The method posted by OUSoonerFan3 is what you were looking for - regarding the "Mathematical Way".
If you are good with Math, this will work great for 3 Phase "L-R" Circuitry (Circuitry in Panelboards, with Circuits on the "Left" and the "Right" sides).
It doesn't work with the following configurations:
- Single Phase "L-R" Panels,
- Panels / Gear with only a "Single Row" of Circuitry,
- Power Panelboards with multipole Circuitry under the same "Number" - such as a 3 pole OCPD at the upper left of a Panelboard identifies A, B and C as "Circuit 1",
- Panelboards with "Stack Breakers" or "Piggyback Breakers" - such as a "QO-20/20",
- Old "Bulldog" / "Pushmatic" Panels
Iwire's response brings up a very good point - create color charts for various scenarios.
I have created a set of these in Excel, which you may use if needed.
Just E-amil me, and I will bounce it your way.