My son was a lone scout for over a year and a half before joining a troop. It was and is frustrating that you could not use scoutbook as a Lone Scout. My son was very active as a Lone Scout and attended 2 Turkey Camps, 2 Summer Camps and at least six merit badge universities, as well as having weekly meetings and reading the entire Scout Handbook (something that scouts in troops do not tend to do). As mentioned by others, the Scout Handbook does have everything you need to track rank advancement as well as merit badges, and activies like camping, service, etc. I also understand that it falls apart and can get lost or ruined at summer camp.
I have used troopmaster which is available for a yearly fee to anyone and it is a good online tool. I don’t like it as much as scoutbook, but it is a good option. I also kept track of rank advancement, merit badges, awards, and activities like hiking, camping, and service in a binder and through excel spreadsheets.
Once you turn in the form for rank advancement, awards and merit badges earned into your council then it should show up in his national records that your council can print out for you.
I hope that helps!