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You don't need to select anything to initiate a sort. Just click on one of the cells within your spreadsheet and then go to Data > Sort and pick your desired sorting options.

Column headers don't get sorted. Calc knows not to include these.

Calc groups together the entire row for sorting, so if your notes are in a separate column they will still remain with the row of data they pertain to. Cell comments, if that's what you meant by 'notes' stay with their respective cells no matter what. If your notes lie outside the data in your spreadsheet, i.e. separated by empty rows and/or columns, Calc won't include these in its sorting.

The LibreOffice documentation and help files are here There are free online materials as well as physical books you can buy. You can also fool around with simple spreadsheets or make a copy of the one you are working on and play with those.

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