What are the options to show a list of projects along with their custom status that tells us where things are with each project, e.g., "Awaiting Client Approval" or "Planning Check Review" or "Creating Construction Documents"?
The first option is to use the existing Project Status field in the Projects screen to mark a project as Active, Inactive, Hold, etc.
The second option is to add custom fields to the projects from its Custom Fields tab. You can add a simple field, say Project Update or State and then enter the relevant information in it for each project. You can also create a custom field drop-down with a customized list. You can then filter data based on this field. Unfortunately, custom fields don't show up in the Reports filtering as of now. So if you need a report showing custom fields, you need to purchase a customized report from BQE Software for a nominal fee.
The third option is to use the Projects > General > Details > Memo field to enter the project status and then run the Project Contract Status report from the Reports screen. The Comments column will display whatever memo you entered. Check the Core Help for details.