To add applications to the favourites bar on the left of the screen in Gnome 3, just right click on any application icon in the applications menu and select add to favourites. Then the program will be easily accessible in the future. I am not sure if this works in the Unity desktop, I have been able to just drag and drop icons to the left side iconbar in Unity, so that is even easier than this tip. But this was a good find anyway, I am really starting to like Gnome 3, I just wish the sidebar behaved more like Unity, although the Gnome 3 alternative is out of your way and if you shrink the fonts slightly, then it makes the top bar slimmer and gives you a little more desktop real estate.
I am using the Gnome 3 desktop on Fedora Core 15, the Ubuntu Unity desktop is similar to this in most respects and as I have said over and over again it is a step away from the older Gnome 2 desktop environment.