Before I get into my Doodly review, which is a whiteboard animation software, let me first tell you how I came across it. When I started working as a teacher, I was very hands-on with my teaching methods. The pandemic situation has however, changed how we teach for good.
Initially I was having a hard time verbally explaining a lot of concepts to my students via video calls. The lack of learning aids not only gets in the way of your teaching performance, but also negatively affects the attention span of your students.
It was on one of those days that I stumbled upon a “draw my life” YouTube video. I realized that the software she was using made everything look very simple and interactive. The inner teacher in me went, “I need this!” and in the next moment I found myself downloading and installing Doodly!
I have been using Doodly’s Enterprise Plan for more than a month. I must say that I have a pretty good understanding of how it works.
In my Doodly review, I will try to give you as much insight into the software as possible. I hope my experience helps you decide if it is a good fit for your profession and lifestyle.
Getting to know Doodly
As I have explained before, Doodly is a whiteboard animation software. Now, if you need something that does the job of a whiteboard, this is just the thing and more.
You can create some easy animations, talk while you are writing and add some motion graphics to add a bit of oomph to your work.
The animated doodles you will make look a bit quirky and cartoonish, so it is great if you teach a class full of elementary school students like I do.
You can also use it if you are into internet marketing or are a social media content creator. Doodly is extremely popular among YouTubers for making video essays and animated comedy shorts.
Spoiler alert here: Doodly is perhaps the best whiteboard animation software out there, and many Doodly reviews across the internet agree. Keep reading if you want to know why I love it so much.
Let’s get down to business! Doodly happens to have two different plans:
- Standard version
- Enterprise version
As the names suggest, the Enterprise version has more features and add-ons than the Standard one. For example, the Enterprise version comes with more royalty free audio tracks, doodle images and characters compared to the Standard version.
You can install both on multiple devices and create unlimited number of videos; Doodly does not take that away from you regardless of the plan. We can see the differences in the table:
|Feature||Standard version||Enterprise version|
|Install and use on multiple devices||Yes||Yes|
|Private Facebook group for users||Yes||Yes|
|Doodle characters||200 (10 character, 20 poses each||750 (30 characters, 25 poses)|
|New monthly doodles||No||Yes|
|Image doodles||200||More than 6200|
|Audio tracks without royalty||20||150|
Personally, I am a bit of a miser, so I usually refrain from buying software that does not offer value for money. Doodly has two plans to suit your needs.
- The Standard version will cost you $20 a month for annual billing, but $39 dollars for monthly billing
- The Enterprise version i.e., the one I got costs $40 a month for annual billing and $69 for monthly billing
Now there are pros and cons to choosing either annual or monthly subscription.
- For the monthly one, you can obviously cancel any time. However, you pay at least 1.5 times higher compared to the annual plan.
- Again, the annual plan costs you less per month, but this is a serious, one-year commitment.
Hence, I will recommend taking the annual plan if you will be using Doodly a lot. I took the annual plan because I take four to five online classes a week. Plus, we still do not know when the lockdown is going to end!
Let us look at the table below for a clearer idea about pricing. This compiles the cost for a whole year of using Doodly:
|Plan||Annual Billing||Monthly Billing||You save|
|Standard version||$240 ($20 per month)||$468 ($39 per month)||$228|
|Enterprise version||$480 ($40 per month)||$829 ($69 per month)||$349|
Can you try it for free?
Nope, no free trails unfortunately. You can, however, try the monthly billing and cancel anytime. There is also a 30-day money-back guarantee that takes some load off your chest. If you do not like Doodly, you can always ask for a refund.
Tinkering with the features
Now that we have looked at the price point for each plan, let us now take a look at how to navigate the features you get. In my Doodly review, I shall explain everything in detail so that you do not feel alienated, whether you use the Standard of the Enterprise version. The features I will describe are included in both of the versions.
- Board styles
Even though Doodly is a whiteboard animation software, your board does not have to be “white” by any means. Both the versions have 5 board styles. You can bring some colour into your life with these different styles:
- Whiteboard (standard)
- Custom board: this helps you select any background colour of your choice, as well as your choice of writing tool i.e., chalk or marker
- Try a different hand
Seriously, if you are bored of what your own hand looks like, Doodly helps you select something different. Jokes apart, there are 5 cartoon hand styles as well as 8 real ones. You can even select if the character should be left or right-handed! Not choosing a hand at all is an option too.
- Pre-made doodle library
If you have some experience with whiteboard animation software before, you are perhaps familiar with the doodle library.
For those who are not, there are a few pre-made graphics or doodles that you can incorporate in your videos. They come with traceable draw-paths so they will be drawn on the board automatically.
While the Standard version comes with 200 characters and 200 images, the Enterprise version offers a humongous doodle library of over 6200 doodles.
This also comes with an access to the Doodly Club, which allows you to add extra doodles to your account every month. I love to use different graphics, so this was a must for me.
Now here is the catch: all the doodles come in black and white. This was not a problem for me personally as I solved the problem by uploading my own images to the software.
If you really need some colour, you can purchase the Doodly Rainbow add-on for $67. This is a one-time fee, so no need to keep renewing it like your subscription. You can also buy some doodles from the Doodly Marketplace.
- Recording your voice
To add narrations to your video and to explain your concepts, you can directly record an audio inside Doodly. To match your voice with the timing of the video, a preview of the animation is played while recording. You can adjust the recording to the video animation in many ways, like cutting of parts from the beginning or end, introducing some fade in and out effects etc.
You can also incorporate imported audio files to your animation. For this, you can use a third party software with more editing options, edit your recording and upload your audio.
- Draw Smart: A customized drawing experience
A winning feature of Doodly is the ability to generate custom draw paths using the Draw Smart feature. With this feature, you can import any image into Doodly and instruct the software to draw the image in the exact sequence you want.
This gives it a more natural, whiteboard-drawn effect rather than having it fly into view like a slideshow. For this, you have to go around the image and put markers in a logical sequence.
To make the image look like a drawing, you can also edit the animation and path size accordingly.
If you do not want to spend your time drawing over the drawings, there is another way. Look for images in the SVG format, it will allow you to import a pre-drawn SVG path! You can add this path simply with a button click, saving you a lot of time.
- Video file formats and export options
Now that you have recorded your video, it is time to save and export it. The file formats supported by Doodly are MKV, OGG, WebM and of course the most common format, MP4.
MP4 is the best for playing during an online class on shared screens or uploading on a YouTube channel. You can save the videos in resolutions as low as 360p to as high as 1080p HD.
Doodly supports 24, 25, 30, 48, 50 and a highest 60 frames per second (FPS), which is more than enough in my opinion. I usually upload my tutorial videos on a private YouTube channel so that my students have access to it afterwards too.
With Doodly, I am seriously considering becoming a YouTube content creator so that a lot of other children can benefit from the excellent videos I could make.
Where to go for help?
Thankfully, Doodly has a lot of support resources. To get started, you may refer to some of the video tutorials on their website. There are options of browsing through the FAQs or issuing a support ticket.
There is also a special Doodly Facebook Group of over 50,000 members!
Pros and cons
If you have been eagerly waiting for me to begin this part of my Doodly review, your wait is over. The moment of truth is upon us guys! I mean, what is a review without the good old-fashioned pros and cons? Without further ado, let us get right into it
- Creating animation with ease
The user-friendly interface and great tools make it super easy to make any animation you want. I hardly had to look up the Doodly tutorials section, it is like riding a bike. Very easy and simple to learn, Doodly is great for individuals of any skill level thanks to its interactive interface.
- Huge doodle library
As I took the Enterprise version, there is hardly any need for me to do any extensive drawing on the website. I simply browse for images in the doodle library and add them to my video very easily.
If you choose the Standard version, you still have some good doodles to choose from, but I am spoilt for choice!
- Adding custom images
God help you if you are a chemistry or math teacher, because a lot of the complex diagrams are not available in the doodle library. This is not a problem in Doodly at all as you can simply import those images, add your own draw path and paste them right in.
This is the part where I get brutally honest. There are four main things that I do not like about the software:
- No colours in the Standard version
Only the Enterprise version has colourful doodles, unlike the Standard one. This was not a big deal for me as I chose the former but can be a bit disheartening for those trying out the Standard version. A way to work around this problem is to import coloured images of your own.
- Audio features not enough
Though there is a voiceover feature in Doodly, I felt more comfortable using a third-party software for saving my audio beforehand and then uploading it to Doodly. This is because the built-in features are honestly a bit lackluster. Some alternatives you can use are Audacity, Camtasia etc.
- No can do offline
A small problem here, Doodly absolutely requires that you have an internet connection, always. It can be a bit annoying if you just want to disconnect for a little while.
Other software like Doodly
If Doodly does not quite suit your style, some great alternatives are:
- Easy Sketch Pro
- Renderforest (free)
I will suggest using a free software before you commit to Doodly according to your needs.
Why should you buy Doodly?
If all of this was not convincing enough, let me tell you that Doodly is simply the best. These are some of the great features that had me sold:
- 5 different board styles
- Hand styles of different ethnicities
- Huge doodle library
- Custom draw paths using the DrawSmart feature
- Supports many file formats
- Option to directly record audio on Doodly
Want a little gift? Following my link, you can have the opportunity to get some bonus perks by completing the steps below:
Step 1: Click here to purchase Doodly
Step 2: Email me at [email protected] with a screenshot of you completing Step 1, so that I can give you a 50,000+ SVG Pack for Whiteboard Animation! This is what you get.
- 50,000+ SVG Pack
- Black and white
- PNG Format
- Multiple Category
Now that it is time to wrap up my Doodly review, I really hope that this was helpful to you. My students really like the quality of the animation and it grabs their attention instantly. Hence, I highly recommend Doodly as the best whiteboard animation software out there.
I am really glad that I purchased the Enterprise version of the software since I need it so often in my profession. According to your needs and budget, you can choose whatever works for you.
At the end of the day, I really am enjoying the full experience of what this wonderful software has to offer.
If this was helpful in any way, do let me know what you think!