Types of Study Software - Educational Software
Generally Study software falls into 2 catagories.
1. Visual organizer/concept mapping/presentation software - Excellent for making visually stimulating diagrams.
2. Revision/Flashcard software - Excellent for revision according to scientific principles, of simple question/answer type structures.

Also there is software which is designed to teach specific things such as mathematics, rather than being a general study tool - Excellent for subjects where the content is very well defined - e.g. mathematics or a language.

Flashcard revision and software to improve it
The ultimate in scientifically proven revision appears at present to come from the 'SuperMemo' crowd.
This European group have been studying the mathematics of forgetting since the 80's and for question/answer pairs have produced remarkable formulae for tracking the strenght or otherwise of memory traces for that type of information.

Supermemo itself is a flashcard program which allows the entry of Question Answer pairs and then tests you on them, allowing you to enter whether you recalled the answer or not, in various ways, and then tracks your revision, revising only what you need to.

Other programs that LOOK better, but do not appear quite so scientifically impressive include Winflash, vtrain and a series of others.

Flashcard programs are to be recommended if the information you are learning is best described in a simple Q-A fashion.

RecallPlus can immitate this, as if you like you can simply on each RecallPlus 'card', have 1 question and 1 answer, however it is really useful when there are a series of things in a row or a tree of information to learn.
RecallPlus tests you on these tree structures OR simpe Q-A's in a mannor which is a inventive variation on the 'flashcard' way of doing this.
RecallPlus tracks your revision and applies spaced revision intervals to the information.

RecallPlus Study Software Features.

Presentation -- Concept Mapping -- Mindmapping Software
For producing interesting diagrams to learn from, some of the best pieces of software out there are the mindmapping ones and concept mapping ones such as 'inspiration' and 'mindmanager'.
They allow the planning of ways of looking at new information, and encourage thinking around the topic and better organization of information.

When applied to study, the act of producing concept maps, compared to just taking notes traditionally is PROVEN to improve learning by 10-15%.
This is the difference between a 'C' and an 'A' grade in many subjects!!

RecallPlus IS designed to produce concept maps... but you do not have to have them as a central object with branches... they can be ANY SHAPE.

Basically, the problem with mindmapping programs when applied, not to thinking but to study is that when you try to think back to try to remember what the concept map/mindmap was that you used to learn x,y or z, unsurprisingly you think of a spidery thing, which starts at the center and works outwards... i.e. they are all SIMILAR... which doesn't help memory as much as things which are UNIQUE.

Also, typical concept mapping programs are not suited to keeping a FULL SET of notes, they are more useful for designing just a few diagrams... which is not enough to learn your entire course with.

They also do not tend to have any revision facilities or tracking of what you know and what you don't.

Use concept map type programs for thinking around topics and producing presentations or collaborating.

For study, RecallPlus will allow you to keep a whole library of chapters of cards of diagrams, keeps track of what you know and what you don't, gives study predictions, AND offers study tips.

RecallPlus Study Software Features.