Recent Files Scanner is a handy tool which searches your hard drive for recently changed, created or accessed files (and it can monitor folders for new files, too).
To try this out, launch the program, click the green "Start" icon, and the program will scan your Documents folder (and any subfolders), before producing a report listing everything modified in the last week.
Not happy with the defaults? Click Settings and you can set the folder to check the search depth (the folder only, 1 level, 10 and so on), and the file dates of interest (the last 1 day, 3 days, 2 days last week or whatever). There are include and exclude filters; you can specify keywords which the file must include; you're able to decide which file date to check (created, modified or accessed), and more. Click the Start button again to try the new settings.
You can do some of this just with Windows Search, of course, but Recent Files Scanner does have another trick you might find useful. Click the binoculars icon and it'll monitor whatever folders you've specified, displaying newly created, changed or modified files in real time.
The program has a few oddities. It would sometimes change the folder we'd specified to something else, for instance - not exactly helpful. And while that might be because we've not properly understood how it works, it's hard to say for sure because there's no documentation.
If you're interested in this kind of tool, though, Recent Files Scanner is still worth checking out.
It has some quirks, but Recent Files Scanner can still be a useful way to monitor file activity