You might also be looking for Sheriff Bartlett's Journal, a game feature of Red Dead Revolver.
The Journal in Red Dead Redemption is accessed through the start menu. It includes the brief, this shows everything the game has asked you to do or what NPC's have said. The player can look at this if they have forgotten what they have to do in their mission or side quest. The journal also displays the Strangers quests that are active.
An important thing that it displays is the Challenges such as Sharpshooter and Master Hunter. These show you how far you are in completing the challenge and what you have to do to complete it. You can also access the Journal menu in multiplayer.