One of the best ways to keep contact with parents, administration and parents is with email. That way, there is an indelible, time-stamped communication log to fall back on should there be any misunderstandings. Whenever possible, I always recommend using email as one of your primary communication tools.
Unfortunately, email can be a hassle. I can get a few dozen per day myself. There are important one, interesting ones that you don't really need to read and the emails that are just kind of dead weight. It can be a hassle sorting through this constant electronic drizzle. Once you do sort through the emails you get, it can be difficult to find an email when you need it later on. Worse yet, if you store your email on a your computer, you could loose precious information. If you keep a copy of your emails on the local server, you run the risk going over your email quota.
Gmail can solve all of these problems. You can have all of your email sent to Gmail (yes, any and all of your email accounts can easily be routed through Google) where it will be stored for free. You won't have to worry that you could loose important emails just because your laptop crashed. You also don't have to worry about going over your limit. I have 12,598 emails and my account is only 27% full (using 2078 MB of my allotted 7656 MB). That's huge! I don't have to take the time to sort through old emails, trying to decide if an email is worth keeping or not. With Gmail, I keep everything, knowing that I'll have an email if I ever need it again.
Of course, that begs the question of search. In my sea of 13,000 emails, how could I possibly hope to find what I need in a timely mannor? Like most Google products (Google calendar being the most notable exception), search in Gmail is excellent. I can find most emails I need within 30 seconds. Obscure emails take a few minutes. However, I have never failed to find what I need.
Want more information on how Gmail can improve your productivity? Tweet or email me.