usethis is a workflow package: it automates repetitive tasks that arise during project setup and development, both for R packages and non-package projects. Most use_*() functions operate on the active project: literally, a directory on your computer. If you’ve just used usethis to create a new package or project, that will be the active project. Otherwise, usethis verifies that current working directory is or is below a valid project directory and that becomes the active project. Use proj_get() or proj_sitrep() to manually query the project and read more in the docs.