Ok, I'll make this short and sweet. Go get this software. I just downloaded it, and it's the coolest software I've seen for writers. I've seen some fancy stuff with plot assistance and all that sort of thing, but honestly I tend to find that sort of thing tiresome. This is simply a project editor. And it's free.
The software eliminates the problems of having either a single huge file that tends to get corrupted, or else a bunch of tiny files that you can't navigate through. It works by creating a number of .rtf files on the back end, but as far as you're concerned, you can edit through this software, including global find/replace.
It will also help you keep track of characters, important items, locations, etc. It doesn't take long to enter all the basic info for your characters (if you enter the goals, etc., it may take longer), and then you just use the "automatically add characters" command, and it links everything up. There is even a "problem words" tool that helps you find overused words, etc.
I actually had the idea for software like this, but didn't have the programming chops to do it. I'm so glad someone else has done it!