evil-mode (vim for emacs) is good but not perfect. There will be occasions where you will get dropped into regular 'ole emacs mode for some feature or plugin. The trick is to not panic remember a few basic movement keys that will get through in 90% of cases.
Cstands for the ctrl key) go down and up by line respectively.
Mstands for the alt key) and
M-bwill go forwards and backwards by word respectively.
C-gis the universal emacs key for "STOP WHATEVER YOU'RE DOING".
There are a few other random things to keep in mind that will make life easier.
Mstands for the alt key) allows you to execute just about any function, e.g.
F1 fwill bring up documentation for any loaded function.
F1 vwill bring up documentation for any variable.
F1 kwill allow you to type a keybind and see what it's bound to.
A few helpful built-in functions to know to start making your own functions.
nthis a built-in which lets you pull a specific item from a list by it's index like so:
(nth 1 '("red", "blue")). Returns
split-stringis another built-in that splits a string given a separator and returns the results in a list.
(split-string "foo-bar" "-"). Returns
concatalso a built-in, combines strings.
(concat "hello" "world"). Returns
nullalso a built-in. Return t if OBJECT is nil, and return nil otherwise.
I'll add to this post as I think of things that helped me out when I first started using emacs. You can also check out my emacs config in my dotfiles if you want to see how I have everything setup.