Best Free Text Editors
I once read some survey results that indicated Windows Notepad was the most popular text editor used by web developers and coders. I found the results difficult to believe since Notepad isn't particularly good at doing the sorts of things that developers want. It lacks even the basic feature of multiple undos. However, there's no question that in a pinch, Notepad is quicker and easier than launching many of the alternatives.
Over the years I've tried several text editors some of which aimed to be alternatives to Notepad rather than full-blown applications like Word. The two that I've found and like aren't full-blown development environments, but rather enhanced versions of Notepad. For those who don't work on multiple files at once, I recommend Notepad2. For those who often have multiple files open, I recommend giving Crimson Editor a shot. It uses a tab interface to hold different documents, which keeps your windows environment uncluttered. Both are free so you can't go wrong with either. A little tweaking and you can have them launch in place of Notepad for txt files.
In a recent edition of Computer Shopper, I read about another free text editor called Keynote. I'm still evaluating it, but it has some promising features such as storing individual notes within a single file. This software also supports rich formatting, images, and hyperlinks.