Marking Time As A Reminder of Your Values and Priorities: Interview with Lianna Louie

Originally Vietnam and raised in the Bay Area in a Jewish and Chinese family, Lianna is currently an MBA student at the Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business. She’s enjoying the challenge of learning and the process of building new friendships. After school, she is pursuing opportunities in corporate finance. In the meantime, Lianna is seeking teams of empowered women to join and be creative with.

Lianna and I met in Washington DC a few years back, when she was on the leadership team for a social justice dialogue group I joined. That year, the topic for the group was anti-Semitism. Through learning together, we grew to respect and appreciate one another and The next year, I became a member of the leadership team where we worked together, along with several other amazing Jewish women, to design and run a six month program on invisible and visible identities.

Lianna was one of the first people to back us on Kickstarter last year and when I asked her what was most exciting about The Jewish Planner to her, she said, “having a purse-sized planner with beautiful graphic design, and that was specifically designed around the Jewish annual cycle.”

Like Lianna, before launching The Jewish Planner, Amanda and I searched everywhere for a portable planner that integrated both calendars in a way that was easy to understand. We couldn’t find one. And we thought, if we were going to take on the challenge, we may as well make it beautiful and enjoyable to use.

Once Lianna got her copy, it far exceeded her expectations. The graphics were higher quality than she could tell from looking at it online. “It was lovely, the paper felt nice to write on – especially because I like using a variety of pens, most of which aren’t ball-point,” she told me.

Most recently, I’ve been using it to keep track of assignments during my MBA, writing things down in a planner helps me remember. I’ve had a few classmates comment on how pretty the planner looks.”

Before using the planner, Lianna was already pretty aware of the Hebrew calendar. Yet, using The Jewish Planner still serves her as a reminder of a different way of tracking time and what is important in this sphere of her life.

She said, “Judaism is a religion that very much tracks the passage of time and one way to engage with Judaism is to follow those cycles. Shabbat is actually considered the most holy holiday despite it being a weekly event. It’s meant to serve as time away from the hustle and bustle of life and to reflect about the past week. I like to be aware of time since I’ve come to realize it’s the only expendable resource we have in life. Time is so precious and how I use it and recognize its passing is a powerful reminder of my values and my priorities.”

We love Lianna’s take on Jewish time, its power to connect us to something deeper as well as to each other, and to yet another cool personalized way of using The Jewish Planner.