I use this sheet in my classroom daily. I fill it out with whether or not there are notes or homework, and the students who have been absent know to check the sheet and get notes from a classmate or handouts from the files next to the sheet. There are columns for two class levels, as well as a column for the date. It reduces the "Did I miss anything yesterday?" question like magic! If you really wanted it to be low maintenance you could have a student fill it out for you daily instead of doing it yourself.
Use with Make up Check up