As with all linux desktops there are numerous ways of doing something. 

Keyboard shortcuts

If you hold down the Super key (on most keyboards that's the Windows key) for several seconds, a cribsheet pops up to show the most common shortcuts.  Explained in detail here.



Using the menu

If you prefer to use a drop down menu, this is provided in the top right - click on  .



Using the dash

If you prefer to use the dash in the top left  - tap the super key or click on the dash icon and type the application or file name.  You can use this for fast access to both applications and files.



Using the launcher

If you want to use an application regularly you might want to put it on the launcher.  Once you have found the application using the dash, you can drag an icon to the launcher to save for future sessions.



Accessing the terminal

You can start a terminal (to allow command line working) by using the menu, the dash, or pressing CTRL-ALT-t



Personalising your workspace

You can personalise your desktop with the personal appearance tab in the menu.