It’s unclear to me exactly what are the challenges you face. A link to a relevant website would be helpful.
You are probably already aware of this but each theme has a set of “styles” within it that dictates the CSS for the page/site. Some themes give you great flexibility in determining the styles, some give you no choice. And a small number (Foundry, Foundation, some others) give you just about all the choice you could want. Put differently, by knowing the styles your theme is using for headers, links, and so on there should not be a great need for “formatting” text. If you want the look to be different then change a theme, or theme setting, or use a theme with ultimate flexibility. InDesign also uses the notion of styles so this idea is probably familiar to you.
As for writing the actual text the simplest, cleanest way to do this (especially if your website is text-heavy) is to use markdown as some folks like @mokane99 have already mentioned. You can easily learn markdown in less than an hour. No more problem with lists, or anything else. In this case you may want to write your markdown (again, assuming you have a fair amount of text) in a markdown friendly editor such as Bear Notes, Ulysses, iA Writer, Scrivener, or several other choices (some free, some not). Then copy/paste to RW.
There are also specialized cases. For example, some folks want their lists (or many of their lists) formatted in a very unique way that goes beyond the theme’s CSS. In those cases a stack such as @willwood 's Lister stack is very useful.
But again, I can’t really tell if you have general frustration, are simply unfamiliar with how CSS styling is implemented, have a specific unique need, or just need to adapt to using Markdown, or some combo. That’s where the weblink would be useful.