Terminal digit filing is the filing of all files ending in the same last two digits in one section, forming 100 distinct file groups (00 through 99) in any given file number situation. The use of terminal digit filing is usually seen in large file areas: hospitals, insurance companies, government, banking, etc.
It speeds up retrieval time and reduces refile time by segregating files into groups of 00 through 99 (example #12345) terminal digits (45), middle digits (23 within the 45 section) and tertiary digits (01within the 23 section). If numbers are longer than six digits, the rest of the number is filed in order inside the tertiary digit sections
For example, file 12345 (01-23-45) would be filed in the 45 section next to file 2345 (00-23-45). File 12346 (01-23-46) which would normally be put next to 12345, would be filed in the 46 section (then in the 23 section, then 01 within 23 section). Note the misfile - two files in the 45 section between subsections 21 and 22 that should be in the middle digit section 24 (file numbers larger than six digits can also be filed in terminal digit order).
The major advantage of terminal digit filing is that the file grows equally in 100 places as well as shrinking equally in the same 100 places with the retirement of older files, forming an equal growth pattern in the file. File shifting to make room for new numbers is eliminated.
Color coding labels really make misfiles stand out. You can find individual numeric and alphabetic labels here and color bar strip labels here. Color bar labels are printed with Smead software that is available $3,600 to zero for the new Express version. Printed labels based on the customer's list can be shipped in bulk or attached to new folders ready to use.