If you're having trouble choosing between Access and Excel, take a moment to answer an important question: Do you need to organize your data into a relational data structure or a flat data structure? Yes, those are geek terms, but don't let them intimidate you. Deciding on a structure isn't hard, and the next sections walk you through each type of data structure and show you how to choose between the two.
For now, just keep in mind that Access is designed to work with relational data, while Excel works best with flat data structures.
If you want to get started using Access or Excel, see the links in the Quick Reference Card at the end of this course.