While InDesign veterans may assume everyone already knows this, I can assure you I have worked with very sophisticated documents from designers who did not take advantage of this basic feature. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind as you tackle InDesign challenges is this: If it’s repetitious, tedious, or time-consuming, there’s probably a built-in solution right there in the program. You just need to go look for it.

This feature is easiest to use when you combine it with Word's built-in heading styles. However, you can map a custom heading style to the multilevel numbering feature—it just takes more work. Word handles nine levels, but any document with more than four levels should receive a serious developmental edit. More than four becomes confusing and perhaps worse, unreadable.

A multi-level list is a list that describes hierarchical relationships between the list paragraphs. These lists are also called outline lists because they resemble outlines. The list’s numbering scheme (as well as indentations) show rank as well as how items are subordinate to one another. You can tell where each paragraph fits in the list with respect to the paragraphs before and after it. You can include up to nine levels in a multi-level list.

The standard method for displaying a page number in InDesign is to insert an Automatic Page Number Marker into a text frame (Text menu: Insert Special Character: Marker: Current Page Number). This is typically done on your master page(s) so that the page number will appear on every page using that master. If you wish to hide the page number on pages in your document, just use a different master that does not include the marker (or use the “None” master if you do not wish to display any master page items).

By default, bullets and numbers inherit some of their text formatting from the first character in the paragraph to which they’re attached. If the first character in one paragraph is different from the first characters in other paragraphs, the numbering or bullet character may appear inconsistent with the other list items. If this is not the formatting you desire, create a character style for numbers or bullets and apply it to your list by using the Bullets And Numbering dialog box.
It's also possible to consecutively number list items in InDesign. Create a text frame for your list and click the numbered list button to insert a list. Type your list items, pressing your "Enter" key between items. InDesign consecutively numbers the list automatically; you can change the number it begins with and the style of the numerals. Press your "Alt" key (Windows) or "Option" key (Mac OS) while clicking on the numbered list button to open a dialog where you can modify those options.
There may be instances in your Adobe InDesign documents that you want to change the start page, by default the numbering starts at page one on the first page of your document but if you right click on for example page 2 you can select ‘Numbering and section options’ then you can click the button ‘Start page numbering at’ then type ‘2’ in to the box. this will snow start a new section on page two which will make page 2’s page number actually page 1. You can start new page numbering sections anywhere in your Adobe InDesign document. 
An InDesign document can only have one chapter, and these chapters are typically combined in an InDesign book. To insert a chapter number, create a text frame where you want the chapter number to appear on either a document or master page. Click on the "Type" menu, then "Text Variables," "Insert Text Variable" and then "Chapter Number." Update the chapter number if necessary to keep your chapter numbers consecutive by clicking on "Numbering & Section Options" in the Layout menu.

Suppose you’ve made some changes to the styles or swatches in your chapter 5 document, and now you want to use those updated styles or swatches throughout your book. Click in the column to the left of chapter 5 to set chapter 5 as your book’s style source. Select all the other documents that you want to synchronize to chapter 5 by pressing Ctrl/Cmd and clicking the documents (they’ll turn blue when selected).

Thanks for the head start on this, it got me part the way through my problem but I found that when I had 3 figures in a row then a map, the next figure would jump back to #.1 again. Because I had figures, maps and tables that needed to be numbered I used the ‘levels’ to differentiate between them as you suggested, but found if you create a new number list for each entry ie. number list for maps, and number list for tables etc then they don’t conflict. thanks for the start off though. no where else pointed it out as clearly as this. Cheers

It sure is possible! Numbering and Section options are available in the Pages Panel menu. These options allow you to define what page starts a section and how it should be numbered. Insert a Current Page Number marker (Type>Insert Special Character>Markers>Current Page Number) in a text frame on a page or master page (recommended), select the first page of your section, open the Numbering and Section Options dialog, and enter 200 in the Start Page Numbering at: field. Hope this helps!
A best practice that we recommend to our clients is to create a base/folio master –with styled and positioned footers and current page number special characters– on which all other masters are based. This allows a footer that may contain date or issue information to be updated once and the changes are reflected in all of the master pages. If your masters only have current page number special characters then you can just add them to each master and the page numbers will be reflected when each master is applied to your document pages.

Since Word 2000 applies outline numbering by default, as you press TAB or SHIFT+TAB in a numbered list, you are moved to the next or previous outline level. If you are in a numbered list that has outline numbering generated by the method described in the previous exercise, when you choose Bullets and Numbering from the Format menu (or alternate-click a portion of the numbered list), the Numbered tab appears on the Bullets and Numbering dialog box. However, if you first select the entire list and choose Bullets and Numbering from the Format menu, the Outline Numbered tab from the Bullets and Numbering dialog box is selected.
Let's say you just created a paragraph in Heading 1 style. Now, you press Enter to go on to create the next paragraph. What style will that paragraph be in? You can modify a style to stipulate the style Word uses for the following paragraph. So you could set it up so that, when you're entering text, a Heading 1 will be followed by a Heading 2. And, you could set it up so that a paragraph in Heading 2 will be followed by a paragraph in style Body Text.
Some drawbacks to this feature are that you lose a little control when you are typing. Word formats for you and some users do not like this. Also, on certain items, you will get a number when you do not expect or need one. For example, you have an attorney whose name begins with an initial (A. George Smith). When you type the name and press ENTER, the first initial "A." converts to an automatic number.