** update ** The unread feature seems to do the same thing!!!
I use the Brewing Network forum a lot and I like the ability to quickly scan the recent beer related posts regardless of what category they are in. Your "recently" feature shows way to much of the post, I just want titles. Much like the TT table of content did. You may be able to find a mod on the SMF site. They have tons of them. like this one. http://custom.simplemachines.org/mods/index.php?mod=2469
I would be glad to take time and find SMF mods and talk with your tech person as I am a web developer also.