has been using Clearly for a while and is clearly (groan) a satisfied customer. I confess I use Evernote for almost everything– scrapbook, notes, maps, pictures,journal. As part of the MacHeist deal I got a 15 month subscription to Premium. Not sure I will keep paying for it at the moment, but I am happy to test it. It lets me back up manuscripts in Evernote now as well.

  3. Wow, great little program (Evernote itself, I mean; had never heard of it). Thanks, Bill!

  4. So I’ve now got Evernote and Clearly set up. Only problem is when I clip something with Clearly it goes straight to default notebook instead of the notebook I want/need it to go to… know how to fix this?

    • Not sure. You can set up smartfiling in the extension preferences in your browser but then you are at the mercy of what Clearly decides is the appropriate place in your notebooks :).

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