So far I have introduced you to alternative office software, browsers, instant messaging software and PDF readers. Today it's text editors meant for plain text.
So, Windows ships with Notepad. It's as simple as a text editor can get. A good text editor can save you time by having useful shortcuts, being able to have several files open at once, allowing you to do search and replace on several files at once, allowing you to use regular expressions when searching and replacing, etc.
All this and much more can be done using NoteTab Pro. It costs $29.95 but is well worth every penny. There is also a free version called NoteTab Light which is a very capable program too -- a comparison of features between the different versions can be found here.
I myself have been an avid NoteTab user for years already, not least because it has got its own scripting language which can be used to program the application to do almost anything you can think of. Automatic reformatting of any text you just copied to clipboard from another program? Consider it done. HTML table wizard? Piece of cake. FTP integration? No problem. The scripts are called clips and organized into clipbooks. The program comes with many ready made clipbooks and more can be downloaded.
NoteTab has also got a very active and helpful community at the Yahoo! Groups. It is divided into a general section, clips, and www-authoring.
The only thing that NoteTab lacks is syntax highlighting for other languages than HTML. If you need that, I can warmly recommend an open source program called SciTE.