Like many others I too had to learn GNU/Linux all by myself. This has both good and bad aspects. But if you’re a regular user who uses a computer for things like word processing, reading … that sort a thing, then I don’t think learning it all by your self would do a lot good to you, most won’t survive it.
It’s not because they don’t have the ability but instead those type of users have different interests. For instance, some are actually interested in the OS itself (hackers, system admins etc) where others only interested in the programs that run on top of the OS (say you’re a graphic designer, multimedia editor etc).
In that case, as both a newbie and a usual user, the best way to learn Ubuntu (as with this case) is to read some sort of a well written book. If you have time you don’t have to buy anything but can just research the heck out of Google and learn a lot.
But to save both time and efforts, if you’re looking for an easy way to learn Ubuntu Linux, then perhaps you might wanna consider buying the extremely popular book called “Ubuntu Unleashed”.
The author is Matthew Helmke. Although in my all honesty I haven’t read the book itself but again when considering the popularity and the respect gained by the “Ubuntu Unleashed” book series, I’m pretty sure it’s a good one.
Feww hours ago Matthew announced that the latest edition of the book (Ubuntu Unleashed 2012, 7th Edition) is finally released! and it covers Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot and the upcoming 12.04 Precise Pangolin.
You can buy it from this amazon page (includes my affiliate link ;-)) or it should also be available to purchase from the Ubuntu Software Center too (writing this post from my Windows OS).
From installing Ubuntu to running or setting up mail/data-base/file server, installing other desktop environments, using Ubuntu cloud etc the Ubuntu Unleashed 2012 covers a lot of Ubuntu related setups, again especially designed for newbies.