The ends of the ring often taper, sometimes only one end does. That makes it slightly easier to get a screwdriver under the ring. But doing that often just pushes the ring around. Better to use a pair of pliers to spread the end, then a screwdriver to lift it. It will usually pop off, but the plier hand can usually block it from flying across the room.
I've commonly used the circlip pliers that force something open. They're reasonably well designed for the task although grinding the outer surfaces flat improves things. Even so, I often find that the job really requires three hands - for the pliers, a screwdriver and to catch the ring. Plus another to hold the wheel if you don't have an axle vise. AFAIK there is not easy way to do it - I've seen a number of mechanics who work on these a lot and all of them use either pliers or a screwdriver or both. Practice seems to make it faster rather than easier - they've all ended up chasing the ring around the cog at times.
Unless you have a spare pair of those pliers or work in a bike shop I think you're better off buying a proper small screwdriver than the pliers, because small screwdrivers have more uses.
Note that the bottom right pair open the jaws when you squeeze the handle. This is what you want.