Maybe you know some SCM (revision control system) like CVS, Subversion or Perfoce.Cool, but you are already late.
Since many years now, new sort of system came up. They are called DCVS, and let’s called them « decentralized », or « distributed ». Famous systems are Git, but also Darcs, Mercurial, or Bazaar.
The main difference with « distributed » systems compare to « centralized » are we do not need a central repository. Anyone is able to create and manage it’s own repository, locally, or merge it’s branch with another one somewhere on internet, etc.
To put it on a nutsheel, Git has been developped by Linus Torvald to manage linux kernel source code. It’s a powerfull system which can manage branch, diff, interface with svn, etc. There is lot of documentation, and I’ll give some links to start with git, and few commands to manage a project locally.