Probably my favorite way of opening a program is simply pressing the super key, start typing the first few letters of the program, and pressing enter. However, I have found the ordering to be quite peculiar in cinnamon as it is not alphabetical. It would seem that it uses other cues to find relevant programs, but imo alphabetical ordering should take precedent to limit the amount of typing it takes to reach a specific program for execution.
For example, if I want to open 'System Settings' if I just type 'System' the actual item I am looking for is at the bottom of the list. Before it are five other programs, three of which don't even have 'System' in their name. Even if I type 'System S', 'System Monitor' still appears before 'System Settings'.
Another example is 'Update Manager' where I have to type start typing 'Update M' before 'Software Sources' gets out of the way.
This probably isn't the most pertinent thing but seems like a simple problem.