When journaling a dream you've had, there is usually a need to write it down quickly before you forget any of its details. This is where shorthand becomes invaluable.
As writers who share our writings with other people, we are often conditioned to use excess language in describing things. "I was trying to ...", "At that very moment, It felt like I was ...", "It was some time after midnight that I...", etc.
You don't need all that extra wording if you are the only one allowed to read your dream journal!
Here is an example of a dream journal entry with excess language stripped out, but still readable by people other than me. It is a compromise, because as far as note-taking goes, it is still needlessly wordy.
Daytime. Driving. Icy multi lane interstate highway.
Growing nervous of sliding into a nearby tractor-trailer.
More ice, climbing hill.
At risk of slowing, considering downshifting, then accelerating.
Hill so steep and icy, traffic ahead is sliding backwards.
Standing on brakes, I prevent likewise from happening to me.
Standstill, keeping car in front from sliding any further as well.
Hill now a vertical wall.
Other driver, woman, losing her dress shoes due to gravity.
Reaching upwards, helping put her shoes back on.