Endnote software is an absolutely essential part of my work process. I use it all the time and it would be hard to carry on with writing, research, and teaching without it. I am constantly amazed at colleagues and students who do not use Endnote, or one of the other bibliography databases. With Endnote you can’t leave citations our of your bibliography by accident, you don’t have to cut and paste bibliographies, you don’t have to reformat references by hand for different journals. You can download citations from the library and from many online databases, and you can exchange bibliography files with colleagues. Its easy to compile bibliographies on particular topics or themes for students or others.
My views of bibliographies and references may not be typical. I am a bibliography nut. I want to have all the relevant sources (for whatever purpose or project) at hand. Of various potential criticisms of my papers or proposals, one of the worst for me would be that I had missed one or more major sources on a topic. When I look at a new paper or publication, I often start with the bibliography. Who is citing what? I often judge the usefulness of works by whether or not I have gotten some new useful citations from the bibliography. I am impressed when students cite good sources I’m not familiar with. I could not have done a good job at some professional tasks without Endnote, including a book review editor, and a contributing editor (Handbook of Latin American Studies).
When I started graduate school, fellow student Clark Erickson was keeping his bibliographies on 3x5 index cards in old library card-catalog drawers. I quickly followed suit, and by the time I started using bibliography software in the late 1980s I had 8 or 10 drawers full of cards. I still have those old cards sitting around somewhere (I almost tossed them when I moved from Albany to Arizona). My Endnote file now has over 13,000 entries.
No, I’m not being paid by the makers of Endnote. In fact, I have some complaints about the program and the company. But I couldn’t live (as a scholar) without Endnote or something similar, and I’m amazed at people who manage without it. I’d rather be writing papers (or blogs) instead of copying and pasting references from one paper into another (and leaving some out in the process).