Usually when developing you have all your relevant development files contained within a central project directory, so you can of course access any file you want from within your IDE environment.
Sometimes however (and this is very often for me) you want to open a file (or bunch of files) which don’t exist in a current ‘project’, or you may want a scratch pad to work with for quick notes. Those familiar with eclipse (and cfeclipse) will recognise that this can be troublesome as you can’t easily open a file which is outside a project. Yes you can use the File Explorer View to do this, but it’s just not simple enough. Dreamweaver and Homesite are a little better at this, but all 3 can be a little slow to load if you don’t already have them open.
There are a couple of free lightweight alternatives to assist you which mean you can quickly and easily open files without resorting to notepad (ugh!).
Crimson Editor is super quick, tiny and has some great features including:
Multi-level undo / redo
Directory tree view window
Column mode editing (WHY don’t more editors have this?)
Notepad++ is another similar editor with a similar feature set. It’s worth your time taking a look at these for certain situations due to the fact that they are so lightweight and powerful.