For years, there has been one prominent line of thinking concerning business productivity – digital equals efficient. Whether companies were completely converting to electronic records or not, the consensus was that removing clutter generated by an influx of paper records would increase productivity because all information would be stored in one place.

However, this might not apply to small-business owners. Sure, storing data and content on a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone may sound like a great way to increase efficiency, but what about small-business owners who have become accustomed to knowing where their paper records are at all times? One person’s cluttered desk may be another’s perfectly orchestrated workstation.

A recent article in the Arizona Daily Sun examined the misconception that many have about digital organization and suggested that a messy desk may, in fact, be a productive one.

“Though our computers, PDAs and smartphones have digitized many aspects of our life and streamlined certain aspects of our business, paper is still very much with us,” wrote Joyce Browning, the author of the article.”This is not necessarily a bad thing for a small-business owner. In any case, a certain amount of clutter is usually a sign of activity, whether it’s new projects, financial reports, receipts from sales and expenses or reminders of upcoming appointments.”

However, while many business owners rely on managing paper records, there comes a tipping point. Too much clutter, regardless of anyone’s opinion, isn’t sustainable. That’s why many companies are establishing a compromise by outsourcing paper storage with a professional records management provider.

These companies can allow those reliant on paper to keep their physical records while giving them some breathing space and a sense of cleanliness to continue their efficient operations.