I use glue dots for heavier embellishments like buttons, for flowers, for ribbon, etc.
For paper I usually use Herma Vario tabs, or Tombow mono adhesive.
I also use a glue pen (the Tombow one is my new favorite after using it to attach THANKS to 12 cards for my hubby's softball team) or my Xyron create a sticker for small die cuts (I love the Xyron for ribbon also).
I really want an ATG gun but they are too expensive for me right now.
I was sent a roller of both sizes of Glue Dots, 3/16" & 3/8" in a swap. I'd been using the ones in sheets of 12 and was happy to get the rollers but found them akward to use. Also both stips broke before they were at the end necessitating that I pry open the containers to use what was left of the glue dots. For this reason I don't recommend them.
I don't think I would use a glue stick...I like using Dotto tape runners for most of my LO's cause if you make a mistake or would like to reposition something on your LO, the Dotto dispenser is a temp adhesive, but it stays good. I have recently just started using glue dots, and I like them, I think in my next order or visit to a store I am going to get the kind that adds a little lift!