A novel has a lot of moving parts. When you factor in research, articles saved with Web Clipper, and random jottings about who did what to whom, you'll probably find you have a lot of notes for your writing project. Consider adding a couple more to keep it all straight: a dashboard where you can manage the whole thing, and a checklist for bringing your completed opus to the world.
Snowflake method checklist. Maybe you'd rather work from the top down than from the ground up. Inspired by fractal geometry (really!), Randy Ingermanson's "snowflake method" grows an entire novel from a single sentence. Each step of the process methodically expands upon the one before, filling in detail until you have a complete draft.