I taped a piece of paper to the bezel of my PC monitor that reads "root = gksudo nautilus." Typing that at the command line (or "bash" or whatever it is called in Linux) I can now quickly change the permissions of files and folders. So, I don't need a separate log-in account for root
That is logging in as root. Ubuntu and its derivatives like Zorin use sudo whereas others do not so that typing 'gksudo nautilus' you are prompted for your user password and then have root privileges. A simple way to resolve issues when you are not able to access files as a user is to use the ls -l command to see who the owner:group are and what permissions they have.
It would be useful if you posted the name of the Linux distribution you are using as they do not use the same methods; some use sudo, other use su or su -.