Working online comes with a host of distractions, whether it is the temptation of visiting off-task games or media, or all of the advertisements that populate around an article needed for class. To help streamline your view on the internet, try some of the resources below.
To get rid of ads and other distractions:
Reader View (Chrome extension)
Reader View takes away buttons and ads to leave just the text of a website. From there, users can adjust the text and layout to their preferences. Reader View also has minor note taking assistance, such as highlighting and "sticky notes".
Mercury Reader (Chrome extension)
With one click, Mercury Reader will remove all buttons and ad distractions from the text of a website. Users can also change the text and contrast, and they can export the results to a Kindle for portable reading without internet distractions.
Read&Write (Chrome extension, $125/year)
Read&Write has a mode that fades distractions to the background when reading online. This is in addition to many other reading functions, including text to speech that highlights as it reads, a picture dictionary to look up words, and a speech to text to dictate notes or papers.
Block distracting websites
ColdTurkey (Mac and Windows instructions)
ColdTurkey is a program that, when on, will not allow the user to access sites that fit the criteria they have outlined. This can range from blocking a couple of websites to blocking everything but a select few. Timers are also included with the free version of this program. The upgrade ($39) has schedules, allowances and customizable users.
SelfControl will block access to certain sites for the duration of the timer. The sites are customizable and, once locked, there is no way to unlock until the timer runs out.
Do you have applications or programs that you find helpful, but you don't see them here? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to recommend them! You can help other students out with your experiences.