I was brushing up on some basic vocabulary. Asked what the Japanese equivalent of "the means (of doing something)", I would use 方法. However, they've used 手段. As far as I can tell, these are (fairly) synonymous. Is there a difference? Are there places/phrases where you would use one but not the other?
I have always got by taking 方法 as method or "way of doing" and 手段 as "a means": As Tokyo Nagoya says, there is some overlap but if you know when to use method and means in English then try to do the same in Japanese.
(Hint: I think 方法 is the easiest to adopt. You could leave 手段 until after you have heard it used more.)