How can I hide the Notes Icon from the start? I'm trying to add an icon of my own with the Enter Notes Mode action and then hide my own icon and show it via labels. But it doesn't work, it keeps showing me the default VTPro icon.

If your icon/button is in push mode, it is automatically shown/hidden. If you want to hide it, you have to put your own button inside a container of the skin and hide the container.