I’m an avid reader of online articles and news, mainly about education, politics, and Game of Thrones (Winter is coming!). I have my feed readers, with my current favorites being Feedly and Flipboard, Edutopia and Yahoo articles sent to my mailbox, and much more. Luckily I don’t have to go very far to stay informed!
One aspect of reading all of this news online is clutter on the websites. Sidebars, advertisements, an Amazon box with my latest browsing history (stalkers!), flashing animated GIFs…it can be very difficult to stay focused on what I’m reading with all of these distractions! Therefore, I deploy a very simple but powerful weapon: the Readability Chrome browser add-on.
NOTE : I used to use Evernote Clearly to do the same thing, however Evernote stopped supporting it, and you can’t find it in the Chrome Web Store.
What Readability does
Readability essentially blocks out all of the unnecessary text and images on the sides of your page and turns it into a clean view. Therefore, a page that originally looked like this:
Now looks like this:
What an improvement!
Readability also allows you to save articles to read for later, however I rarely use that feature since I typically don’t have time to get back to those!
How to get Readability
Since I prefer Google Chrome as my browser, this information will pertain to getting that add-on. Readability also has an app for Mac called “Reeder 3 for Mac,” as well as iOS and Android apps.
- First, go to the Chrome Web Store
- Next, type in “Readability” in the “Search the Store” box
- Find the Readability add-on. To the right, click on “Add to Chrome”
- Click on “Add Extension.” You’ll see a confirmation saying that it has been added to Chrome, and a small icon of a sofa will appear next to the web address bar.
- Restart your browser so that the change takes effect
How to use Readability
- Go to a website you’d like to read
- Click on the Readability sofa icon
- Click on “Read Now”
- In a few seconds, you’ll see the clutter disappear and transform into a clean page
From here, you can click on the sharing arrow on the left, which allows you to share it on social media, email it, send it to your Kindle, or print it.
Here’s a trick I use if it’s an article that I want to my students to read.
- Click on the sharing arrow
- Click on “Print”
- Next to “Destination,” you’ll see the name of your printer. Click on “Change,” and then “PDF.” This will save the file as a nice clean PDF with annotations! It’s much better than printing out the original article with ads!
One final note: the image at the top of this blog post is NOT from my house!