Skillful and effective use of tools will help you manage work, communicate expectations and report outcome. Use tools to convey the right message to the target audience. The most important thing is the clarity of the content of the document, not necessarily how fanciful the document is. A project manager should be versatile in using some tools like those listed bellow:
§ Project management: Scheduling (Microsoft Project, Clarity, Workbench); Planning, brainstorming, problem solving and decision making (Mindjet Mind Manager Pro or similar mind mapping tool).
§ Office productivity: Document, charts, analysis and presentation (Microsoft® Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Visio or Open Source equivalent – e.g. Sun® OpenOffice).
§ Financial systems: Estimating, forecasting, budgeting, account payable etc.
There are many good tools, including those that support full automation. However, without practical project management practices, including stakeholders’ discipline in providing relevant and quality information, you may not be able to explore or take advantage of the automation capabilities of these tools. Tools provide control information, but exercising control requires sound governance, skills, discipline and good judgement.