The GIS Lab at University of Maine at Machias offers instruction in importing XY data for ESRI software only. Please consult the documentation for your software package for instructions on importing XY data.
Here are a few options that may allow you to generate GIS datalayers from your GPS data. Note that ESRI shapefiles are compatible with many other GIS software packages.
Some GPS software packages will allow you to convert your GPS waypoints to shapefiles. You may not be able to use this software to make lines or polygons from your points, however. These are a few low- or no-cost conversion programs:
GPS waypoints to ESRI shapefiles free conversion utility from Minnesota DNR can be used as an extension for ArcView 3.x or as a standalone utility to convert Garmin GPS waypoints to shapefiles. http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/mis/gis/tools/arcview/extensions/DNRGarmin/DNRGarmin.html