just to confirm, the log icon on the left column you are talking about is represented by this icon:
When clicked, it will display a sequential list (or "log" if-you-will) of the steps that you have performed in your session in Xcalar Design.
Here is a log excerpt that I just performed for this response.
Step 1) I created a table from an existing dataset
Step 2) I hid a column in the table
Step 3) I sorted the table
The red arrows show each of the corresponding steps.
Also note that this session log pane has two formats:
-) "Human" format
-) "Machine" format
You can toggle between the two formats by clicking on that icon, but in my experience the "Human" format is the most useful by far.
The contents of this screen can be helpful when you wish to review the steps that you have previously taken; the window has a scrolling history capability.
I suggest perform a few operations in Xcalar Design, and watch the contents of this Log window change as each operation is performed.
This form of logging is entirely different from the other Monitor logging that you mentioned, which is more about logging of System activity, rather than user activity.