Find & Open Recently Downloaded Files In Ubuntu Linux With Gnome Activity Journal

GNOME Activity Journal (formerly known as GNOME Zeitgeist) is Linux based application which is designed to easily find files from your local locations. It keeps a chronological record that contains user activity information that can be easily used to find and open recently used and downloaded content.  For example, let say, you download a video from YouTube which is saved to a folder that you are having problem finding. Instead of downloading the file again or searching your system endlessly, you can simply open the Gnome Activity Journal to find and open the file from your log history. Just double click on any file name to open it.

You can launch the Activity Journal from Accessories in Ubuntu.

Application Menu

It categorizes logs of your recent activity in a chronological order. You can sift through different dates to see which files have been accessed. To open the file, double-click the file name, this will launch it from its original location. A graph at the bottom, displays the level of activity from the particular date.


Logs can be viewed in Thumbnail (second button to the left) from the main interface. Any item can be pinned, removed, opened and moved from the log via right click context menu.


Similarly, the List button allows viewing the logs in List form. It also contains a search bar that can be activated by clicking on the magnifying glass icon. This search bar works with all three of the viewing formats. A file or folder can be searched by either typing a search criteria or choosing an option to extract information, e.g. all activities, audio files, video files , edited documents, read documents, messenger conversations, emails, etc. There are also some minor plugins that can be enabled to blacklist and whitelist items within the logs. These plugins can be accessed and enabled from the Settings menu.


Gnome Activity Journal is a easy way of locating files, folder, visited URLs, emails, retrieving messenger conversations, etc. However, privacy cautious users might not find it very useful, particularly those who use shared computers.

Download Gnome Activity Journal