Zeitgeist Project

Experience Zeitgeist


Unity is a shell interface for the GNOME desktop environment developed by Canonical Ltd for its Ubuntu Operating System.

Unity debuted in the netbook edition of Ubuntu 10.10. It is designed to make more efficient use of space given the limited screen size of netbooks, including, for example, a vertical application switcher.

Using Zeitgeist

Unity makes use of Zeitgeist in its dash where it provides the user with easy access to its most and recently used data (files/folders/applications) as well as searching over the Zeitgeist FTS (Full Text Search) extension.

There is more development going on to bring the same features to a contacts dash where the user can browse his contacts by most/recently used.


Synapse is a quick application launcher developed taking inspiration from projects such as Gnome Do, Quicksilver or the Gnome Launch Box.

The user punches in a swift keyboard combination and is presented with a text box, where they start typing the name of the application.

It’s designed to be fast, efficient and out of the way.

Using Zeitgeist

Other than heavily depending on the Zeitgeist FTS (Full Text Search) extension for searching, you can also browse recent items which were logged by Zeitgeist, in case you close a document by mistake or just want to hear again the music track that played a few minutes ago.

It also has a relevancy service, which makes sure that applications you use often end up among the first results of a search – this is done using Zeitgeist, so you can also track the popularity also in other Zeitgeist clients.

Activity Journal

Activity Journal is your portal to the world of Zeitgeist. It’s an user interface ideated for easily browsing and finding every kind of user activity (files, webpages, contacts,…) on your computer.

It incorporates search, file preview, tag, bookmark, timeline visualization and other useful features. It is an alternative to finding your data using the hierarchical files-system and instead depending on the concept of remembering when and in which context data were used.

Using Zeitgeist

Let’s use this metaphor: consider Zeitgeist as the mind, the brain and Activity journal as the body, the external envelope.

Activity Journal is just Zeitgeist’s client, the most complete, that shows in a useful manner every activity that Zeitgeist has logged and we are interested in. It depends fully on Zeitgeist from A to Z.


Docky is an advanced shortcut bar that sits at the bottom, top, and/or sides of your screen. It provides easy access to some of the files, folders, and applications on your computer, displays which applications are currently running, holds windows in their minimized state, and more.

Using Zeitgeist

The integration with Zeitgeist is in the form of generating jump-lists for applications and folders.

An application that is provided a jump-list is populated with the most and recently used data that was used with it. This also applies for folder where the most and recently used files are displayed in its jump-list.