Workspaces off the grid

I was going to ask how to put the workspaces back into a static 3x3 grid as I've always used on Linux, OS X, and Windows. After reading through the list archives, I've learned that probably wouldn't be a good idea.

I am struggling to understand how workspaces are supposed to be used in GNOME Shell. I've always thought about them as if I were a looking at a larger display through a smaller display, but my spatial organization methods don't seem to apply any more. I can't start applications "in their place" and expect them to stay where I put them.

How should I think of workspaces in GNOME Shell now that they're so dynamic? Is there a keyboard short cut or an overview system I'm supposed to use navigate running applications quickly? I really need help understanding the benefits of dynamic workspaces that make up for the loss of spatial reference.


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