One of my biggest issues when trying to create large systems and campaigns is data management. I have reached the point where I have to start consolidating data into one convenient storage location or begin losing it. My first attempt should work allow me the time to get around to it, will be with Excel. However, I have a feeling I am going to be sorely disappointed. I've tried a few methods before...
Binders with folders and dividers. Usually these get hopelessly disorganized after a short time when I need spare paper, forget what a pocket was for or have to classify what goes where. They suffer the same editing and copying problems I have with sheets of paper and notebooks, but have the benefit of quick flipping through documents. I can even widthdraw sheets and replace them for faster management.
Paper on the wall. A gimmicky approach, but scratched on writing on the wall was attempted. This helped me stay conscious of my project almost all the time and had the benefit of rearranging and replacing documents. (I had previously used a rather large corkboard to some success with map filling in so thought this might have merit) However it had severely limited room and the setup time was bothersome.
Text Documents on the compy. This was horrid. While copying and editing was simple, opening new documents, sorting through them, flipping through windows and scanning through documents all made it difficult for me to find things quickly. I also missed being able to put things in odd places on the document... notations and graphs and sketches being difficult.
I see some of those problems coming with Excel, but I'm hoping that my ability to ingrain formula into cells as a kind of sub-dimension will allow me to make the system easier to reference quickly.