I think an important aspect of keeping a front desk (and entire hostel) running smoothly is to have a system for employees to communicate with each other.
The Note Method:
At the first hostel I worked at (~60 beds), we had a notepad to write notes to each other. If I wanted to leave a message for the next person I would just write a note and leave it on the desk and hopefully the next person would remember to look at it. The hostel only had 3 people who worked the desk and there were no advance reservations so it worked fine.
The PMS Method:
Another hostel I worked at was using roomMaster2000 PMS which has an internal messaging system that works well enough. Each front desk employee can enter notes into maintenance and cleaning logs and then print up reports to hand to maintenance and cleaning staff in the morning.
The Email Method:
Communication by regular email.
The Intranet Forum Method:
Santa Klaus mentioned an internal forum for staff communication.
Are there other methods?
Do you like your current method?
What method do you think works best?
Are there special considerations for staff communication in large hostels and/or multiple properties?