Hi, i’m new here as well.
I also use Doulingo and experienced the same frustration, not anymore though.
Since i’m too lazy to use it on my laptop and see their explanations, I looked up for an app that would explain basic grammar and Mirai Japanese does a great job.
I just went through their first 25 lessons, took mii about 2 days (and in the middle of it a friend told mii about WaniKani - and it blew my mind). However, they use Romaji which I find counterproductive.
Then I went back to Doulingo did all the lessons from the start and it was so easy because I understand how to construct a simple basic sentence. That’s the reason i’m Still using it and not deleting it. I know it would help me in the future.
Also - know your hiragana and katakana. That’s super important. And that was my first step with learning Japanese.
Different people have different styles and needs while learning, little wins go a long way.
And yes i’m aware that it goes against @koichi ‘s advice:
“I tend to recommend that people reach at least Level 10 (preferably level 20) before picking up a Japanese textbook. That way, in terms of kanji and vocabulary, you’ll be able to read pretty much everything in any beginner textbook you use. Then you can focus on the grammar instead of looking up the meanings of every other word and kanji. Having to context switch so many times makes it a) so hard to learn grammar, and b) very demoralizing. Students I’ve talked to who do the kanji/vocab first method tend to have a much more positive experience, develop at a faster pace (in the medium and long term), and are way less likely to quit from frustration.”
In general it’s all about managing a good balance between frustration (challenge would be a better word perhaps) and positive feedback loops in your brain.
Oh, and one last thing -
You might want to read this https://www.tofugu.com/series/japanese-learning-resources/
Whatever you choose at the end (beginning?) good luck and enjoy the journey.