I use like Pat, but with a slight difference. You have to understand how I use OTA first!
My prefs are set so all new notes are OTA. This means that any notes i create on the fly - eg notes of a phone call - will always be OTA. Because I’ve created on the fly, i often don’t have time to process them right away. Eg, tidy up hasty typing, extract to dos from the conversation, file in correct project etc.
I also use OTA to mark notes I’m going to work on today (I can’t use TODAY, because I don’t want to mess with the date assigned to the note - eg a note in prep for a future meeting, that is associated with the calendar event).
OTA = needs prompt action: either “tidy and file” or “work on today”
Unchecked/Open = needs action. This isn’t always to dos, it’s often a draft of a blog, paper or report.
Checked/Closed = no further action required. A project with all notes closed is archived.
There are a few exceptions that break this! Notes that are references, like bank account details, instructions for technical issues etc, that I need to refer to from time to time, I leave open. But they are in projects with names like “tech ref” so I don’t confuse them with notes needing action.
I also use OTA for a few special notes like “Goals”. Because of the order of categories, i force these special notes to the top of OTA, so OTA shows a me my Goals above my Plan for Today. This helps be prioritise my Plan for Today taking account of my Goals. Below this are the notes I’m going to work on.