When I launch gedit or firefox from a terminal, the terminal is occupied(by occupied I mean no other commands can be run from the same terminal window) untill I press ctrl+c but it kills gedit or firefox. Any way other than opening a new terminal window?
As per http://www.linuxandlife.com/2012/07/how-to-run-multiple-commands-in-terminal.html follow the command to launch the app with an ampersand, e.g.:
Following the command with the ampersand launches the app then returns cursor control to the terminal window immediately so you are free to run another command within that window.