Need help: Activity/Recently Published list, plus Taxonomies

Hello experts: I’m a novice trying to learn how to use my new SmartMag theme and have made many mistakes!

Right now, I’m trying to figure out if there’s a way to display a longer list of Activity/Recently Published on the Dashboard? Currently, it displays the 5 most recent.

Also, is there a way to set up the home page so that I can organize stories by post title instead of category? How would I do that? I notice that taxonomies offers some options I don’t want to mess without knowing what I’m doing.

Your help will be greatly appreciated.