Very cool. 8)
I think you’ll like Notebook (I’ve liked all the programs like it I’ve tried) and Word will do just fine, despite the dislike most of us have towards it.
Regarding bibliographic software, the honest truth is you probably don’t need it for undergraduate study, it doesn’t really come into it’s own until post-grad work. Depending on your workload, and how much you have to balance, you may be better off manually entering citations for the first few papers you write and then switching to bibliographioc software if you want to after you have a better understanding of what’s involved. I say this for 2 reasons: (1) starting uni throws up a lot of new things to have to deal with. In addition to new knowledge, concepts and challenges to existing ways of thinking, there are all the various university procedures to learn, plus the pragmatics of getting around campus, the social demands, learning the expected standards of academic writing,understanding the specific details of the citation method of your school (MLA, Harvard, APA, Turabian, etc). Plus whatever else I’ve forgotten! If that sounds overwhelming, don’t worry - everyone goes through it and it doesn’t last long. (2) Learning how to cite and format by hand allows you to become familiar with the method and then subsequently check the software for mistakes (it most likely will make mistakes, especially for uncommon citations). As a tutor, I’d rather my students know what they were doing before trusting a computer to do it for them (same applies to spelling and grammar ).
If your university actively encourages Endnote, it may actually be free for you as a student. For example, my university provides Endnote for free to all its students and staff. It may not be the “best” (very subjective anyway) but the price is unbeatable!
There’s an awful lot of advice provided here by many good-hearted souls. Take from it what you will, and remember that whatever you end up using will probably work for you, and will probably change while you are studying. There’s no such thing as the “perfect” approach - tweak and change your way through. Imperfect has worked for most of us!
Congratulations on gaining entrance to university. Enjoy your degree. And remember: pizza is for now, learning is forever. Balance the two.