Keeping Real Estate Records?

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So I've been mulling this question over in my head for a few days now, and I decided to just post it here instead of driving myself bonkers. (Plus everyone here has been absolutely amazing at answering any and all questions). So I'm trying to create a system or method that enables me to keep track of any new properties, new prospects (buyers and sellers), or even real estate agents to I come in contact with. While this info may be not valuable to some... I believe that the brillance is in the follow up. If I am going to be dealing with the same agent or many more agents over the course of the year, what would be the best way to organize a database to store this information. I know many well say Excel, but I want to see if other more experienced investors had any creative ideas??