Recognising widespread uncertainty about how to address gender within the forestry world (from researchers, as well as natural resource, development and conservation practitioners), this paper strives to provide targeted guidance. We divide gender methods into three main approaches, based on the availability of resources. In the first section, we provide a brief discussion of theory and method. Then, after discussing some all-purpose methods, we classify methods loosely into categories of ‘quick and [more or less] dirty'; systematic ‘academic' studies; and collaborative studies. We argue that although there is legitimate space for all three approaches, the last is the most likely to result in long-term and meaningful improvements in forests and human well being.