I started out the old-fashioned way...well, not the REALLY old-fashioned way (quill and ink and paper) or the somewhat old-fashioned way (pen and paper)...but the common old-fashioned way in today's world of publishing: I opened a new page on Microsoft Word and began typing away.
That has worked well for me until now. Two weeks ago, I began to outline a rather complicated middle grade fantasy series that spans a long range of time, and find I have already created three different Word documents ("Notes," "Basic Outline and Ideas," and "Character Storylines") without even beginning the first draft of the first novel in the series yet! Today I woke up determined to begin the story despite my misgivings about how best to keep track of all this extraneous supporting information. Like an answer to my prayer, I found an invitation in my email inbox to try out StoryMill 4.0 for Mac.
I've tried a couple of other software programs for writers (yWrite and Scrivener), but they just didn't do it for me. They seemed a little too complex and, being a Mac user, I'm used to the facile and intuitive approach. I don't want anything with a huge learning curve. So, I looked for a review online and was impressed with the program's features as described here and here. You might want to check it out if you have a Mac with an operating system of 10.6 or higher because it seems to be designed particularly for novelists.
Whether you use this, or another, or refuse to even consider using such a program, I'd be interested in your response.