I've been using the excellent Mnemosyne application (see my answer below), but I'm curious if there are any other quality options out there. I prefer open source, linux compatible applications, but feel free to answer with whatever you use.
Reasons I personally switched to Anki:
- Can study from web-based client or mobile device like iPhone/Windows Mobile by syncing via free online service. Study history is also synced!
- It is possible to link directly to any URL with the text of the flashcard "fact" embedded. Very useful to automatically generate links to more detailed background information like an on-line dictionary.
- for example, those links in the image above were generated automatically and point to on-line dictionary pages for "to exceed" in Korean. I added these links to previously existing flashcards. I only had to modify the flashcard template once. (Anki flashcards are templates that hold "facts.") Any future cards using this template will also have similar links.
- More detailed statistics about my study history.
- More features in general.
- More active development compared to Memosyne. I just posted a bug, and there was a response within a few hours.
The father of all of them: SuperMemo. I believe that it has the best algorithm after 24 years of development and experimentation (since 1985). It can be a bit overwhelming at first, but luckily you have the ability to switch all the complexity by choosing beginner or basic level, which leaves you with only the essential functionality, and you can always turn on bells and whistles if and when you need them.
No matter which one of them you choose, there is a lot of interesting reading material on Supermemo website.
I use Mnemosyne.
- It's simple
- It has a clean user interface
- Its scheduling algorithm seems to work well
- It automatically saves to a folder in my dropbox (so I don't have to worry about losing my cards).
- It allows me to easily activate/deactivate categories.
Cons (I believe all of these are set to be fixed in Mnemosyne 2.0):
- Managing your cards (your "deck") is cumbersome
- Only categories are allowed, not tags
- Written in Qt3 (I use Gtk, Qt4 blends in well with Gtk, but Qt3 does not)
- Sometimes will repeat the same card 2-3 times in a row
Update (December 2012): Mnemosyne 2.0 was released some time ago, addressing all of the cons I listed in 2009.