In v17, the "New" navigation button and the "Email" navigation button have small drop down menu activation arrow options to the right side. Why not have the same drop down menu activation arrow option on the "History" button. This convenience would allow one less (important) field to complete on the History Form, thus saving time. The "Activity Type" field would still be on the form, and could be manipulated if necessary.
The first item on the drop down menu would be "Record History with Timer", which would eliminate the need to start this function from the History Tab. The remaining items would be both the standard (native) activity types, and the user defined activity types.